He arrived from FC Cologne three weeks ago to the day. On the eve of the first leg of the third preliminary round of the Champions League against Sparta Prague (7 p.m.), Ismail Jakobs was presented on Monday to the media at the Performance Center at La Turbie, in the presence of the Vice President and CEO, Oleg Petrov, and Sporting Director Paul Mitchell. The left back was able to give his first impressions of his arrival in the Principality, and discuss his ambitions with the Rouge et Blanc.
Hello Ismail. You were born and trained in Cologne. Was this the right time to go for you? And how hard was it leaving your family and friends?
It is true that it was not easy to leave his family and his hometown. But I’m comfortable with that choice. I believe it was the right time to make this choice for my personal and professional life.
What image did you have of AS Monaco when you were contacted?
This is a Club that I knew because my opinion of Benjamin Henrichs changed due to him coming here. Playing here is a good challenge. The Club has a great track record, a history and has a good future ahead of it. These are the reasons why I joined the Club.
Do you feel the pressure building before the third preliminary round of the Champions League?
As the manager said, we are fortunate to be able to build on what was accomplished last season. We have this chance to qualify for the Champions League. We do not have any particular pressure because European qualification is assured. The squad are just excited to play this game. We feel ready for this fixture.
Do you have a personal memory of Alexander Nübel?
I haven’t really have the chance to meet him, but of course I know of him. He is a great goalkeeper with a lot of qualities. His presence in the squad makes my acclimatization easier. I’m happy to grow with him.
Paul Mitchell, Sporting Director:
We are very happy and excited to welcome Ismail today. He had a lot of chances in the Bundesliga to progress. We are delighted to have him join us so that he can develop his qualities. This is a long-term project for the Club as well as for him. Football has changed a lot in recent years. A defender must know how to defend well but he must also be contribute offensively. That’s why we’ve chosen to recruit Ismail who can play up and down the entire left flank. He has a lot of qualities and will be able to bring several options to Niko.