TM Q&A: Parma youngster Benedyczak on mentor Buffon & role model Lewandowski

By FPL360


Polish U21 international 

“He can become the Robert Lewandowski of the future”, Kosta Runjaic says about Poland’s U21 international Adrian Benedyczak. The head coach worked with the 21-year-old striker at Pogon Szczecin before the youngster joined Parma Calcio 1913 for €2 million in the summer following the club’s relegation from Serie A. After the Gialloblu’s 2-0 win at Alessandria and his fourth goal of the season, spoke to Benedyczak about settling in at the traditional club, which has yet to get 100% on track, lessons from team captain Gianluigi Buffon, role model Lewandowski and personal goals.

Transfermarkt: Mr. Benedyczak, congratulations on the goal against Alessandria! The 2-0 meant the first win in six games. Is it a relief at the right time for Parma?

Benedyczak: Thank you very much! The next games will show whether this is a relief. But the victory will give us more self-confidence for sure.

Transfermarkt: The team finally converted its individual class into goals. Why didn’t that work before as desired?

Benedyczak: It’s hard to say why it didn’t work like that before. We have been training hard lately and I think it will look better and better from game to game.

Transfermarkt: Beppe Iachini has been presented as new coach a couple of weeks ago. What has he changed; how does he address the team?

Benedyczak: We have had five games with the new coach in this short time. You can see now that we are working hard and the aggressive pressing is working better and better. We are also creating more good situations in front of the opponent’s goal from game to game. I think it still needs some time until we can fully show what the coach expects from us. But you can already see what his idea of the game will look like in the end.

Transfermarkt: What is the mood in the team? Parma are in a rather disappointing position in the table, even though the season’s goal is promotion and the project is to return to Europe in the future.

Benedyczak: Despite the poor results we try to improve every day as a team and we still believe that we will be able to join the fight for promotion to Serie A.

3 goals against Germany: Parma striker Benedyczak in top form in EURO qualifiers

Transfermarkt: Things have been going better with Poland’s U21s recently: three games, three wins, including a 4-0 win over European champions Germany – and scoring two goals in the process. Was that the best game of your career so far?

Benedyczak: It was a very important victory for us in terms of promoting from the group stage at the U21 European Championship. It was one of the matches that I will remember for a long time.

Transfermarkt: Not only, of course, but also because of that, your market value increased in the autumn update. Is that something you are following?

Benedyczak: I don’t particularly follow this. I focus on the best possible performances and a constant development.

Transfermarkt: A nomination for the senior national team should actually be the logical next step. Are you dreaming of the 2022 World Cup – at least a little bit? Your ex-teammate in Szczecin, Kacper Kozlowski, was allowed to go to the European Championship 2020, for example.

Benedyczak: My dream is to play in the senior national team with the eagle on my chest, but currently we have one of the best strikers in the world, so I’m focusing on solid performances at Parma and the U21 team with whom we want to go to the European Championship.

Transfermarkt: Of course, consistent performances at the club are important for that. After a period of acclimatisation, Enzo Maresca has and Beppe Iachini is giving you more and more playing time in Parma and you have already scored four goals. How do you rate your development since the transfer?

Benedyczak: Since I came to Parma, I have developed a lot. I feel better and better in this new environment. I work hard to play more and to develop permanently, because at this age it is very important to me.

Man, Lapadula & Co. – The most valuable Serie B players

Nicolò Fagioli – Cremonese – €3.5M

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Michele Di Gregorio – Monza – €3.5M

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Simon Sohm – Parma – €3.5M

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Lautaro Valenti – Parma – €3.8M

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Dany Mota – Monza – €4M

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Gianluca Lapadula – Benevento – €4M

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Andrea Cistana – Brescia – €4M

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Lorenzo Colombo – SPAL – €4M

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Carlos Augusto – Monza – €4M

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Gennaro Tutino – Parma – €4.5M

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Gabriel Sterfezza – Lecce – €5M

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Valentin Mihaila – Parma – €6M

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Lorenzo Lucca – Pisa – €6.5M

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Dennis Man – Parma – €8M

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Transfermarkt: Did you have other offers?

Benedyczak: Yes, I had. (grins)

Transfermarkt: In recent years, some young Poles have moved to Italy. Why do you think there is this trend?

Benedyczak: I think that Polish footballers are doing well in Italian football grounds but it’s hard for me to say where this trend comes from.

Parma youngster Benedyczak on Gianluigi Buffon and Robert Lewandowski

Transfermarkt: Have you already recommended this step to other talents from the Ekstraklasa or has anyone asked?

Benedyczak: Yes, after the transfer to Italy I spoke to some friends who asked me about the league and I can say that this is a good step for developing.

Transfermarkt: How is your relationship with your teammates? Is there anyone with whom you have particularly good contact or who helps you in your development? Surely Gigi Buffon can tell you exactly how to position yourself and how to finish so that even a world-class goalkeeper doesn’t stand a chance?

Benedyczak: Gigi is not only a legend in the football world but also a great man and I believe that, apart from the composure on the pitch, I will learn many useful things from him. Gigi has a great contact with young players and for me it is a great honor to share the dressing room with the best goalkeeper in the world.

Transfermarkt: Speaking of which: In Poland, you are sometimes compared to Robert Lewandowski, and your former coach Kosta Runjaic has also said that on German television. Is he your role model? If you were called up for the national team, he would also be your training partner.

Benedyczak: Kosta Runjaic once gave me an autographed photo of Robert Lewandowski and said that one day I would be like Robert. I’m down to earth and I know that there is a long way ahead of me and only through hard work there’s a chance to reach the top. Robert is a role model for me in every way.

From Benedyczak to Lewandowski – The most valuable Polish centre-forwards

Adrian Benedyczak – Parma Calcio – €1.5M

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Aleksander Buksa – Genoa CFC – €1.5M

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Dawid Kownacki – Fortuna Düsseldorf – €1.5M

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Mariusz Stepinski – Aris Limassol – €2.5M

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Jakub Swierczok – Nagoya Grampus – €3M

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Kacper Przybylko – Philadelphia Union – €3M

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Patryk Klimala – New York Red Bulls – €3.5M

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Jaroslaw Niezgoda – Portland Timbers – €3.5M

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Bartosz Bialek – VfL Wolfsburg – €4M

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Karol Swiderski – PAOK Thessaloniki – €6M

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Adam Buksa – New England Revolution – €7M

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Krzysztof Piatek – Hertha BSC – €10M

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Arkadiusz Milik – Olympique Marseille – €17M

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Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – €50M

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Transfermarkt: Where do you see your strengths and what do you still have to work on?

Benedyczak: My strengths are playing with both feet, speed and off the ball movement in open spaces. But I still have a lot to improve.

Transfermarkt: What are your goals in your career?

Benedyczak: Promotion to Serie A, promotion to the U21 European Championship and scoring more goals. These are the three most important dreams for me at the moment and they are the ones I focus on most. I hope my goals will help me and my team to achieve the targets.

Interview: Marius Soyke (Matteo)




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