Since making his return to Serie A with Udinese, Valon Behrami has settled in well at the Furlan club and insists he isn’t just there to make up the numbers, but also intends to act as a mentor for some of the club’s younger players.
Behrami returned to Italy from Premier League side Watford, a club coincidentally owned by his current employers, the Pozzo family – the English club is run by Gino Pozzo, while his father, Giampaolo Pozzo, heads Udinese.
However, Behrami is no stranger to the country, but rather a veteran player who has graced the pitch for Genoa, Verona, Lazio, Fiorentina, and Napoli, before his stint in London.
How do you feel about returning to Italy?
“I am happy to be back in Italy. I pushed a lot to be back in Italy. I enjoy the Italian lifestyle and I enjoy the Italian lifestyle on the pitch.
“It will be a tough season in Italy, there’s been lots of changes. The big clubs have invested a lot of money, so it will be a difficult season. We are going to have to work hard.”
What does this season have in store for Udinese?
“We didn’t start well. I arrived late and needed to catch up. We deserved to lose both games, but I see the commitment and every player deserves the best. Everyone is working hard. I’m confident in this team and in the club.
“I want to help improve younger players. I can help them grow, [especially with] my experience in different countries. The club is working very hard and I am positive for the future.”
How do you feel about working with the Pozzo family?
“I was happy to go to Watford. Outside the team, the [Pozzo] organisation is amazing. [When playing for the Pozzos] we only have to think about performing on the pitch. They take care of everything else. They take complete care of us.
“It’s great for players to working in the Pozzo organization. They treat us too well.”