Looking to help Betis regain presence in Europe: Fekir

Nabil Fekir.

Kolkata, Sep 22 (IANS) French World Cup winner Nabil Fekir is not going overboard with his good start to life in Spain, saying it is more about his club Real Betis doing well and regaining their place in Europe by the end of the season.

Attacking midfielder Fekir, who came on as a substitute in France’s World Cup final win over Croatia, was roped in by Spanish La Liga side Betis ahead of this season.

Since joining Betis from French club Lyon, the 26-year-old has scored a classy goal against FC Barcelona at Camp Nou but could not inspire his team to victory as they lost 2-5. Fekir was also impressive against Real Valladolid but ended up on the losing side too.

“I am feeling very well, I am happy here. Furthermore, the most important thing is the team, not me as an individual. We are a team and the most important thing is that the team wins and that things go well, but anyway, I am going to do everything possible to give my best for this club,” Fekir told IANS.

“The goal for the season is that we do well on the pitch, that we are focused and on a good mood, and that we can have the chance to fight for the upper spots of the table and to return to Europe, because we have a group with great quality and that is the goal we have set at the beginning of the season,” he said.

Asked to relive his crisp strike against Barcelona, Fekir said: “I was not stressed out, but obviously I like to score goals, especially being an offensive player as I am. It’s always nice to score to gain confidence but as I said, I am not the most important thing. The team is the most important thin and if the team is going well, I will be fine.”

Fekir further added that Betis head coach Rubi wants him to play with freedom.

“He asks for me to play with freedom. We are working on the tactics and the positions. He is a new coach and that is brand-new for us. But, so far, everything’s going well and we hope that we continue working in the same way we are doing now. We are working well and that’s the important thing.”

Fekir has come through the youth ranks at Lyon, playing nearly 200 matches for them and netting 69 goals.

After five games, Betis are 12th in the points table with just one win to show for, having five points. They take on Levante on Tuesday.

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