TOO SOON FOR POLISH RETURN

Tomasz Rzasa is set to leave Feyenoord at the end of the season, after recent confirmation that the Pole’s contract would not be renewed. Nethertheless, when the time comes the UEFA Cup winner will say farewell to the Kuip with his head held high. ‘I’ve had some fantastic highlights at Feyenoord. I never thought I’d ever win the UEFA Cup. But everything comes to an end. C’est la vie,’ says a proud Rzasa.

‘It’s a great feeling to be voted best leftback by a football magazine in Poland. I think that’s down to the UEFA Cup win and the five Champions League games I played. I’m at a top club and that obviously has its advantages in such a poll. ‘I’ve had a lot of negative criticism in the Dutch media in recent months. I cannot win the UEFA Cup one year and be very poor not long afterwards! I’ve played big games in the Champions League and in the UEFA Cup. Sometimes I was one of the best players. So you cannot say that I cannot handle playing at the highest level. But I sometimes wonder why the press is so negative about me. A footballer can never win against them. I don’t want to try either. In any case, I am not about to believe what they write. Even the supporters seem to have been extra critical of me recently. They read the paper or watch the TV and maybe think that the media are right. In that way everyone accepts the criticism. ‘I’m happy that the people who really understand football continue to support me. They say that I’m of real value to Feyenoord. And I’ve also played almost every game for the past three and a half years. I only missed the first four games and the last four before the winter break. ‘I’ve now heard that my contract at Feyenoord won’t be extended. I don’t think that a good run of form after the winter break will mean I can stay. My agent is now looking for a new club for me. I’m almost thirty; I want to play on for a few more seasons. There is some interest, but I let my manager do the work. It doesn’t really matter whether my future lies in Holland or elsewhere. It does have to be a team at the highest level in a good league. I don’t feel the need to return to Poland. My wife and I still have the energy to start at a new club; to get acquainted with a new country or culture. If we didn’t we would have gone back to Poland. But I can always return home in the future. If I look back on my time at Feyenoord, there were a few wonderful high spots. I never imagined I’d win the UEFA Cup. But everything comes to an end. I have six months left on my contract and I’m a real professional. I’ll continue to do my very best and if the coach needs me I’ll be ready. Anyway, I still want to win the championship and the cup with Feyenoord.’
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