PARDO HAPPY TO BE FEYENOORDER

Sebastián Pardo had resigned himself to insecurity until February. Only then would Feyenoord’s option to buy the midfielder run out, forcing the club to make a decision. Things have worked out differently however. With other clubs in the hunt, the UEFA Cup holders were unwilling to risk losing their man after a string of impressive appearances. ‘I’m very happy. I did feel some uncertainty about my future. That’s all in the past now,’ Pardo admits.

‘I signed a contract at the weekend that keeps me at Feyenoord for another four seasons. I’m very satisfied about that and hope that the clubs reach agreement quickly too, but I’m sure there won’t be any problems. ’It’s unbelievable how fast it’s all gone. In my last diary entry I was cautiously hoping for a first team place. Since then I’ve started seven games, including three Champions League encounters. ’After my goal in Newcastle I was hearing various rumours that big English clubs might be interested. I didn’t take them seriously, because it’s a little too early for that. Before I take the next step I would like to make a success of myself in Holland and at Feyenoord, the club that opened the door to Europe for me. ’Actually I still have a great deal to learn before I can really call myself a top-class footballer. Dutch, to start with. At the moment communication is very difficult and I notice that that causes problems. A good example was the game against Ajax. If you are unable to understand quickly enough whether you have to go right or left, then you can play into your opponent’s hands. The same happened to Song on the other side. I’ve now had four Dutch lessons. Up to now we’ve concentrated on football. After that we’ll start working on words you can use in your everyday life. ’Besides the language I still have to get used to the number of games we play. We’re not used to that in South America. In Chile the players even complain when they have to play on a Wednesday! But that is going a bit too far. ’I don’t feel tired though, as has been suggested in some quarters. I can handle it fine. Obviously I feel the games in my legs, but I still feel really fresh. That’s as it should be, because mine’s a tough position to play in. In Chile I had more of a free role behind the strikers. I get to drift around a bit now too, but not that often. ’For the coming time I’ll have to be at my best to retain my starting place. The competition is tough, but that’s a good thing. And if other players perform better, then the coach will have to play them. You cannot play every game after all.’

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