Serenity seems to be something that Emil Forsberg is fond of as it came with his advancing age. The Swedish striker has been around for roughly nine years in Leipzig.
“I have seen many come and go. I like competition, but I am still around,” the 32-year-old stated ahead of the UEFA Champions League encounter against Red Star Belgrade this Wednesday evening.
The 84-capped forward is one of the club’s silverbacks for a reason having survived several squad changes aside from the Dane Yussuf Poulsen (29), in the club since 2013 or Hungarian international Willi Orban (30), playing in the RB shirt since 2015.
The trio seems to feel comfortable aside from midfielder Kevin Kampl (33/2017) slipping into the role of experienced silent leader now and then having to start from the bench.
While a three-pointer against the Serbian record champion might help to realize the club’s claim to reach the knock-out stage, Forsberg has gained a special significance in the side’s history books.
September 13, 2007, remains a special day in his career as he scored the club’s first goal in the Champions League against Monaco.
In his 44th Champions League encounter against Red Star the Swede is determined to score his eleventh goal.
Forsberg called it a motivation booster, to face competition by younger players “as it has been one of football’s fundamental rules that you can’t be successful without relying on experience.”
Meanwhile, the former Malmo attacker has made over 300 competitive games for the 2022 and 2023 German Cup winners.
Despite the return of Spanish international Dani Olmo from an injury, it seems more than a bold guess, Forsberg is going to turn up in the starting eleven.
The Spaniard still must take things easy as coach Marco Rose put it.
Forsberg and Leipzig accept their status as the favorite when crossing swords with Belgrade. Games like that, Forsberg reckons, require a solid approach.
“You need to be firm and clear in your actions and possibly remind some patience despite the pressure you have to unleash,” the forward added.
Forsberg claims priorities have changed in his life after the birth of his second child.
“I accept my role. Sometimes you get fewer playing minutes, but I still scored important goals and delivered valuable assists,” he said.
“Football isn’t the utmost anymore despite my ambitions that I still feel in my chest.”
Having chosen a team sport comes with the obligation to deliver support “as a team is a team; that means a group of people heading for a common goal.”
The Champions League in his perspective is a similar challenging long-distance race. “You should always keep that in mind and avoid losing your patience and faith,” he said.