December 6, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Axel Witsel plays 'probably the last World Cup', Jeremy Doku confidently: 'I know I can break the opener'

Axel Witsel plays ‘probably the last World Cup’, Jeremy Doku confidently: ‘I know I can break the opener’

The Red Devils are three days into their first World Cup match. They trained on a Sunday afternoon in the bright Qatar sun. After training, Axel Witsel and Jeremy Ducos addressed the press. Revealing that it may be his last World Cup, Witsel speaks with confidence to Dooku after many injuries.

Jonas Wittuck

Axel Witsel: “Watch out for space in the back of the defence”

Axel Witsel (33) is one of the older generation players. He sees experiencing demons as an advantage. “It can be an advantage that we have a lot of experience in tournaments. The coach has been here for six years and we have been together as a team for a long time. There wasn’t much preparation, but that’s an advantage for us. I feel fit, I shouldn’t think too much about my age. I’m playing now “Differently than when I was 25. I am now a real defensive midfielder. For many players it will be the last chance to win the championship.”


When a Canadian journalist asked a question, Witsel basically admonished her speed. Canada’s great strength lies in their speed, with Jonathan David, Alphonso Davies and Tajoon Buchanan in attack. I recently played against the latter in the Champions League. We have to pay attention to the space we leave in the back of the defence. Canada is very strong physically.”

Finally, it was also about his future. “I will definitely continue until the European Championships in 2024, and I have that in mind. The next World Cup will be difficult. It will depend on many things. For example, what happens after my time at Atlético Madrid. But I don’t think I will make it to the World Cup.” year 2026.”

Jeremy Doku: “Eden Hazard is no one”

Jeremy Ducos’ selection has been hung by a thread due to his injuries the past two seasons. “There was a lot of tension in the run-up to the World Cup,” said Doku. “I just knew I had to be fit to be there. Lately it’s been really hard mentally. But now I’m fit. I feel good now, I’m happy to be here. They take good care of me. I don’t have to do abnormal things. Do Warm up properly, take an ice bath … “

During his brief appearance against Egypt last Friday, Doku made a really good impression. “Everyone wants a basic. But even if I get five minutes, I’ll do my best. I know I have a different profile compared to other people. I know I can unlock a game with one move.”


Doku scored his first minutes against Egypt since the Euro 2021 quarter-final against Italy. Then he was the star. “I learned a lot there. After the European Championships I had more interest, I felt it. It didn’t change my life, but some things have changed since then. A lot of people have spoken to me about that performance against Italy.”

Now he has to compete with Leandro Trossard and Eden Hazard, among others. “Eden Hazard is not just anyone. But everyone here wants a starting place. There is a lot of competition here, but it is up to me to show the coach that he can count on me.”

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