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Moving on up
Moving on up

Funes Mori goes into his second season at Villarreal full of confidence

Ramiro Funes Mori is now into his second season at Villarreal. The Argentine centre-back arrived at the club after overcoming a serious injury and ended last season as a key part of the team as it achieved survival. “Last year, the pre-season was very difficult for me. I came here from a year of not doing anything. I had to adapt quickly, and I got better throughout the year. I think we’re here to do that, to get better and to prove that one needs to go things well. I know my team-mates. The first year was tough and intense as we had to fight to avoid relegation. We need to learn from what happened last season so they don’t happen again.”

Funes Mori was with Argentina in the last Copa América. Now he is completely focused on Villarreal and even scored during pre-season. The Submarine has only lost one game so far, with five victories. “The balance is good. Although they’re pre-season games, you have to win them to gain confidence, to practise what the coach wants. The truth is that I’m very happy with the matches we’ve won. We have to continue like this, we know that Granada is going to be a very difficult game, but I think we can build off the base of the wins we’ve had to gain confidence,” he commented.”

The Argentine has become a handy versatile player for Calleja. Last season, he was a centre-back, a right-back and even a midfielder. “Whatever helps the team is always good. Obviously my best position is as a left centre-back, but last year I played as a holding midfielder and even a right-back. You have to adapt to everything, and I will do whatever the gaffer says to the best of my ability,” he analysed.

This Saturday, Villarreal have their last pre-season game against Bologna FC (8:45pm CEST). Funes Mori thinks they will be a tough opponent: “Italian sides are very good tactically with great players. It will be another opportunity to vindicate what we’ve been doing. We will try and keep control of the ball to attack and defend well. It’s what we need, it’s going to be a good game and we’ll try and win.”

There is a week left until the start of LaLiga. “Starting the season with a win would be great, but we still have some pre-season left. I think we’ll arrive in good shape for the game against Granada. That’s what we’re trying to do, we have to learn from what happened to us last year so it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully we can be high up the table. Last season we had difficulty moments but we know how to get out of the other side,” he concluded.”

To see Funes Mori’s press conference in Spanish, just press the play logo at the top of this article.