At the world cup in Brazil was Rajiv van la parra is still a mainstay at Orange. In Sport/Voetbalmagazine tells the Dutchman to Club Brugge on different options are after that successful tournament.
Van la parra played four years in the A-team of Feyenoord. ‘A conscious choice’, ” he says. ‘After two seasons I could all the way, but for two years I kept.
“The first team was Fiorentina. I spoke with their director, but ultimately I had no good feeling with this. I am always very open in, also with my agent. Who thought that I only was allowed to decide if my feeling was correct. I thought it was too early, had the feeling of still learning. Not mentally, not conditionally, not as a footballer. I had the to my meaning at Feyenoord. I came there was nothing to short, also not financially.’
“The second time I could, was to Porto. We were very close to, but who wanted to wait until the end of the transfer. That felt for me not good. I am someone who quickly clarity. So I went with the Club a new contract to sign. Someone who is in the middle of a season should start, or at the end of a transfer, it is always more difficult.’
Ronald Koeman got van la parra finally to Southampton. Where the choice for England in 2015, one year after the world cup? ‘For the first time, I felt then that I was ready at Feyenoord. When Southampton were already a number of players who spoke Dutch and it is a quiet city, so it was not a difficult decision.
‘The only one I really have talked, in advance, was my wife. I already had a baby, she was pregnant with the second. It gives you basically everything for you: no friends nearby, no family, nothing. For a footballer who is going abroad, a woman is at that time the most important.’
“I also could go to AS Roma, but when Koeman called the choice was quickly made. I find the English league the most, in terms of quality the best. There may be the number one with the number twenty losses. I’m still under contract with Southampton and follow it a bit.
“Last I saw the match against Tottenham: the difference in the position noted, you are not on the field. The pace is great, and physically it all stronger, but the quality of the players is simply much better. Thanks to the many money, everyone can have players of 20 and 30 million euro. My first season fell very well with it, of the 27 games I have 20 played. Often started. Only when Koeman there left, I went to fewer games and it went downhill.’
So it was van la parra this summer in Bruges. “The first months were trouble,” he acknowledges. ‘A logical one. I had a knee injury and the team turned good, then it is difficult to get to it. For the winter I am a number of times well has collapsed, and now I will try the trainer as hard as possible.
“I like to play football here. A lot physically. In the Netherlands it is tactically strong, with build in reverse, this is often quickly back and forth, they shoot the ball, and they fly out. A kind of passion that reminds me of the Championship in England.
“Some teams want to really play football, but often it is throw. We play football well, I think. We play offensively and convert quickly press forward. Physically, we are top, I’m much fitter than in England, really.’
You can almost sense in a final transition. Van la parra: “No, that is now very hard to say. Much to early. I stand here still a few months under contract and I’m going to try as much as possible to play and win a prize. Then we’ll see what comes.’