Kenan Kodro “I Have The Level To Triumph At Athletic”
Kenan Kodro made his return to La Liga in January when he was signed by Athletic from Copenhagen. The striker had to quickly adapt to his new team but was able to get a few chances and even scored against Atlético Madrid. Speaking with Juanma Velasco of Marca on Friday, the 26-year-old explained that he feels much more comfortable in the squad.
“Last year I arrived on the last day of the winter market. I signed when the coach had only been here for a month and a half and the positive results had already begun. When things are going well it’s complicated to get chances. The truth is that I’m very happy now and it’s better to start from scratch.”
Despite the lack of chances, Kodro knew that he had to be ready for anything. Now he believes that he’s fully adapted to live at Athletic and wants to continue scoring goals and helping the team win matches.
“You have to be prepared for when you get chances. Every player needs a period of adaption when they come to a new club. Over time I’ve felt comfortable, I’ve adapted. I scored one goal and I played what I played. I have to be grateful for the minutes I’ve had. I hope to continue scoring goals for the club. I have seen how the whole team works, how my teammates are, and I know them well. Everything will be better now because I’m more comfortable.”
With Iñaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz standing in his way, Kodro isn’t guaranteed more minutes this season. There has even been talk of the Bosnian leaving on loan, but he isn’t thinking about that at all. Kodro also revealed that he has changed his number to 23 which his father wore.
“There will always be rumors about players leaving on loan. My focus is on my work. I feel comfortable playing as the 9, behind the 9, or on the left wing. I consider myself someone who can play in different areas around the box. I have the level to be here and succeed at Athletic. I wore 2 last year because it was the only number left. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to choose and I will wear 23, which was my father’s number at Alavés.”
Looking back at his move from Osasuna, Kodro admitted that it was difficult to find his rhythm outside of Spain. The striker is happy for what he learned while away, but is very excited to be back in La Liga with a club that is very special.
“I signed for Mainz after a very good year in Osasuna. It was a good opportunity for me. An injury bothered me a little because I was away for two months and it was hard for me to get back in the lineup. Everything changes very fast in football. I went to Switzerland because my father was there. I wanted to fight for a position at Mainz but at the end of the loan with Grashoppers, Mainz accepted the offer from Copenhagen. There are many experiences that I will always remember and have allowed me to mature. Now I’m fortunate to return to La Liga and a club that I have always loved.”
Kodro will always have love for Osasuna, the club where he grew up and became a professional. However, he is very open about the fact that Athletic is unique and the relationship among the players is clear on the field.
“Osasuna is a club that I appreciate and love. They gave me the opportunity to be a professional and I will be eternally grateful. I lived nice things there like promotion and playing in the Primera. Athletic has something that no other club in the world has. This club is special for a reason and I know it because I’ve been to different places. In many clubs not everyone can talk because of language barriers, but that’s not the case here. We can all go out to eat, to dinner, or just spend time together and that shows on the field.”
After leaving Spain, Kodro never thought he would be able to return. “What else can I ask for”, he questioned. “I have everything. I always thought that being outside of Spain would make it difficult to return to La Luga, but I had the chance to come back and I’m very grateful to the club and the people who made it happen. Now it’s up to me to prove that I can be here. Time will tell.” The preseason is all about competition and Kenan Kodro is determined to prove himself at Athletic.