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Funny man Saliakas beats the language barrier

Manolis Saliakas has been at the club for almost three months now and has impressed on the pitch and as a person from day one. After training on Wednesday, the Greek right-back took time out to answer questions from the media.

Manolis Saliakas on…

...his first few months in Hamburg: "It's the first time I've played abroad and I didn't know what to expect. I settled in very quickly, partly because I was made to feel very welcome by the team. I sometimes miss my family but they're going to visit me. I still speak English with my teammates, but I've been taking German lessons from day one. I'll be stepping that up because I feel very much at home here and would like to stay a long time."

...FC St. Pauli and his expectations: St. Pauli are well-known in Greece. I'd already heard and read a lot about the club, including the values it stands for. That was another reason for my decision. I was delighted when I got the opportunity to come here and I'm happy to be part of the team. Dimitrios Diamantakos, who I played with at Olympiakos and still have a lot of contact with, had only good things to say about the club, the atmosphere and the sense of togetherness."

...having to adapt after moving from Greece to Germany: The switch from Greek to German football was an adjustment for me, especially as far as the intensity of the training sessions and matches is concerned. Also new for me were the expectations of the fans and the pressure that goes with them. I'm getting used to it with every game, though, and I've adapted my game accordingly."

...the sense of humour appreciated by many of his teammates:  Despite the language barrier humour works through gestures and facial expressions. That's probably why the lads think I'm a funny person. In general, there's a good sense of togetherness within the group, we all get along very well."

...the competition with Luca Zander at right-back: "There's positive competition between us. We both give our best in every training session and every game and we'll continue to do so - irrespective of what the coach decides."

...the attacking imbalance due to the favoured left side: "I'm aware that playing down Leart Paqarada's left-hand side is an established style of play from last season but I think we're becoming more balanced. With my commitment I aim to show that lots of things can work down the right as well."

...his aims at the club: "My first objective is to get better every day. I want to stay at the club and in the city for as long as possible because I'm developing here and feeling increasingly at home."

 

Photos: Witters

 

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