Emiliano Marcondes is coming to the end of his second month as a Brentford player having made the switch from FC Nordsjælland on 1 January.
A mercurial forward player, Emiliano took his leave from the Danish Superliga at the summit of the goal-scoring charts having found the net 17 times in 19 appearances. Replicating such form in the Sky Bet Championship will be no mean feat, but it’s a challenge that the Hvidovre-born man insists he’s ready for. The 22-year-old exudes the confidence of a player on a positive trajectory.
BEES matchday programme caught up with Emiliano ahead of the visit of Preston North End.
You’d been with FC Nordsjælland since the age of 14 having joined the club in 2010. How big a decision was it to leave Denmark in January?
It’d always been a dream of mine to play outside of Denmark, so it wasn’t hard to say goodbye as I knew that the moment would come. You find your comfort zone when you’ve been somewhere for so long, so facing new challenges is something I’m going to have to get used to. If you stay in your comfort zone for too long you’ll never get the most out of your career. I’d been thinking about making the move for the past couple of years and I think that now is the best time for me to come to England.
Brentford have strong ties with Denmark with Owner, Matthew Benham, also at the helm of FC Midtjylland. How much did you know about The Bees before signing for the Club?
I knew about Matthew Benham and his ownership of FC Midtjylland, I knew that Rasmus (Ankersen) was Co-Director of Football and I was aware that Brentford have had many Danish players. My old Coach, Flemming Pedersen, had been here so I spoke to him before I made my decision. I thought carefully about whether Brentford was the right fit for me. I like to play football on the ground, to keep possession rather than kicking the ball long, so Brentford’s style matches my own.
How much of a help has it been having some of your fellow countrymen in the squad?
I spoke to Andreas (Bjelland) before I joined and he told me a lot about the playing style here and about life in London. I played with Andreas for a short period at FC Nordsjælland, he was the star player and a person that the young players looked up to. It’s nice to have the chance to play with him again – he’s still a top player both here and for the national side. Having the Danish guys here makes me very happy.
You found the net on 12 occasions during the 2016/17 campaign and scored 17 goals in 19 matches during the first half of the current season at FC Nordsjælland. Have you always posed a threat in the final third?
It’s a trait that I’ve improved upon – I wanted to become more consistent when it came to goal-scoring. I’ve kept pushing myself to score more goals; to always look to add another even if I’ve already scored one or two. I’m happy with my progression and I go into every game believing that I can score - I feel more calm in the final third than I used to.
Tell us about the footballing culture in Denmark…
While there were plenty of fans who gave me a lot of love, in the end there was also a lot of haters in Denmark. I like both sides; I’m a player that enjoys interacting with supporters. I don’t want to be a boring footballer, I want to annoy the opposition which can cause fans to dislike me. While football in England is physical, people seem a bit scared to get injured. There’s a chance that Sergi’s (Canós) tackle at Derby would not have even been a free-kick in Denmark. I was in shock that he got a red card because it’s normal that you go hard in a 50-50 challenge. I’ve been told to go a bit easier in training when it comes to tackles!
What are your early impressions of life at Brentford?
It’s a nice squad full of kind people. I thought it would be more difficult to join a new group; the guys have been very easy to get along with. Training is something I continue to adapt to – the culture is different to what I’ve been used to in Denmark. I’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to the tactical side of the game.
How would you describe your playing style to those Bees fans who haven’t had the opportunity to see you in action?
I enjoyed playing as a striker for FC Nordsjælland but I don’t have a favoured position; wherever I’m selected I will bring my own style to the role. If I’m selected as a winger I’ll drift inside as that’s where I’m most comfortable. I’m a player who likes to play hard and give 100 per cent every day.
60 Seconds with Emiliano…
If you could line up alongside any player in world football, past or present, who would you choose? Pelé
Last viewed on Netflix? A film about street football in Brazil, looking at how children play in the favelas.
Greatest achievement? To have played for four seasons and finished my time at FC Nordsjælland as top goal-scorer in the Danish Superliga.
Who do you admire the most? Cristiano Ronaldo. He came from nothing, said goodbye to his family when he was very young and has kept improving ever since. He worked so hard to achieve his dream of becoming the best of all time. He’s made the haters eat their words.
Favourite artist/band? Chris Brown – he’s great.
If you could possess any superpower what would you choose? Teleportation
Favourite holiday destination? Brazil
If you weren’t a footballer what would you be? I’d be a singer