RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo will likely be out to impress at UEFA Euro 2020, with the Spanish schemer trying to emulate the unimaginable feats of fellow former La Masia apprentices Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.
That pair are considered two of the best midfielders of their era – if not all time – and whereas Xavi and Iniesta have been dazzling on the Camp Nou, Olmo was watching on from Barcelona’s youth ranks.
It meant that Olmo had the most effective seats in the home to see them pull the strings as Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona romped to an historic sextuple in 2009 – a feat solely replicated by Bayern Munich in 2019/20.
A Catalan himself, Olmo had moved to La Masia from metropolis rivals Espanyol as a nine-year-old in 2007. It is little marvel, then, that he lists Iniesta and Lionel Messi as his “sporting position fashions”, however his resolution to leap ship to Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb at 16 definitely dropped jaws.
Olmo was anticipated to observe within the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors and transfer up the ranks from Barca’s B staff earlier than graduating to the primary XI. However he had different plans.
“I did not care the place it was or that it was outdoors the large 5 leagues,” wrote Olmo in The Gamers’ Tribune. “I knew nothing about Croatia, however I knew at Barca I used to be in peril of being misplaced within the system, changing into simply one other participant, with no clear pathway to the primary staff.”
His father Miquel went additional, explaining to The Guardian: “They advised me I used to be loopy. They massacred me for it, saying I used to be ruining my son’s profession.”
Olmo says “how did I’m going from Barcelona to Zagreb after which on to Leipzig?”, is “the query I get on a regular basis”. Now, although, few folks will likely be doubting his resolution to have sought pastures new outdoors of his homeland, or to be as accusatory of his dad.
In spite of everything, Olmo is heading to a European Championship with Spain on the again of a positive 2020/21 marketing campaign with Leipzig that noticed the 23-year-old rating 5 league objectives and create a team-high 9 assists in 32 appearances.
In doing so, the attacking midfielder has established himself as a key determine for each membership and nation. He has additionally discovered the again of the online with vital objectives in every of his two most up-to-date internationals, incomes Spain slim wins over Georgia and Kosovo in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Xavi and Iniesta have been central to Spain’s footballing dominance from 2008 to 2012, which introduced the nation European glory in 2008 and 2012 in addition to the World Cup trophy in 2010.
Olmo was nonetheless at Barcelona all through that interval and the efforts of the nationwide staff proceed to encourage the playmaker.
“Should you take a look at the groups between 2008 and 2012, they have been unimaginable,” he mentioned after marking his senior worldwide debut with a objective in opposition to Malta in 2019. “Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Sergi Busquets and Santi Cazorla, they have been all so spectacular.”
Dani Olmo and RB Leipzig have been defeated within the closing of the 2020/21 DFB Cup by Borussia Dortmund. – motivio by way of www.imago-images.de/imago pictures/motivio
Now it is Olmo catching the attention along with his unmistakable expertise. It is led to Spain coach Luis Enrique – a former Barca man himself – as soon as reportedly telling the Leipzig participant: “You may inform you’ve been at Barcelona.”
It is easy to see what Enrique means. Olmo loves being in possession, is comfy when he will get the ball and courageous in his choices, simply as Xavi and Iniesta the place all through their storied careers.
Outgoing Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose private name to Olmo was decisive within the Spaniard electing to hitch Die Roten Bullen when a bunch of Europe’s high golf equipment got here calling in 2020, has been equally impressed after 18 months collectively.
“He has distinctive skills and could be very protected with the ball. When he will get put below strain, he is aware of learn how to provoke a foul,” Nagelsmann revealed.
Dani Olmo was Spain’s topscorer as they lifted the UEFA European U21 Championship trophy in 2019. – by way of www.imago-images.de/imago pictures / AFLOSPORT
“He adapts higher and higher. He is an excellent expertise and a high man who needs to be taught, who has the required modesty but additionally the ambition and the self-confidence and likewise opens his mouth generally and says that he needs to play.
“He needs to be given the possibility. I like that.”
Like Xavi (1999 FIFA World Youth Championship) and Iniesta (2001 U16 and 2002 U19 UEFA European Championships), Olmo has additionally picked up a youth event winners’ medal for his nation (2019 U21 UEFA European Championship).
In that event, Olmo scored in each the semi-final and the ultimate as Spain beat Germany to the trophy courtesy of his winner within the showpiece. His three objectives have been greater than any of his teammates, and Olmo will now be hoping to have an analogous influence this summer season. He’ll intention to usher in a interval of membership and nationwide staff dominance because the artistic power of two extremely bold setups, simply as Xavi and Iniesta managed to nice acclaim earlier than him.