Lecce midfielder Morten Hjulmand sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 23 to speak about his skill set and abilities, his inspiration in the league, and the Danish connection to Italian football.
Skill Set & Abilities
Hjulmand leads the way in Serie A when it comes to balls recovered. The Lecce captain, who’s in his debut season in the Italian top flight, is a dynamic and gritty midfielder.
“I remember when I came to Italy this was a part of my play, part of my game to go into a lot of sliding tackles, but of course what Alessandro Nesta said it’s true that if you go into a sliding tackle means you made a mistake, so I still try to stand on my feet to take the ball and not going to a sliding tackle but of course it’s a part of football to fight and win duels so if I have to do it of course I will go into sliding tackles at every time. I think the reason why I became a good player to recover the balls is the way I read the game, before the games I try to study who I’ll play against in the opponent team but it’s also the feeling you have on the pitch to know what the opponent will do, to know where the ball will go, so I think it’s more like a natural instinct I have.”
Watching & Learning
In order to upgrade his passing game, the 23-year-old Dane has been studying the playmaking skills of Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic.
“I try every time I watch Inter to look only at him, to learn from him. Of course Brozovic has a very good way of running with and without the ball, always to be able to get the ball and take their play forward so the way he runs around always ready to receive the ball and playing in front is something I try to study.”
Danish Connection With Serie A
From the Laudrup brothers to Christian Eriksen and Simon Kjaer… the Danes have enjoyed a long love affair with Italian football.
“I think the reason why the danish players adapt so well in Italy is the Danish mentality. For us I think it’s not easy, but it’s normal to go to one country and to be ourselves, to have our values, to work hard, to train hard and that’s why I think players also in the past and also in the future will have big success in Italy because of the mentality we have.”