An XXL poster for Mohamed Ali Camara. This Wednesday, October 25 (21.00), the Young Boys defender will face Manchester City in the Champions League. He will be a direct rival to Norwegian giant Erling Haaland, who has not yet scored a goal in the league this season. The 26-year-old Guinea international (20 caps), who came to Switzerland in 2018 after a year of freelancing in Israel, has proven to be one of the important signings of his team. During this interview he had a touching thought about all the victims of the war between Israel and Hamas.
As a defender, do you prepare differently for the match against Erling Haaland?
MUHAMMED ALI KAMARA. Not exactly. I had the chance to play against them. (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Lukaku, Mandzukic and I did not change my preparations. Everyone agrees that he is a very, very good striker. But I’m preparing for this match like everyone else. There is no secret or tactic to counter this. If he’s having a good day, it’s going to hurt like it always does.
Is it a difficulty that he couldn’t score the first goal of the season against your team in the Champions League?
The important thing for me is not to concede a goal. Whether we have to stop Haaland or any other player obviously doesn’t change anything. It would be great if we could keep a clean sheet. It’s a privilege to play against Manchester City. We’ll just try to have fun, have fun. They also need to come to us in our synthetic field. Few years ago (December 12, 2018)Three years later we surprised Juventus (2-1) before beating Manchester United by the same scoreline. All Champions League matches are difficult for us. We meet the last champion in front of our fans. The stadium will be full. No tickets for a month. It should strengthen us, give us even more adrenaline.
Personally, you are now one of the captains of Young Boys. How do you approach this task five years after your arrival?
I have always been an exemplary player for the club, both on the field and in the locker room. I try to help my partners by performing well. It makes me really happy to wear the armband of a club like Young Boys, which wins in Switzerland and plays in the European Cup every year. I came back quickly after two consecutive injuries (elbow and meniscus) This stopped me for almost six months. I am very happy with the successes I have achieved in my club.
You played for Hapoel Ra’anana in Israel in the 2017-2018 season. How did you get there?
It’s a little weird. I first tried it in France and Belgium, but it didn’t work, so I went back to Guinea. We won the African Under-20 Cup, came third, and qualified for the World Cup in Korea. I had the means behind me, but my visa was rejected at the embassy. My manager at the time said he would try to get me out of there and then he found this club in Israel. At first my family didn’t want me to go. They said it wasn’t the place for me. This is normal, we only see images of conflicts between Israel and Palestine in the media. We had to convince them that everything would be okay.
How do you experience the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas?
I want only one thing, and that is to restore peace between Israel and Palestine. The world does not deserve what is happening between these two countries today. I hope peace returns and all innocent people can finally live normally.
Do you still have relatives there?
Yes, a few. Where I play, vice president (from the club) Wash it. His mother was kidnapped. I was able to barter to provide my support.
CAN will be one of your 2024 winter goals (January 13-February 11). What can Guinea aim for?
If we qualify for CAN, it is to perform well and try to go as far as possible. For years we have been limited to the last 16 or quarter finals. Our goal is to exceed this milestone. We have many players playing in Europe and having a very good season. I hope everyone will be ready to help us when the time comes.
Does Guinea’s success rest on the shoulders of striker Serhou Guirassy?
It shows that he is one of the best in Europe and I have never doubted that. I have seen his qualities, I know what he can do. it’s blooming (in Stuttgart) and with such an attacker all opponents will be afraid that he will do something. What he does is incredible. (14 goals in 8 Bundesliga matches)But it didn’t happen in the blink of an eye. Serhou is hard-working, humble and attentive. He worked hard to get there. I remember our first match with him, it was against Malawi (last year). He didn’t score but he was impressive. I knew immediately that we had found the attacker we had lost. He will need to continue to work harder to reach the level that Drogba, Eto’o or Adebayor, for example, have achieved.