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Name Thomas Vermaelen
Gender Male
Ethnic Belgian
Job Belgian Footballer
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Org Belgium National Team
Club as Player Vissel Kobe
  Barcelona FC
  xxxx

2009 11 12 Retrieve

[That positional switch, and Wenger’s memory, led to Vermaelen being watched carefully by Arsenal. Vermaelen, struggling for his best form, was surprised] I knew they were there… I heard about it, but I was not playing well. A lot of people told me about that fight, too, and it was in his mind. It was terrible, there was only two weeks in between - I just don’t know why they came back to watch!

[When Rowley turned up at a Belgian national team training session prior to an end-of-season trip to Japan, Vermaelen was confused] A lot of players from Anderlecht and Standard Liege had pulled out. There were only six of us on a bad pitch!

2015 12 21 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] They are the three best in the world. Together they are incredible. The goals they score, the way they play. What they do on the pitch they do in training as well. For us it’s amazing. If you play against the best, you will only get better. You have to improve. We’re lucky we can see them every day in training; what they do is special. We’re lucky we can see it. You have to wait until it’s on the TV, but we can see it every day

2018 02 17 Retrieve

[Thomas Vermaelen speaks about a common misperception about Barça defenders] People have a bit of a wrong view of defenders in Barcelona because they think: ‘Ah it’s an easy job, they only attack, attack, attack’ but the demands are very high. Playing in the other team’s half doesn’t just happen by itself. It’s because we keep them under constant pressure

2019 07 27 Retrieve

[Thomas Vermaelen has called time on his five-year Barcelona spell by joining Vissel Kobe on a deal that runs until December 2021] When I came here, I had a very warm welcome and a lot of support. I can’t wait to start. I’m excited about it. I would like to do my best to improve the team

2019 09 03 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is confident the side will improve under Unai Emery this season] Arsenal have improved with the players they got in the summer. I think they did a good job in the transfer market. It’s a new Arsenal but it doesn’t mean it is going to be worse than last season or difficult now. Of course a few players have to adapt but I think there is a good manager there (Unai Emery) who wants to play football. I expect them to do better than last year

2019 09 04 Retrieve

[Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal are well placed to significantly improve on their mediocre 2018-19 campaign under Unai Emery this season] Arsenal have improved with the players they got in the summer. I think they did a good job in the transfer market. It’s a new Arsenal but it doesn’t mean it is going to be worse than last season or difficult now. Of course, a few players have to adapt but I think there is a good manager there (Unai Emery) who wants to play football. I expect them to do better than last year

2019 12 12 Retrieve

[Vermaelen looking to end injury-hit career on a high with Kobe & Belgium] I feel very good about the country; the adaptation has gone very well. All the people are very helpful, so I think it is easy to adapt to the club and the life here. I know a few players, so that makes it easier too.  When Andreas came here I said, ‘That’s a very nice move, going to Japan where there’s a lot of culture. It’s a nice country.’  For me, that was a big part of my decision too. There is a big tradition here, a lot of culture

[injuries limited his game time before his move to Japan earlier this year] It’s true that I had some problems in the past. How do you face it? You just get on with it and try to overcome every problem because I knew that when I was fit, I could still play. I still felt good when I didn’t have any problems, so that’s the reason I kept going to overcome these problems

‘m very happy that I could play with one of the best there’s ever been. Lionel Messi made me a better player. It was an unbelievable experience. He eventually becomes one of your team-mates, but at the beginning he’s a big star. During my years there, sometimes I was still surprised by some things he did in training and in games. It was just a nice experience to see these things; what he can do with the ball

[He has spent most of his time immersing himself in football and getting to know his new team-mates] Kobe is a nice city but my family is not here yet. It’s not like I’ve been visiting so many places. Firstly, it’s been about adapting to the team and then I will explore more outside. The club has helped very well and it’s been very easy to adapt outside football. That’s very important for your mind because you can focus and concentrate on your job. It’s made it easier for me to adapt and that’s made easy for me to play my football

The J-League is a good league and a very attractive league. The teams want to play with ideas and there are good players, technical and quick players. The level is good in Japan. Of course, there are always things you can improve but I’m quite surprised how good the league is and quite positive

[It may be five years now since he ended his stay with the Gunners] He [Wenger] choose me to be captain because of the player and person I am. I didn’t do anything special. I just stayed who I was in the dressing room and on the pitch.  I can understand why he was seen as a father figure because in my time and even before, he tended to bring very young, talented players – sometimes unknown players – and gave them the chance.  He gave them an opportunity to play for a big club and made them grow. He had a very good eye for talent he always had a confidence in young players.  For a lot of players and for me personally, he was very important because he gave me a chance to play in the Premier League on a big platform

[Belgium, currently the top-ranked national side in world football, won their qualifying group] At my age, it’s very important to go to the Euros. I’m very excited to go there. The team is doing so well. We have been together for a long time and we know each other very well.  We are ranked No.1 in the world, it makes you proud to be in that that team

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Robin van Persie’s move to Manchester United in 2012 came as a massive disappointment to Thomas Vermaelen] It was a surprise Robin van Persie left. I knew he was going to go eventually but to hear that he’d all of a sudden left for Manchester United was a big surprise. I wanted him to stay at Arsenal of course, because in his last season with us he was the PFA Player of the Year. He had a great season, the best season of his career, so I wanted him to stay and be a legend. Of course, he’s strong in his character so he couldn’t change his mind. I think that’s a good thing because that makes him the person and player he is. You couldn’t change his mind, he’d made it up that he was going to go.