Frenchman Adamo Coulibaly joined Debrecen in 2009 and has gone on to be one of the league’s most prolific strikers. Winning every domestic honour during his time in Hungary and the current season’s top scorer, he speaks exclusively to Gaby Kovács.
How did your move to Hungary come about?
There were a lot of options before moving to Hungary including Germany, England and France, however Debrecen seemed the best place to go since they were number one in the league and had the potential to play in the Champion’s League and I was hoping that I could play in the champion’s league. At first I didn’t know what Hungary would be like, but then when I came here, Debrecen seemed ok and I settled in well.
You have been a prolific goal scorer here, do you feel at home in Debrecen?
Debrecen is not like home but it is good because I feel good being here and everything is good. The main thing is that I’m happy being here, and I believe that if you have happiness in your mind, then you’ll be happy in your job.
The current state of Hungarian football is not great, do you feel its improving or getting worse, and what can be done long term for the game in Hungary?
The league is ok and has 2 or 3 strong teams who have the option to play in the champion’s league or europa league. There has been more funding into Hungarian football and this has allowed the league to improve. More Hungarians seem to like football now.
What do you think can be done to improve crowds in Hungary?
Football is the second biggest sport in Hungary and more and more people are slowly becoming interested in football. I have noticed more people coming to the stadium. A good result can always help to catch more peoples’ interest into the sport.
Just how bad has your experience of racism and hooliganism at football matches been and do you feel the authorities do enough to stop it?
Racism exists everywhere in this world but as long as you control yourself and don’t pay any attention to this, it doesn’t need to bother you. In Hungary there are not very many black people but it’s ok.
Do you see your future in Hungary or would you like to play again in your native France?
I would like to eventually go back to France since it is my home country and I was born there!
What has been your highlight whilst playing for Debrecen?
The last game against Sofia which allowed Debrecen to qualify for the Champion’s League is one of the most memorable moments of my career. The whole champion’s league experience was also a great highlight of my career.
Who is the best player you have played with, and who has been your toughest opponent?
The best player that I have played with in Debrecen has to be Rudolf who is a great player. The toughest opponent I’d say is Skrtel during the champions league matches against Liverpool.
What are the best and worst things about living in Hungary as a foreigner?
The worst thing about living in Hungary is the language barrier and Hungarian is a difficult language to pick up! The best thing about living in Hungary is the great Thai massages and the saunas which help me to relax between matches!
And finally, what are your favourite Hungarian words and foods?
My favourite Hungarian word is köszönöm (thank you) since I use it the most! And Goulash is my favourite Hungarian food!
Thanks’ very much to Adamo for his time and to his girlfriend Shona Patel, for all her help and translation.