20-year-old Anes Djema is looking to make the step up to a professional footballer. The young, upcoming and talented footballer has been selected for several trials in Italy next year. We interviewed him to get to know the rising star.
1. Tell us about your football career path so far.
“To best start off my soccer path would have to be with my background. Both my parents were constantly invested in sports in Algeria. As they left Algeria, they went to Cyprus where I was born. I later moved to the USA. Unfortunately I spent a few years not playing so I didn’t start that young due to not knowing the area and how soccer worked here. I later received my recognition to a bigger and more popular local team after scoring 14 goals in a game. Someone saw the newspaper that I was in and later came to the local league and watched a game and later invited me to play for their team, which is now known as GPS.“
“As the years went by and I got older, football became more serious. I started getting looked at by certain colleges but decided to take a year off to get more fit and work on my game which paid off because I got into a much better college team which was super fun. Unfortunately I was unable to play this year as I received that suspension for taking a year off. After regular seasons were done I was able to play for other teams during the off season (different from NCAA – college league) and was noticed by various scouts to go abroad., which brings me to my soccer career as of right now.“
2. Do you have any targets for where you want to be in the future?
“My target is definitely to go professional. The path to go pro in America is much harder than abroad since it’s a little behind compared to Europe. I have also always wanted to play for Algeria even though I’ve never lived there. It’s bledi so how could I not want to put that jersey on and play in front of all those fans. Since I could remember, I always wanted to play for a big club, lift trophies, be a star but that’s everyone football fans dream. To simplify it I just want to play the game I love and make it my everyday job.“
3. Who are your role models in football?
“I have a tonne of role models from Algerian players to legends to current players. I’m a full-back so I always look at Faouzi Ghoulam who if you look at his games for Napoli is an incredible and underrated full-back. So I always try to learn what he does and do the same. There’s plenty of other players such as Lionel Messi who you watch and realise he is an artist. Roberto Carlos, Dani Alves, Zinedine Zidane, and Cafu. many current players too but there’s too many to list.“
4. Which clubs will be offering you trials next year?
“So my trials in Italy range, it’ll be various teams from the Serie A to Serie C which gives me an opportunity to play abroad Insha’Allah. My hopes are to obviously go pro so this a good way to get my foot in the door to that path. The specific teams are Pistoiese FC (Serie C), Empoli FC (Serie B) and Bologna FC (Serie A) which is also where Saphir Taider plays so it would be awesome to meet him if I got the chance. That is about a year from now, so hopefully I get better everyday and get other chances to showcase my talents in some other countries as well!”
A big thanks once again to Anes for taking the time to talk to us.