It must be really tough for a player when they suffer a major injury that keeps them on the sideline for a while, especially if that comes early in their career.
They go from being involved every day to suddenly working alone, while concerns about not fully recovering and their career getting away from them must be worrying too.
That means just getting fit and back to your previous levels has to be the main priority, there’s really no need to pile extra pressure on yourself.
That’s not the case for Bayern defender Niklas Sule, who has been talking about becoming better than Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk is widely regarded as the best defender in the world, with no real weaknesses to his game. It’s admirable to have that ambition to be the best, but a report on the Bundesliga site looked at some of Sule’s comments, and you do wonder if they are sensible:
“If people say that I’m among the best in the world, I’ll be happy. That’s my aim. Van Dijk joined Liverpool at 27 [sic]… he’s now at the top at just under 30. Centre-backs reach their peak from their mid-20s. You have the necessary experience and calmness, as well as being as your physical peak.”
“He wasn’t on everyone’s radar at Southampton, but he was able to step it up a notch at Liverpool. I have every chance at Bayern. It’s in my hands whether I become one of the best centre-backs in the world or not.”
The report also talks about how he’s recovered from two serious injuries, while also looking at the possibility of him becoming one of the best at his younger age.
It’s great to have ambition, but time will tell how wise these words were.