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FIVE OF THE BEST: FLORIN ANDONE

18 October 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion striker Florin Andone.

Brighton & Hove Albion striker Florin Andone revealed some of the best memories from his career to date, including his meetings with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his meaningful visits to Spain’s capital city.

The 25-year-old signed for the Seagulls from Deportivo La Coruna this summer, and we quizzed the Romanian on a handful of topics to learn more about his experiences from times gone by…



What’s the best goal you’ve ever scored?

“It was for Deportivo La Coruna against Sevilla two years ago, we won 2-0 at home. I definitely think this one is my best goal.

"I ran down the wing and put the ball through the defender’s legs to enter the penalty area. I chipped the ball through the gap between two defenders and then scored with my left foot.

"The goalkeeper went towards the front post, but I shot down the middle instead. You need to see the goal!”

What’s the best stadium you’ve played at?

“The Santiago Bernabeu — it’s unbelievable. Real Madrid are my favourite team and when I was younger I loved them, with Ronaldo,  [Iker] Casillas, [David] Beckham, [Luis] Figo, [Roberto] Carlos and so on. It was a dream to play in this stadium.

"When I played there for the first time, I said ‘wow, this is beautiful’. It was also special to play against my favourite team.

"I’ve played there twice and lost both games — it’s very hard. The first time we lost 3-2 in the 95th minute, Sergio Ramos scored a header from a corner and it was a very hard game.

“I need to see the atmosphere at stadiums in England, places like Liverpool and Manchester United. Old Trafford looks unbelievable -  I hope to be there and experience that feeling."



What’s the best game you’ve been involved in?

“The most important game I’ve played in was the first game at the 2016 Euros against France at the Stade de France. The stadium was full, maybe 80,000 people, and the team knew every player in the world would be watching the game.

"It was a very hard game and we lost in the 89th minute. We played very good and kept it at 1-1, but in the 89th minute Dimitri Payet scored the winning goal — what a goal!

“In terms of my best game, personally, maybe my first game at the Santiago Bernabeu. It was my most complete game. I didn’t score but I assisted one goal.

I recovered the ball off Casemiro and played the ball to Joselu, who is now the striker at Newcastle United. He scored both goals against Real Madrid. I think I only played 70 minutes of the match, but it was my best game and I think I played very good.”

What’s the best team performance you’ve been part of?

“Probably in our first season against Villarreal away, we drew 0-0 and stayed in La Liga. It was a very important game and a very hard game because Villarreal were in the Europa League and we were fighting to stay in La Liga.

"It was the second to last game of the season. I don’t know how many kilometres, but I ran everywhere for 90 minutes and kept working. It was very hard, but a great team performance.

"We beat Barcelona 2-1 in the next game, which was a very good victory, but it wasn’t the most important, because the draw kept us in La Liga. It was a different feeling - I was happier after the result against Villarreal."



Who’s the best player you’ve come up against?

“It’s very easy - Lionel Messi. I’m a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, and I think him and Messi are the best players ever. No Maradona, no Pele or anyone else, Messi and Ronaldo are the best ever.

"Messi is unbelievable. Ronaldo is a killer on the pitch - goals, goals, goals and he keeps working. But Messi is different, when you see him on the pitch, it’s impossible to get the ball off him.

"When I first played against him for Cordoba, I think he scored three goals. We lost 8-0 to the best Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. It was crazy - Messi, Neymar, [Luis] Suarez.

"Messi and Ronaldo are fairly equal but Messi is more of a complete player. He does everything, he receives the ball, he passes the ball, he assists his team-mates, he scores goals, he does everything.

"Ronaldo is very good, but I think he’s a little bit behind Messi. But they’re certainly the best two players ever."


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