Date: Friday, 29 March 2019
Goitom will be less known to the general public. The now 34-year-old attacker was born in Eritrea, the country for which he also plays international matches. Since 2012 he has been playing for AIK almost continuously, except for one year. Calculated in 2016, the season of Isaks breakthrough, Goitom played for San José Earthquakes.
"When I was growing up, I couldn't mirror myself on any of Eritrea's soccer players except Henok. There were no more. He really is the big star in the country, so as a little boy I looked up to him very much. We know each other well. He has always helped me enormously, our fathers have since become good friends. "
It is not surprising that Goitom is his big idol. Although Isak was born in Sweden, his Eritrean roots play an important role. He is not the only Swede to whom that applies: the country has a large community of people with roots in the East African country. Last summer Isak traveled to Eritrea for the first time. "Very short, a week, but it was beautiful."
I'm just Alexander Isak, and I will always be
Isak shows a photo on his phone. In the middle of a large group of children is a broad smiling Isak with a ball in his hands. 'I went to a football school, kicked a ball with those kids. When I see how happy those people are for a moment ... The love I received was so incredibly beautiful. Eritrea is not a rich country, many people are struggling. So I am very happy that I can make a small contribution to their happiness. "
Of course, Isak does have respect for Zlatan. "I love Zlatan. He talks a lot, but always lives up to his words. Criticism doesn't hurt him. He makes people eat up their words, that is impressive. But that behavior does not suit me ... I am just Alexander Isak, and I will always stay that way. I write my own story and want to make my own history. If people then want to be the new Isak, that's nice, but I don't want to be someone else. "
Read the full interview with Alexander Isak in the new VI and on VI PRO.