"It's definitely a great adventure," Kamil Glik told UEFA.com, the 'Polish Rock' having hit the ground running, reaching the UEFA Champions League last eight in his first season at Monaco.
Signed from Torino last summer, Kamil Glik is enjoying an extraordinary first season at Monaco, his side pushing for the French title and a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The 29-year-old 'Polish Rock' discusses his progress with UEFA.com.
On his upbringing
I'm from a small mining town, Jastrzebie Zdroj, and I lived in a pretty poor district; we all spent most of our time playing football outdoors and dreaming of making a living from it. I wanted to start off playing in our Ekstraklasa – that was my dream. However, I have supported Bayern München since my childhood; the player I really liked was Lúcio.
As a small boy I had a serious heart condition. The doctor told my grandmother the chances of me surviving were low, and afterwards said that only one child in 20 with such a severe sepsis recovers. Did that toughen me up? For sure, yes. Adversity strengthens us humans, mentally. For two seasons I was a goalkeeper, but that was more by accident; when I was in the youth teams, the goalkeeper broke his arm and as I was one of the tallest, they put me in goal. I liked it at first, but then slowly the coaches talked me out of it.
On moving from Torino to Monaco in 2016
I had five wonderful years in Turin, and at some point there came a time to make some decisions together with my manager, the sporting director and the club president. With Monaco it happened pretty quickly: before Poland's [UEFA EURO 2016] match with Northern Ireland in Nice, I met the club's representatives who told me they really wanted me. They introduced their vision to me, and you could see that we proceeded quickly after that.
From the first day here, I felt like I'd been here a couple of seasons, and I had no trouble integrating in the dressing room; my team-mates, apart from being fantastic players, are also wonderful people. Coach Leonardo Jardim also welcomed me with open arms.
On Monaco's magnificent season
The most important thing this season is winning the French title, and we definitely have a big chance – that's in our hands. We've just got the last step, we have two months until the final game, and it's important that we don't pass up this chance; that's what all of us say.
I've always dreamt of the Champions League, I've managed to get here, and now I am playing in the quarter-finals in my first season. It's definitely a great adventure.
Being in a team that play such an attacking game takes a lot of work. The Champions League demands even more focus as you've got top players against you. When you're playing at the top level, the whole team need to play well defensively.