"I really don't think there's another team [in the Europa League] that's a bigger favourite than we are," the Sweden striker tells UEFA.com.
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Having alerted the world to his class at UEFA EURO 2020 with Sweden, Alexander Isak continues to make waves in Spain at Real Sociedad, where the 22-year-old scored a career-best 17 league goals last season.
A prodigy at AIK, Isak went to Borussia Dortmund aged 17 but could not make a breakthrough in the Bundesliga, though he caught the eye during an impressive loan spell in the Netherlands with Willem II. It was enough to earn a move to the Liga with Real Sociedad, and as his side battle Monaco and PSV for top spot in a fiercely competitive UEFA Europa League Group B, Isak tells UEFA.com he has no regrets.
On Real Sociedad's Europa League ambitions
We should aim to go as far as we possibly can in every competition we play, be it the league or the cup or the Europa League. No matter what, we should always aim for the three points. Right now, we're in the group phase so we are focusing on that, but if we qualify for the play-offs, we'll take it game by game. But I really don't think there's another team [in the Europa League] that's a bigger favourite than we are.
We've played [Monaco] twice already: once in pre-season and then the first meeting in the group stage of the Europa League. I missed both games, so I don't have any experience of them personally, but from what I've seen [they are] a physical team that's very fast and strong. But I think that if we perform the way we can and are ready, then we will be able to have a good game and get a good result.
On leaving AIK for Dortmund at 17
I had been in and around the first team [at AIK] for a while, and when the chance came, I just had to seize it. It was a good step for me from the alternatives I got and the plans I was presented with. Dortmund have amazing fans over there that create a great atmosphere in the stadium, so it was very impressive.
What did I take from that experience? An ability to handle situations when they don't go as well as you'd like. If it were to happen again, I think I would be better prepared. Other than that, I got to be in a very professional and high-quality environment where you learn so much; so there are some things you can take with you and turn into something positive.
On joining Real Sociedad in 2019
What persuaded me to come here? The league, the club, the ambition of the club, the way the team plays football and the project that the club represented for me. When I grew up, I watched a lot of Spanish football – the top clubs naturally. I've always liked the football that's being played over here.
It's also very nice to live here: the food is great, and the weather is better than many other places. I'm a simple guy; it doesn't take much for me to be happy. You want to have family and friends down here, to go out and eat at restaurants. Otherwise, I just stay at home to chill and enjoy the free time that I have, and that's what it takes to make me happy.