Gary Kagelmacher:’It’d be a great challenge for me to play in Germany’

The summer transfer window is getting closer, and most of the teams in the Bundesliga are planning their squads ahead of next season. AS Monaco central defender Gary Kagelmacher, currently on loan at FC Valenciennes of France’s top flight, has already been linked with a move to Hannover 96 by Neue Presse. The Bundesliga Fanatic can reveal that the player has been closely followed by Hertha BSC as well. The 26-year-old is relishing the prospect of playing in Germany, telling Bundesliga Fanatic:

I heard about this in the past few weeks. I have played regularly for every team I’ve been to and I left a good impression at every club. I think that it would be a great challenge. I have confidence in myself that I am a good player and I would like to have an opportunity one of these days. But, one never knows what the future holds.

Kagelmacher has left a good impression this season, despite Valenciennes’ relegation. The former Under-17 and Under-20 Uruguayan international, who also is in possession of a German passport, has featured in 29 Ligue 1 matches.

His last-minute move from Monaco to FC Valenciennes came after Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri told him it’d be difficult for Kagelmacher to get playing time once the club had brought in Eric Abidal and Ricardo Carvalho. The 26-year-old is proud of the fact that he has been named the captain of the team for his last ten matches, despite being on loan:

I have been here for 10 months, and people have already seen that I’m a professional in what I do. I really love football and I really take care of my team.

When interviewed by BeIn Sports France, Kagelmacher’s teammates at FC Valenciennes described the Uruguayan as a defender who is similar to Sergio Ramos and a natural born leader on the pitch.

First steps in Europe at Real Madrid Castilla

The comparisons to Sergio Ramos may be rooted in the fact Kagelmacher once played at Real Madrid Castilla (Los Blancos’ second team). After having played a good Under-20 World Cup in Canada, the Montevideo-born central defender drew attention from the Spaniards. He first joined Real Madrid Castilla on a loan deal in 2007. After one season, the loan was extended by two years.

His good performances made the Uruguayan a regular for Real’s second team, seeing him play a total of 79 matches and scoring 6 goals. On the last match day of the 2008-09 season, Kagelmacher made his debut (and only appearance) for Real Madrid’s senior squad during their 2-1 loss to CA Osasuna.

Kagelmacher says his time in Real Madrid’s system shaped him as a player:

I think it was the right choice. I came from Uruguay at a very young age. I was in the second team for three years. I knew a lot of players. I saw what they had and I really gave my best for the three years I was there, and I also played in all the games. I also knew the coaches and saw their style of play and the amount of training. I became a better player and also more professional while I was at Real Madrid.

Several players from Real Madrid’s second team have gone on to make an impact in the Bundesliga. Among them were former Schalke player Raul, former Dortmund player Flemming Povlsen, former Leverkusen player Dani Carvajal, and current Schalke player Adam Szalai.

Almost joining Kaiserslautern

After three years in Madrid, the 25-year-old was loaned to Germinal Beerschot in Belgium were he quickly found his way. Kagelmacher was rewarded with a permanent move to the Jupiler Pro League side and was given the captain’s armband by coach Jacky Mathijssen after being voted the man of the season award by the fans. His great performances didn’t go unnoticed in Germany, and 1. FC Kaiserslautern decided to invite the young defender to a trial at the Betzenberg.

Kagelmacher impressed the officials. However, there was one last-minute twist in store, according to the Uruguayan:

This was a tough situation and also a tough decision, because I was in Belgium, Kaiserlautern wanted me, and Monaco came in at the last moment. My team in Belgium had some financial problems. I was ready to sign for Kaiserslautern. I was there and I knew the players, the staff, everything. And at the last moment, Monaco made a better offer, and the club (editor’s note: Kagelmacher talks about Beerschot) had financial problems and decided I needed to go to Monaco. There is a bit of a regret in regards of how this happened, because there were very nice people at Kaiserslautern. I’m German, also, and it is a dream for me to play in Germany. I’m really looking forward to playing in Germany one day.

A move to the Bundesliga might materialize soon, and Kagelmacher is optimistic about playing himself into contention for a place in “La Celeste,” the Uruguayan national team if he can make an impact in Germany:

This is one of my dreams, and I’m really waiting for the call. It’s true that the coach already has a group and that it is difficult to get into that group. I still hope for a call up. If I can play for a German team in the Bundesliga, it would be easier to become part of the national team of Uruguay.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 32-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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