Hassane Kamara: 'I understand now why the Premier League is such a great show'

3 weeks ago 359
Hassane Kamara in action for WatfordIvory Coast's Hassane Kamara joined Watford from French club Nice in January

Watford and Ivory Coast left-back Hassane Kamara says that his three months in the Premier League have made him fully appreciate its high levels.

"I understand now why the Premier League is such a great show," he told BBC Sport.

"It's really difficult. I was impressed because I am a player that likes to be running a lot but I have to say this is very intense."

"Without wanting to disrespect France, here the level is really difficult. The style of play here is more direct."

Kamara has made 15 appearances in the Premier League since his move from Nice in the last transfer window and even though Watford face a huge challenge to stay up, he is relishing the battle.

"Playing in the Premier League was a major goal for me in my career so I was very happy to reach it," he told BBC Sport Africa.

"What is really impressive to me is the level of each player here. Whether they are well-known or not, they are as fast as I am, they have technical abilities, they are smart.

"Teams here are obsessed with scoring so as a defender I have more situations to manage. I am also very impressed by the wingers."

Kamara netted his first Premier League goal in the 5-1 defeat at title-chasing Manchester City last weekend, a result which left the Hornets nine points from safety with five games of the campaign remaining.

And the defender, who has played for Chateauroux, Reims, Creteil and Nice in France, says intensity begins as soon as the referee first blows the whistle.

"In Ligue 1, we're going to gauge our opponent and won't be pressing straight away but here in England, from kick-off players run everywhere," he observed.

"We play long so we run a lot, back and forth, and the referees don't whistle a lot so the game is more fluid, intense. It never stops."

Kamara has also had to adjust to different surroundings off the pitch.

"Moving from Nice to London is different. I used to be in the sun every day - it's priceless, it brings you joy," he said.

"But my career is short so I am focused. I am not here on holidays and I also know that when I stop playing football, I will be able to go wherever I want."

Kamara's mother 'can be proud'

Hassane Kamara in action for Ivory CoastHassane Kamara won his sixth cap for Ivory Coast in a 3-0 friendly loss to England at Wembley in March

Kamara was born in France to Malian parents but in 2020 committed to play for Ivory Coast, where his mother and father spent much of their lives.

He has paid tribute to the role his mother has played in his career and his happiness at being able to make her proud of his achievements, especially representing her adopted country.

"Five days before playing my first game with Ivory Coast, I went there with my family, my sister, my mum, and they were all very proud," he recalled.

"When I first played, all my family from Ivory Coast was there in the stadium. They were very proud to support their boy playing for the national team. I was very happy to see my mum proud.

"It's also her success. Since I was a kid, she was there for me. She bought me my first pair of football boots even though our family background was not an easy one.

"We come from a rough area and didn't really have any money and still she would pay for that because she wanted me to be happy. She knew football was my passion.

"So when today she sees that I made it, she is very proud. She can tell herself that she was right in her desire to make me happy because now I do what I love - she can be very proud."

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