Aruna Quadri begins a new adventure in Germany for top Bundesliga table tennis team, TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell and in a wide-ranging interview, Africa’s top ranked player touched on his expectations for the season and vowed to “give everything” to help the club achieve its goals.
Quadri made the move to the German Bundesliga side in February after a decade in Portugal, the last six of which were spent with Sporting Lisbon whom he led to yet another Portuguese title last season.
He was brought in primarily as a replacement for Croat Tomislav Pucar who moved to Russia, and as a top 20 player, is expected to make TTC competitive and lead them to a respectable finish in the German Bundesliga.
Quadri told German-based ON Sport, that he was excited when he first learned of TTC’s interest because of the club’s history.
“I was very happy and excited because a lot of good players played in Fulda. It was a very nice moment for me to know that I play in a team that has already had the best players,” the 30-year-old said.
On his goals for the season which starts in September, Quadri said his focus is on winning in all circumstances and said fans should expect to see nothing less than a hundred per cent from him at all times.
“Everyone wants to win and we want to win too. Even if it is difficult sometimes, I believe that it is always possible to win. We will work very hard and then see where this will lead us.
“You can expect that I will give 100 percent and everything for the club. I want to help the team and support them as much as possible.”
Fans can also look forward to always being thrilled by the player who says his game is heavily weighted in favour of attacking.
“I’m an attacker and I always want to play offensively. Sometimes defense is part of it, because it doesn’t work without it. But I prefer to be an attacker. If you want to split it up I would say 70:30,” Quadri said.
Having played in France and Portugal, Quadri is used to fierce competition and expects nothing less in the Bundesliga and says he will be ready for the task ahead.
“I played in France before and that was very demanding, in Germany I think it will be a little more difficult. But I am ready for this task and will work very hard.”
Many German table tennis followers first heard of Quadri following the Nigerian’s famous victory over German legend and former world number one Timo Boll at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The win in the fourth round of the Men’s Singles event saw Quadri become the first and only African to reach the quarterfinals of the men’s singles table tennis event at an Olympic Games.
Quadri describes the win as the biggest of his career and says it is a moment that he still gets reminded about.
“It’s always a great honour to play against Timo Boll. It’s nice when people are still talking about my biggest win. To have won against him has increased the value of my career enormously. The win against him is very important to me.”
The Nigerian will hope to score many more similar wins as he looks to ensure a successful season for TTC.