Lukasz Szukala, one of Steaua’s best defenders last year has been transferred by Saudi Arabian team, Al Ittihad together with Lucian Sânmârtean, best Romanian player of the year 2014 according to GSP.ro Awards. Eurosport UK wrote about the transfer highlighting the fact that the Polish player joined Al Ittihad for money. In an interview for digisport.ro (article in Romanian), Szukala explained the reasons why he chose Saudi Arabia.
— Eurosport.com (@EurosportCom_EN) January 6, 2015
Here is what Lukasz Szukala said for digisport.ro:
”I signed with Al Ittihad for 2 year. There were negotiations which lasted some longer period of time. Their interest for me is not since three, four days ago, but for two, three months ago. I refused first two offers but every player has a price. I wanted to stay at Steaua, we wanted to make an effort to prolonge, but financial situation from Romania is very difficult. Moreover, the last offer which I received on Victor Pițurcă’s behalf, was impossible to refuse. I chose better for me and for my family. If I were 26, 27 it was something else. I could have played in Bundesliga or Premier League, but not for this money. Furthermore, there was another detail that mattered after my discussion with Victor Pițurcă. I did not want to sign now. I wanted to stay until summer, but VIctor Pițurcă told me I must decide fast because he has no time to wait for me, and in case of a refusal from my side, he will take someone else. It was a pressure from this point of view. Therefore I decided to accept the offer especially because the financial reason was extremely important. It’s a big step for me from this point of view.”
Lukasz Szukala started his professional career in France, playing for Metz for four years between 2000 and 2004. He moved to Germany where he played for TSV 1860 Munchen and Alemannia Aachen till 2010. He made his debut in Romanian football on 20th of August 2010 playing for Gloria Bistrița against Rapid București. Between 2011 and 2012 he played for Universitatea Cluj. After only two matches for Petrolul Ploiești, he was transferred by Steaua București where we won the championship two times in a row and a Super Cup. For Poland’s national team, he played 10 matches and scored one goal so far.
Al Ittihad appointed Victor Pițurcă (former Steaua and Romania’s national team manager) as a coach last October.