West Ham star admits to ‘achieving his dream’ of playing at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park

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The West Ham United star first became aware about St James’ Park through the film Goal!

West Ham United defender Vladimir Coufal says it is “like a dream come true” to play at St James’ Park after watching the film Goal! as a child.

The Czech Republic international lined up at right-back as the Hammers held the Magpies to their fourth draw in five Premier League matches.

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Callum Wilson opened the scoring for United just three minutes in but Coufal and his teammates hit back on the half-hour mark through Lucas Paqueta.

While Eddie Howe’s men were left frustrated with just a point, West Ham departed Tyneside pleased with their evening’s work as they look to move away from relegation danger.

West Ham United right-back Vladimir Coufal.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)West Ham United right-back Vladimir Coufal.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
West Ham United right-back Vladimir Coufal. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images

And Coufal personally reflected on another St James’ Park appearance having previously featured in an empty stadium during lockdown and last season’s opening day clash.

“I really love to play here, it is something amazing,” the 30-year-old said. “When I was young, and I’ve said it many times, I saw the movie Goal! and Santiago Munez playing here at this stadium.

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“I love this stadium from my childhood. It’s like a dream come true to play here. It’s something amazing for me. The fans are fanatics, and it’s a friendly atmosphere. It’s an environment that I like.”

On the 1-1 draw, Coufal, asked if West Ham could have won the game, told the club’s YouTube channel: “I think so but we have to stay humble, It’s a point from us at St James’ Park. Newcastle also had some opportunities to score, and so did we. It’s a good point for both sides.

“I’ve played some very tough games already but this one was one of the toughest I’ve played. Like you said, I was a proper Premier League game.

“Never in my life have I experienced something like this, I didn’t touch the play and I saw the ball in our goal twice so I like ‘what is going?’.

“I think this season we start to play well when we’ve conceded a goal, so maybe it was better to concede in the first minute.”

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