New Watford signing Mathias Ranegie believes he could be well-suited to the physical nature of the Championship

This Is Local London: Mathias Ranegie believes a late start in football may be beneficial in the long-run. Picture: Action Images Mathias Ranegie believes a late start in football may be beneficial in the long-run. Picture: Action Images

New Watford signing Mathias Ranegie believes he could be a perfect fit for the Championship and hopes that starting his football career late will allow him to play long into his thirties at Vicarage Road.

Ranegie, 29, finalised a move to the Hornets on a permanent deal from Udinese a fortnight ago having made only four appearances for the Italian side this season.

The 6ft 5in striker, who is known for his physical attributes and fearless attitude, believes his style of play could be ideal for the hard and fast nature of English football.

“I think I’m a player that fits in this league,” said Ranegie, who has recently recovered from a hamstring strain.

“I do have that fearless side to my game. Even if you have a big body it doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re afraid. But I’m not afraid on the pitch.

“English clubs often play with big strikers – it’s very common to have these kinds of players, especially in the Championship.

“Often the wingers have very good feet and they want to cross the ball into the box so I think I’ll fit in very well here.”

He added with a smile: “I don’t want to only talk about my body – I’m not brainless, I can play with my head too – but I am a physical player.”

Ranegie says he didn’t start playing “serious football” until he was 22 when he signed for IFK Gothenburg but after an indifferent spell at the Swedish giants he made a name for himself at BK Häcken, where he scored 36 goals in 81 appearances.

Malmo signed him in 2011 and 13 goals in 26 games persuaded Udinese to sign the forward in August last summer.

Ranegie admits he sometimes wonders how far he could have gone had he started football earlier but he insists there are positives to be taken too.

“I’ve thought about it of course,” he said.

“But starting late was probably good for my body too. I used to get injuries when I was a kid because I was so tall.

“I had problems with my knees and then I had a couple of years where I didn’t play football so my body is maybe not like other 29 year olds.

“I think it’s younger and I hope I might be able to go on longer as a result.”

Ranegie, who says he was close to joining Blackpool and Middlesbrough a few years ago, nearly moved to Watford last summer but injuries to strikers at Udinese delayed the transfer.

He says he is well aware of the competitive nature of the Championship and is adamant Watford’s promotion hopes are far from over.

Ranegie said: “There are so many classic teams in this division – almost every team has been in the Premier League so it’s a beautiful league and I know it’s very unpredictable.

“There’s still that old English thing where some of the teams are big, some are small, some are teams who like to play football and some are physical and high tempo teams – but they can all win.”

He continued: “The play-offs are still close. If anyone thinks we can’t make the play-offs they don’t understand football.

“There are so many games left and if you start winning, you can keep on winning. My dream here is to make a difference.”

Ranegie had personal problems when he was young and a disenchantment with football, as well as injuries, contributed to his late arrival in football.

Religion helped the Swede steer his life back on track and he believes through football, God gave him a second chance.

“I found God and he saved me, he showed me how to live,” he said. “I think talent is a blessing from a higher power and that it’s something somebody gives you.

“I lost it and then I think God gave it back to me.”

He continued: “There are so many football players who drop out from football when they’re young and they think it’s too late to pick it up again.

“I turned back to football when I was 22 and that shows if you have the talent you can do great things – talent is just the start.”

Ranegie hopes his personal problems as a teenager don’t influence Hornets supporters’ perception of him now. He wants to be judged solely as a footballer.

When asked if he appreciates more what he has now because of his past, he joked: “I think I do but I have to be honest, I’m still like every other football player a lot of the time.

“Nobody can be humble all the time – I’ve been a football player for nine years now and sometimes, believe me, I forget.

“I know how I should probably answer this question but to be honest, I complain about the weather like everyone else.”

Comments (12)

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5:07pm Fri 17 Jan 14

bristol hornet says...

We need Ranegie and Anya to get together to start praying for some divine help.
We need Ranegie and Anya to get together to start praying for some divine help. bristol hornet
  • Score: -13

5:20pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Stoney77 says...

bristol hornet wrote:
We need Ranegie and Anya to get together to start praying for some divine help.
Comes across as a decent, honest guy. Fair play.

If he's fit, get him starting tomorrow. Up front, as a proper partner for Deeney. His physicality should attract lots of attention from defenders which can only create space for Deeney high up the field, and Deeney is more effective when he has a bit of space. If Deeney also attracts defenders then this will create lots of space for attacking midfielders and/or wing backs to take advantage of.

I have never seen Ranegie play but if he is a physical centre forward and turns out to be decent championship standard (or better) then I think our season will turn around and we will start cruising up the league.

Play offs here we come.

(Still wearing my yellow tinted specs, you can't take them away from me)
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: We need Ranegie and Anya to get together to start praying for some divine help.[/p][/quote]Comes across as a decent, honest guy. Fair play. If he's fit, get him starting tomorrow. Up front, as a proper partner for Deeney. His physicality should attract lots of attention from defenders which can only create space for Deeney high up the field, and Deeney is more effective when he has a bit of space. If Deeney also attracts defenders then this will create lots of space for attacking midfielders and/or wing backs to take advantage of. I have never seen Ranegie play but if he is a physical centre forward and turns out to be decent championship standard (or better) then I think our season will turn around and we will start cruising up the league. Play offs here we come. (Still wearing my yellow tinted specs, you can't take them away from me) Stoney77
  • Score: 40

5:24pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Ronny oh Ronny Ronny says...

Fearless - in tights hahahahahaha!!!!

To be fair I think (hope) he is going to tear championship defences a new one and him with Deeney up top will be irresistable!
Fearless - in tights hahahahahaha!!!! To be fair I think (hope) he is going to tear championship defences a new one and him with Deeney up top will be irresistable! Ronny oh Ronny Ronny
  • Score: 16

5:32pm Fri 17 Jan 14

SAHornet says...

"Ranegie hopes his personal problems as a teenager don’t influence Hornets supporters’ perception of him now. He wants to be judged solely as a footballer."

If he's worried about our perception of him following his early misdemeanors, he should talk to Troy to find out about how real Watford fans treat their players during difficult times. Welcome to WFC, Ranegie.
"Ranegie hopes his personal problems as a teenager don’t influence Hornets supporters’ perception of him now. He wants to be judged solely as a footballer." If he's worried about our perception of him following his early misdemeanors, he should talk to Troy to find out about how real Watford fans treat their players during difficult times. Welcome to WFC, Ranegie. SAHornet
  • Score: 46

7:51pm Fri 17 Jan 14

WFC FANMAN says...

http://www1.skysport
s.com/football/news/
11686/9120983/transf
er-news-david-faupal
a-reportedly-keen-on
-watford-move


REALLY watford fc!
http://www1.skysport s.com/football/news/ 11686/9120983/transf er-news-david-faupal a-reportedly-keen-on -watford-move REALLY watford fc! WFC FANMAN
  • Score: -1

8:44pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jasonwatford says...

I believe this guy will score a lots of goals in the chaampionship
I believe this guy will score a lots of goals in the chaampionship jasonwatford
  • Score: 7

10:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Henry VIII says...

What an excellent interview, honest, funny and smart. Welcome to Watford and I hope you can fulfill your dreams here, very best of luck Mathias.
What an excellent interview, honest, funny and smart. Welcome to Watford and I hope you can fulfill your dreams here, very best of luck Mathias. Henry VIII
  • Score: 15

10:58pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Sydneyhornet says...

5 goals
5 goals Sydneyhornet
  • Score: 3

11:47pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Sleeping with the enemy says...

Sydneyhornet wrote:
5 goals
And that's just tomorrow for starters.........
Too much beer, time for bed.
[quote][p][bold]Sydneyhornet[/bold] wrote: 5 goals[/p][/quote]And that's just tomorrow for starters......... Too much beer, time for bed. Sleeping with the enemy
  • Score: 2

5:31am Sat 18 Jan 14

watford1881 says...

I will give him a chance.. Any new player deserves that...
I will give him a chance.. Any new player deserves that... watford1881
  • Score: 2

9:09am Sat 18 Jan 14

VOReason says...

My only concerns is the service. Only cassetti crosses consistently well from wide positions ...

It has not been our gameplan since before the pozzos arrived
My only concerns is the service. Only cassetti crosses consistently well from wide positions ... It has not been our gameplan since before the pozzos arrived VOReason
  • Score: 3

1:29pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Hairy Hornet says...

Might actually see a headed goal then. Can't remember last time (a forward) scored a headed goal from a cross. Maybe its the service but I dont think its Deeny's thing.
Dont agree about Cassetti putting over crosses. Ita a miracle when he actually either gets past a defender or reaches the byeline. Think Anya is our best bet as Pudil tends to over hit them.
Might actually see a headed goal then. Can't remember last time (a forward) scored a headed goal from a cross. Maybe its the service but I dont think its Deeny's thing. Dont agree about Cassetti putting over crosses. Ita a miracle when he actually either gets past a defender or reaches the byeline. Think Anya is our best bet as Pudil tends to over hit them. Hairy Hornet
  • Score: 1

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