HomeAtlanta United

George Bello On LASK, Atlanta, Playing In The Bundesliga And USMNT Gold Cup Success

George Bello On LASK, Atlanta, Playing In The Bundesliga And USMNT Gold Cup Success

An interview with George Bello, by Callum McFadden for WFi.

You joined LASK in the summer of 2023. How much are you enjoying your time at the club so far?

“My time at the club so far has been great and I have settled in quickly to life in Austria.

“It has been a smooth transition for me aided by how friendly everyone is across all facets of the club.

“I am enjoying playing with my new teammates and I look forward to creating many memories with this club and our fans.”

The club has been drawn against Liverpool, Toulouse and Union Saint Gilloise in the Europa League group phase. What is your reaction to the draw and the prospect of playing in European competition for the first time?

“It is a great challenge for us to be drawn alongside three top teams.

“Everyone at the club is excited for the games to come around and for me, it is a blessing to be able to play in European competition for the first time.

“We are ready to test ourselves in the group and I cannot wait to experience what the Europa League has to offer as a competition.”

You started your career at Atlanta United and won the MLS Cup with the club in 2018. How do you reflect on your time at the club overall?

“I do not have enough words to describe my time at Atlanta because it was a wonderful experience for me in so many ways.

“The club is my hometown club and I came through the academy system there too so to be able to become a first-team player was a dream come true.

“I learned so much about myself as a person and as a footballer while at the club which helped put me on the path that I am on today.

“Added to that, winning an MLS Cup with the club was another unbelievable experience and achievement for the club.

“My heart will always be in Atlanta because it is where I am from but I always wanted to play in Europe and the club gave me the opportunity to do that by giving me a platform to play in MLS.

“I will always be grateful to them for that and for the trust they placed in me.”

Your first club in European football was Armenia Bielefeld in Germany whom you represented in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. What are your highlights from your time in German football?

“My personal highlight was having the opportunity to represent the club and test myself in the Bundesliga.

“It is one of the best leagues in world football and you are tested in every game that you play in such is the competitiveness of the league.

“My time there did not go entirely as I would have liked as the club was relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of my first season but I learned so much even in the tough moments.

“There will always be highs and lows in football but I am looking forward now forward to progressing forward.

“I will always be grateful to everyone at Armenia Bielefeld as the club gave me the opportunity to play in Europe for the first time.”

You are a full United States international and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2021 for the US, beating Mexico in the final. How proud are you of that achievement and what are your memories of the tournament itself?

“Representing the US means so much to me and winning the Gold Cup against one of our biggest rivals was one of the best feelings that I have had in football, so far.

“Starting in that final and getting over the line after a tough game was such a rewarding feeling.

“The tournament itself was a long tournament with many games but it went by quickly because we had a tight-knit group of players who I enjoyed spending time with.

“It is an experience that I will never forget and I hope that I will have many more opportunities to represent the US in the future.”

As a defender, which attacking players would you pick out as the toughest opponents in your career so far?

“I have played against many great players.

“I would single out Jesus Corona who I faced against Mexico in the Gold Cup final. He is such a skilful player who made sure I was always on my toes in that game.

“Another player that I would like to mention is Marius Wolf who is now at Borussia Dortmund. I faced him during my time in the Bundesliga and he is such an intelligent player who uses his speed to hurt you whenever he can.

“Added to those two, I would also have to pick out Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich. He is an outstanding footballer who has achieved so much in football at a young age.”

Finally, George, what do you hope to achieve in the future of your career in football?

“My main ambition going forward is to play at the World Cup with the US national team. We are hosting the tournament in 2026 and every American player wants to be able to play in our home tournament for the team.

“I also look forward to playing in European competition this season with LASK in the Europa League. I also hope to be able to play in the Champions League one day, too.

“I am still only 21 and I have a lot to work on so I need to continue to work as hard as I can in order to become the best version of myself that I possibly can be.”