After several successful years at Union Berlin, Sheraldo Becker felt it was time for a new challenge. The 28-year-old forward followed his heart with his decision to join Real Sociedad.Embed from Getty Images
Becker made the move from the Bundesliga to La Liga halfway through January with his transfer to Sociedad, reportedly for a fee of three million euros paid by the Surinamese international, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season.
Allegedly, there was interest from Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, while Villarreal was also mentioned as a possible destination in Spain. Earlier, there had been talk of interest from the Premier League. However, Becker opted for the Basque stronghold, which has been impressively performing at the top of La Liga this season.
I had several good offers, but ultimately, as always, I followed my heart," Becker said in an interview with the Basque medium Naiz. The prospect of playing time was, of course, important. "I felt that La Real really wanted me. I also had offers from England, France, and Germany, but I thought La Real was the best choice for me, I had no doubt," said the former player of ADO Den Haag, (Jong) Ajax, and PEC Zwolle, who signed for two and a half years in San Sebastian.
Becker is pleased with how he has been received by his new teammates, including Umar Sadiq (formerly of NAC Breda). Many of them speak English. "Everyone has helped me very well, allowing me to play well right away, which was special," he said, referring to his goal in his debut in the cup match against Celta de Vigo. Coach Imanol Agualcil has also taken him under his wing right away, even though the language barrier doesn't always make it easy. "But I understand it, because the language of football is universal. And if I don't understand, I ask my teammates what he means.
In the Basque Country, Becker hopes to win his first major trophy as a professional. Sociedad is still in the cup competition and played to a 0-0 draw in the first semifinal against Real Mallorca on Tuesday evening, with Becker absent due to injury. "It would mean a lot to me to win a trophy; it's always something special. I came close in the Netherlands, but we lost the final (with PEC Zwolle in 2015). And in Germany, we were eliminated in the semifinal. Now we're there again. If we fight for each other, we have a great chance to win the cup."
With Union Berlin, Becker already experienced the Champions League after their surprising fourth-place finish last season. The Amsterdammer has fond memories of his time in Germany, although the current season didn't go as well, especially for himself, as he was plagued by injuries. "We didn't win sixteen matches in a row, which was tough. Then a new coach came in, and the transfer window approached. I am very proud of what we achieved, but it felt like the right time for a new step."
This new step could potentially bring him face to face with Kylian Mbappé next week, although it remains uncertain whether Becker will be fit in time for the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16. "As a player, you want to play against or for the best teams in the world. In Germany, I played against Bayern Munich, in the Champions League against Real Madrid, and now in La Liga against Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. We want to showcase our qualities against the top teams; that makes me proud. We'll see what happens."