Pros 30.06.2022 — 12:56 Uhr

Caci: “Want to grow with the team and the club”

Our new addition speaks about his first weeks in Mainz, the reasons for his move and his goals with the Zerofivers

Caci getting off the bus in Geisenheim ahead of the friendly against Kiedrich.

After 11 years at Racing Straßburg, Anthony Caci decided to leave his home country and make the move to 1. FSV Mainz 05 for the 2022/23 season. The variable left-back has already found an apartment here and has been left with a very positive first impression. “I’ve really settled into Mainz,” he said during a press conference at the Bruchwegstadion on Wednesday afternoon. “Given that I already signed my contract in January, I had enough time to prepare myself, and could focus on the team and the club at the same time.” 

Caci arrived in Mainz a few days before pre-season training got underway, in order to familiarise himself with his new home. However, the left-back was already well-acquainted with the club even before his arrival. “Before I came here, I had gone to the stadium to watch three games. I’d seen several Bundesliga games on TV before that already, because Moussa is a friend of mine,” said the 24-year-old, who played together with the FSV captain for the France U21s. “Moussa has undergone a strong development in Mainz and has become a real leader, even though he is still the same guy he was back then,” Caci said. The defender has signed a contract until 2026, and is ready to “take the next step” in Mainz. 

Closer to home & with family ties

Caci joined Racing Straßburg when he was 14, moving up through the ranks of the club’s youth sides before making his Ligue 1 debut in 2018. Since then, he has gone on to make over 100 appearances in France’s top tier. “I thought that it was time for me to take the next step, in order to make sure that my development doesn’t stagnate. I think I’ll be able to reach the next level in the Bundesliga,” Caci said. Another reason for his move to Mainz was to be closer to his family, who live just 90 minutes away in Forbach, near the border to Saarland. “My family are also crazy about football. They come to visit often and to watch games,” said Caci, who also has a brother. “He’s too lazy to play sports, but he would love to visit the Johannisfest," he added with a smirk. 

I think I’ll be able to reach the next level in the Bundesliga.

“In Strasbourg I played in every position as part of a back five,” Caci shared. During his youth days, Caci also featured in defensive midfield a handful of times. “That could also be an option,” he admits. The 24-year-old enjoys cutting in and having the whole of the pitch in front of him, in addition to being able to play with both feet. Head coach Bo Svensson will be pleased to have such a versatile player in his team. Caci, meanwhile, has already set clear goals for himself: “I want to play as many games as possible, to grow together with the team and the club and try to achieve the best possible. I want to take the next step here.” 

Caci made his debut for the Zerofivers in a friendly against Kiedrich last weekend.

More intense training than in France

When asked about his first impressions from training in Mainz, Caci replied in German: “Ich bin müde,” (I’m tired) said the Frenchman with a smile. “The sessions here are very intense, far more than in France because there’s a lot more switching over here, and they want you to run more.” Caci has also had to adjust to having a coach that doesn’t speak French for the first time in his career. “Of course it’s an adjustment,” he said. “But, that’s also a reason why I joined Mainz, because I wanted to learn something, see something new: a new way of playing football, and a different language. It’s a challenge for me, but that’s why I came here.” 

It’s a challenge for me, but that’s why I came here.

When it comes to learning German, Caci already knows some of the basics. “I studied German for three or four years in school, but it’s how it is in Germany: if you have French lessons at school, then you rarely end up speaking it afterwards.”