The Estonian men's national football team is set to face Azerbaijan away and then Belgium at home as they kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign this month. Estonia's top goalkeeper Karl Jakob Hein spoke to ERR about the upcoming qualifiers as well as his season with Premier League runners-up Arsenal.
"It was definitely a successful season for the club. Second place in the Premier League is still a great achievement. Perhaps we only had a short run in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions, but, overall, it was a pretty successful season," said 21-year-old Hein, who made his Arsenal first team debut in the EFL Cup third round match against Brighton in November.
"I was with the first team squad all season. I trained with them and travelled to games, and in March I got to help the national team. It was a busy schedule with lots of games and lots of training."
Whether Estonia's number one remains at Arsenal in the long run is currently up in the air. Hein spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Reading, where he made five appearances for the Championship side.
"In mid-July we will start preparing for the new season. We'll go on pre-season tours to America and Germany. I've talked to the club briefly [about my role], but nothing is clear yet. We'll see what happens in preseason. My dream is to be a Premier League number one."
For now, however, Hein's focus is on the national team, with Estonia due to take on Azerbaijan in Baku on Saturday, followed by with Belgium at the A. Le Coq Arena three days later.
"National team games always mean a lot. It's always a great feeling to represent your country. The games will be tough, as they always are, but the team are ready. We're going to Azerbaijan aiming to win. We need to take the points," Hein said.
And then take some points from Belgium? "Absolutely. That's the plan."
Editor: Michael Cole