Xherdan Shaqiri, as usual after a game, you call your parents straight away. What are you telling them about your first Bundesliga match?
XS: My mum only wants to hear that I’m doing well. For her, the most important thing is that I come home healthy.
And from a sporting standpoint? Your first half wasn’t good, the second better. Agreed?
XS: Yes, it was difficult in the beginning. Fürth defended very deep. But after the 1:0 it got better. We had more space that I could use.
Before the 2:0, you’re playing a great pass to Arjen Robben. How do you see your interaction with him?
XS: You could see in the pre-season how well we harmonize. The pass for the 2:0 showed how well we get along with each other. We’ll see if I start again next week against Stuttgart as well.
For the most part, you played as 10. Then as left and right winger. Are you okay with that?
XS: I think it’s good when Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller and I change positions every now and then. We can all play central too. That way, we’re more unpredictable for the opponent.
In the end, you contributed to two goals. When have you been told you’ll be starting for the sick Franck Ribéry?
XS: Thursday in training already.
Ribéry is your neighbor. Is he visiting often?
XS: At the moment, it’s better if he doesn’t so he can’t infect me (laughs). Otherwise we hang out quite often.
When you were giving interviews to the German journalists earlier, second keeper Tom Starke walked past you and pinched your stomach. Then Dante jokingly slapped you on the back of your head. Is it always that much fun at Bayern?
XS: We have a lot of fun with the team. That’s right.
XS: That stays within the team.
A little example you can tell us.
XS: Yes, for example during dinner. We put salt in some players’ water if they aren’t looking. Mario Mandzukic for example.
Is it correct that your hairdresser comes to Munich all the way from Switzerland?
XS: Yes, a friend of mine from Aargau. He usually travels along with my brother. I don’t know anyone in Munich.
How long does the artwork take?
XS: Not long.
Is the pressure of having to win away games similar to Basel?
XS: All in all it’s similar. As is the game preparation. It’s all a little bit more professional here though. You have a closer look at the opponent.
So you could name all eleven opposing players and their positions?
XS: (laughs) Well, not really every one of them.
One time, you even cleared via header in your own box. How is that possible with 1,69m?
XS: (laughs) I always try to work defensively too.
Nati-Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld compares you to Mehmet Scholl. Does that honor you?
XS: It’s nice when he says that. Every person is happy about compliments. Scholl always shot great free-kicks. But I’m a young player and I have to improve.
Have you seen anything of the city Munich so far?
XS: No, so far I’ve concentrated on pre-season completely. I have to take some time now soon. I also haven’t been out yet. I have to integrate myself - that takes time. Everything else will come afterwards.
(Submitted by Kris - Thanks!)
“It’s more relaxed here during the training,” he says and refers to the lower pressure: “a young team forgives mistakes. That’s different in Munich. The level there is so high, it couldn’t get any higher, you’re not allowed mistakes. At the end, star players sit on the bench too.” The bench is hard. The preseason training however is not. At least not as hard as in Bremen, says Petersen: “we didn’t train that much at Bayern. 3 times a day like we do here - I’ve never experienced that there. At Bayern, we didn’t have to get up before 9am either.” Now, his alarm rings at 7am. Shortly after, he’s at the running track. At 10:30am, the first session on the pitch follows, at 5:30pm the second.
Sammer the Player
1976–1990: SG Dynamo Dresden (2x DDR Champion, 1x DDR Cup winner)
1990–1992: VfB Stuttgart (1x German Champion)
1992: Inter Mailand
1993–1998: Borussia Dortmund (2x German Champion, 1x CL & World Club Cup winner)
1990–1997: Deutschland (1996: European Champion)
Sammer the Trainer and Sporting Director
2000–2004: Borussia Dortmund (2002: German Champion)
2004–2005: VfB Stuttgart
2006-2012: DFB Sporting Director
- He has a manual with 5 qualities he expects from players that should be developed to a world class format:
- In his eyes, you can’t say that all players are equal. He divides them in 3 categories and thinks you need a good mix of all 3:
- Doesn’t agree with the slogan “The team is the star”, thinks you need to acknowledge the individual
- He says a team can’t be successful without structures and hierarchy
- Thinks youth players have to be better prepared, have to become more complex and the focus should be on technique and tactics
- Says emotionality (especially in a coach) is very important and wants the players to be positively emotional
- Wants to see more corner, penalty and free-kick training because he thinks German teams lost their strength in that department
- Doesn’t believe in adapting the Spanish mentality, wants to focus on own qualities and identity
- Considers the win of the U-18 European Championship in 1986 as his most important title because that’s when he first learned what it felt like to win and it kept him hungry, made him want more
Mr Kroos, how do you deal with this: the team plays great football but you only join in during the last 10 minutes…
“It’s not satisfying. Especially after the season I had, it’s only logical that I want to play. We led the scoreline twice but in my opinion, we didn’t play outstanding football. Did it look like that to you?”
At least the first half against Holland was very enjoyable.
“Well, then we disagree on this. I think there’s still room to improve. But sure, we were in the lead and not behind, so the coach wasn’t forced to bring on a fresh impulse.”
And give you a chance earlier?
“Yes, certainly. We looked compact, didn’t concede - so the other direction was needed. And that means it was important to hold on to the score, gain more ball control. After Holland pulled one back, other qualities were required.”
And what does that mean for you? How close are you to the starting elven?
“The coach knows what he has in me. He followed last season, knows that I played very well. The last games for Germany were good and he knows that. And he knows that he can bring me on at any moment. And have me start too. No problem.”
And where? At Bayern, you mostly play as “10”, sometimes “6”. Löw found a position in between for you. What suits you best?
“It’s only important where he (Löw) sees me. He knows I can play all central positions, let’s wait and see.”
Is there a chance you might even play against Denmark? Rotation seems possible.
“Yes, that’s the question. It’s still an important game but he also knows that he can bring me on no matter who we’re playing. He could have started with me against Holland! Or the next game. I’m always ready.”
Could the Denmark game become a game of chances for all those who don’t have a chance playing otherwise?
“I don’t know how much rotation there’ll be, we’re not 100% through and as a coach you reluctantly change a team on 7 or 8 positions after you won twice. We want to take the match seriously! But if I played, it wouldn’t be a problem!
This might be of interest to some fans: There have been several German football sites today that quoted - what they believed - was a statement from Robben on his official facebook page regarding his contract extension.
The Bayern press department however just confirmed that Arjen is NOT on facebook and that this profile is a fake.
Neuer Vertrag bis 2015 noch in diesem Monat
BILD weiß: Ende April treffen sich die Bayern-Bosse mit Arjen und Vater Hans Robben,der seinen Sohn berät. Dann wird der neue Vertrag bis 2015 unterschrieben.
New contract until 2015 this month
Bild knows: By the end of April, the Bayern board meet Arjen and his father Hans Robben, who advises his son. Then the contract extension until 2015 will be signed.
(This wonderful piece of news was submitted by Kris.)
“”family” hugs. Adorable!”
Submitted by Golden Rose