An Interview with Boris Vukcevic

“Boris is a brilliant footballer, he plays for the German U-21 team and that alone demonstrates the quality he possesses”, stated Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The highly regarded 21-year old has certainly proven his quality since moving to 1899 Hoffenheim from VfB Stuttgart three years ago and is one of the rising stars in the youthful Kraichgau outfit. A quiet and mild mannered youngster off the field and an ambitious battler on the field, caught up with Hoffenheim's number 7 to get to know him a little better:

Boris, you've been playing for 1899 Hoffenheim since 2008 and therefore already belong to the older generation at the club. Do you feel comfortable here in Sinsheim?

Definitely, I'm very comfortable here. I was well received when I first arrived and want to keep up the progress I've already made since moving here.

What are your thoughts on continuing your development?

Each and everyday I'm always trying to improve every aspect of my game. Whether it targets my passing, tackling, conditioning, athleticism or accuracy in front of goal, I try to use everyday to my advantage as I continue to grow as a player.

You signed a contract extension with 1899 that last until 30th June 2014. What were the reasons behind you wanting to stay for a further three years?

I've always felt comfortable here and I owe the club a lot for the faith they've shown in me. This is where I became a professional and I want to pay the club back by using my ability to contribute good performances to the team.

If you not on the training ground or playing in a match, what is it that you do with your free time?

I'm a very family oriented person. That's why I often use my spare time to take a trip home. Naturally I'm always on the road with friends and acquaintances, but as a professional footballer you don't always have a lot of time to spare. Sometimes I even like to switch it up and play a completely different sport like tennis.

Long ball, short ball, possession or smash and grab counter attacking football - which style of play best suits you personally?

The way that Arsenal and Barcelona play would be my preference. Without the ball they are aggressive in closing down their opponents and with the ball it's all about quick and short passes played along the ground to get the ball forward as fast as possible. It's an incredibly technical style of play, but still maintains a healthy pace within the match.

You're already part of Germany's U-21 set-up. Is the goal to make it into the senior squad?

Of course it is. Right now, I've got to concentrate on improving my performances for the U-21 team, but it's so far so good in my opinion. My main aim is to make sure my performances internationally and in the Bundesliga are consistently good. I would hope, that I'll be in the senior squad sooner or later though, but I don't want to get ahead of myself just yet.

At 18 years of age, how did you feel on the final day of the 2008/09 season when you made your professional debut against Schalke 04 in front of 60,000 fans?

It was an incredible feeling. When you find yourself in situations like that it makes you realise and understand why you worked so hard for ten years. On that day I achieved a life long dream and at the same time discovered a new sense of motivation for my future.

You scored your first ever Bundesliga goal against your old club VfB Stuttgart? Describe that moment for us.

Naturally that was a very special moment in my career and I personally took a lot of pleasure from it. No one ever forgets their first goal and it made it just that little bit more special because it was against my former club.

What is, or was, the best footballer in the world?

For me Zinedine Zidane will always be the best footballer in the world. He was a player that you rarely heard about off the pitch because he kept himself away from situations that could have led to negative headlines. He was consistently brilliant and hardly ever had a bad game. The minute he had the ball at his feet, he had already thought of five options where he could play it next. He was the perfect footballer: comfortable with both feet, an unbelievable technician with the ball, a knowledgeable strategist and someone who seemed the score with ease. His style of play continues to inspire me even today. I don't believe there has ever been a player who knew exactly how to involve his teammates in match situations so that they could maximise their potential the way he did.


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