Andreas Beck interview – part two

The second of the half of the season is nearly upon us. On Saturday at 3.30, 1899 Hoffenheim host Hannover 96 on matchday 17 in the Bundesliga, looking to build on their points tally of 22. caught up with club captain Andreas beck for an exclusive interview before the football gets underway. In part two of his interview, the defender speaks about his personal development, as well as casting an eye to the immediate test against Hannover.

Andi, Hoffenheim are in ninth place; Juventus are at the top of the league. Do you follow the ‘Old Lady' at all, or have you put everything regarding the move there to the back of your mind?

That's in the past now. I don't waste any time thinking about it anymore. I've signed a long term contract here and there's a lot I still want to achieve at Hoffenheim. But I do generally follow how the top teams in Europe are performing, Italy included.

Holger Stanislawski and Ernst Tanner have signed two talented players in Sandro Wieser and Stefan Thesker, both financially prudent deals. Can you identify with a strategy like that?

Definitely. I came to Hoffenheim as a young lad and am now in my fourth season here. Investing in young players doesn't mean you sacrifice quality, not in the slightest. You don't need to have played 200 or 300 games in the Bundesliga to bring quality or flair to a game. The most important thing is that everyone plays as a team. It's great to see how players develop, individually but also as a team.

You have also trodden that path and are now a German international. How do you assess your personal development?

It's been a very interesting development. I've made the leap to the first team, have played for the Germany team and won the U21 European Championships. I've also become captain of the club in my second season, which really was a greet experience for me. The crowning moment would be if we could qualify for a European competition. We can do that either through the league or the cup. Playing more for Germany is always a target of mine, and I can do that with Hoffenheim, although it may be slightly harder than achieving it with a more traditional club. We're all aware of where the club is and where it should be. To achieve all that depends on sticking together and building success through teamwork. That's the key.

But there is still a very fine margin between financial prudence and sporting success.

The budget doesn't always allow you guaranteed sporting success. You saw that in the past year with Bremen and Stuttgart. Of course there are certain players in the market that cost a lot of money; that's why the Rauls of this world are at Schalke and the Robbens at Bayern Munich, for example. Signing top players like those isn't possible for Hoffenheim right now. So we have to pursue it another way.

Let's talk about your next opponent. In the away game in Hannover, you were beaten by a dubious goal from Jan Schlaudraff. Has that goal been a talking point among the squad recently?

We spoke about it a few times during the season, but it's behind us now. For the next free-kick we concede, we'll have to stand in front of the ball and stop those quick free-kicks.

How do you rate Hannover 96, and what makes Mirko Slomka's team so dangerous?

Hannover are really awkward to play against. They defend well and can counter attack within a matter of seconds, something they do really well. We have to be careful of that. In the first game we played well, but we beat ourselves through silly mistakes.

The game isn't yet sold out. Why should fans buy themselves a ticket for Saturday?

Because they'll enjoy a great afternoon and hopefully be celebrating our first home win of the new footballing year.

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