Ermin Bicakcic: “We're not here on holiday”
Hi, Ermin. How did you spend the break?
Ermin Bicakcic: The break was important for me. What was vital was that I was able to recharge my batteries and clear my mind. The break is not long enough for a full physical recovery. That's what summer is for. Now we will attack again, with full, revitalised energy. During the break, I allowed myself to rest in Gran Canaria with some fantastic weather.
We saw you in a blazer and a bow tie on Twitter...
Bicakcic: ...that was on New Year's Eve. I have to suit up for a special occasion (laughs).
You are typically very active on social media. How important is it to you?
Bicakcic: It is hugely important. Both Hoffenheim's fans and my personal fans always support us 100%. First of all, I want to give something back to them through my performances in matches and secondly, I am able to share part of my life with them through social media and get in contact with them. I really like to do that because without the fans we would all be nothing. It is not fun to play in an empty stadium.
You hairstyle has also almost got its own cult online status...
Bicakcic: I place a lot of value on my hair and it has now in fact become a hallmark of mine. I'm always experimenting with my hair. That's just me.
Hair can get messy when you are training hard. What have you made of your time in Johannesburg so far?
Bicakcic: The training conditions are absolutely top notch. We have seen very little of South Africa itself and that won't change a great amount. We're not here on holiday, to go sightseeing or to go on safari every day. We are here to step on the gas and prepare ourselves as best we can for the second half of the season. It's clear that that is our focus. However, we will also enjoy our time together as a team. This is my first visit to Africa and I also want to take in a bit of the atmosphere here.