Andrej Kramaric: "That would be our championship title"

Andrej Kramaric came to TSG in the winter break from shock Premier League contenders Leicester City. In 393 minutes’ playing time for Hoffenheim, the Croatian striker has scored three goals and provided one assist. In an interview with, Kramaric talks about his goals, his former club and the next game against Hamburger SV.

Three goals and an assist in just less than 400 minutes - how happy are you with your time at TSG so far?

Andrej Kramaric: It’s going really well. I’m happy about my goals and my assist, but the important thing is the success of the team. We are desperate to stay in the Bundesliga and I want to play my part in achieving this. On the whole I feel great here.

Where is there still room for improvement?

Kramaric: Before my move to Hoffenheim from Leicester I hadn’t been playing very much, so I’m not quite 100% physically fit yet. But that will come – with every training session, with every game.

What are you expecting from Hamburg on Saturday?

Kramaric: I have never played there before, but everyone in the team has told me it’s a fantastic atmosphere. We have to give everything and stay fully concentrated in order to take something from the game. That’s our aim - every point is crucial at this stage in the season.

Your role models are Davor Suker, Ronaldinho and Leo Messi...

Kramaric: Davor Suker is a national hero in Croatia; he’s the best player we’ve ever had. The World Cup 1998 was unbelievable, he finished and top goalscorer and Croatia had a remarkable campaign. On the pitch I was particularly mesmerised by his cleverness. He was never reliant on pace or power, he was quick in the mind, one step ahead of everyone else and always made the right decisions in front of goal. With Ronaldinho and Messi it’s similar - their technique and elegance gives them an edge on everyone, not their strength. Ronaldinho on his day was the best player of his generation and Messi is in my opinion the best player in history. I am sure I’ll never see a player like him again.

When did you meet Davor Suker for the first time?

Kramaric: I was a little boy and in Zagreb with my Dad at Christmas time. He suddenly said "There’s Davor Suker". He stopped him, we took a photo with him and I got an autograph. That was an unbelievable moment for me. Today he is president of the Croatian FA, so I see him more frequently.

You mentioned the 1998 World Cup. Did this tournament get you into football?

Kramaric: In 1997 at six years old I started playing football. The tournament was something really special for all Croatians. It became clear to me how much I cared about football. That it would become my life, I could not have predicted at that age.

After your goal against Wolfsburg, the Croatian football association made you “Croatian Player of the Week”...

Kramaric: That was nice. I hope not for the last time this season. I’ve still got a few more chances.

Let’s turn our attention to your former teammates at Leicester. Do you still follow their games?

Kramaric: Of course. I watched the game against West Brom this week for instance. I was certain even a few weeks ago that we would definitely get Champions League. Now there is even a good chance of them winning the Premier League. It would be well deserved. The clubs full of great people and there’s a real positive atmosphere. Much more important for me is that TSG stay in the Bundesliga. That would be our championship title!

So your ideal scenario for the end of the season is TSG avoid relegation, Leicester City win the league and you go to the Euros with Croatia.

Kramaric: Yeah, I suppose you could put it like that. I hope it ends that way and I can play my part with the Croatia squad in France. With Spain, Czech Republic and Turkey we have an extremely difficult group to get out of, but if we can go through, then anything will be possible. It makes me proud to wear the national team jersey and it would be amazing to be given the chance to represent my country at the Euros.


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