In 2011 David de Gea joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid. After two successful seasons with the first team for Atletico in which he helped the team win the Europa League, the clubs first major trophy in 50 years, the rumors of his move to United started becoming more and more common. After he assisted Spain win UEFA’s U21 European Championship, his transfer to United to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar was completed.
David de Gea made United history in becoming the first player to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year three times in a row.
United’s no.1 keeper signed a four-year contract in the beginning of the 2014/2015 season with an option to extend for a further year. The signing of this contract came after the excitement of the final day of the 2015 transfer win in which Dave’s transfer to Madrid was halted by a faulty fax machine.
Interview with Lukas Podolski about Bastian Schweinsteiger (3. August 2016)
I translated the interview for all non-German-speakers (sorry for my mistakes!) ENJOY :)
Mr. Podolski, as Bastian
Schweinsteiger announced his retirement, you posted „brother, best
friend, teammate, roommate and world champion“ on Facebook. More
than that is not possible, is it?
Lukas: Both of us were united by twelve
beautiful and successful years. And the invitation to his wedding in
Venedig showed me that we are more than just teammates. This was an
invitation to a friend and that`s the reason why it means so much for
me. So it was very important for me to take part together with my
wife, despite of the birth of our daughter and the long European
You also thanked Schweinsteiger for
being part of the legendary world champion – selfie in the
Macarana-Stadium. Why is this photo so special for you?
Lukas: Schweini and I have been working
for over 10 years to hold this trophy in our hand. I remember that my
son, who came on the pitch after the final whistle, had got to go to
the loo. I took my phone and went down with him to the cabin. After
we were coming back through the tunnel, Schweini stood in front of me
with the trophy. I collared him and we made the first selfie of a
worldchampion from Rio, that went around the world.
The world cup title was the peak of
your common career. Do you remember your first encounter with
Lukas: That must have been in 2004
during the U21-European-Championship in Germany. Uli Stielike invited
us, but during the tournament the manager Rudi Völler nominated us.
I remember that Basti and I were chauffeured to the A-national team
together. That was indeed very exciting for us. We were allowed to
celebrate our debut during the test match against Hungary. Basti was
brought on after the half time. I was brought on after 70 minutes.
After just one appearance, we were suddenly in the squad for the
European Championship in Portugal. That was the beginning of two
German nationalteam careers that should outlast more than 100
international matches in each case.
Together you challenged 4 european
and 3 world championships. How was it to join up with the national
Lukas: There was no youth mania like
today. Together with Lahm, Schweini and me were the youngest in the
squad by far. Back then the respect for the experienced pros was very
big. Big names like Kahn, Ballack or Schneider walked around in the
quartier. During the training, it was self-evident for Schweini and
me that we cleared up the balls and cones. But we didn’t get this
European Championship ticket because we were this young. We got the
chance when we were 18 years old and we took it. We were just good –
and we are still good today.
The European Championship 2004 ended
disappointing with an elimination in the first round. Völler
retired, Klinsmann and Löw took over. It was the beginning of an era
that triggered a „Poldi and Schweini“ hype.
Lukas: Can’t be said otherwise, it was
a very big hype around us. From the Confed Cup on it was awesome.
After that I can’t remember any other player of the national team
experiencing this. This was not only continuing during the Worldcup
2006 in Germany. Also during the travel to Asia with FC Bayern
München, Schweini and I wondered how mad they were even there on us.
We totally enjoyed it. But we didn’t bask in the hype’s favour, we
payed it back with performance, goals and assists.
What was the secret of success of
Lukas: We just conveyed the joy we have
when we play football. Before that, the success of the German
National Team was defined by fight and commitment. We also showed
these german virtues but we let the fans feel: successful football
can also make fun! Maybe the nationalteam needed exactly this at that
You had also fun after winning the
world cup when you were both kissing the pop star Rihanna. How did it
Lukas: Schweini and I were standing
there together with other players when Rihanna shouted to us. We
shall kiss her left and right on her cheek. Rihanna is just 2 or 3
years younger than us. Obviously she didn’t miss the „Poldi and
Schweini“ hype since 2004.
The European Championship was a
rather hard tournament for both of you.
Lukas: Obviously the tournament in
France was neither easy for Schweini nor was it for me. We both
played very little time. The decision was definetly not easy for Jogi
Löw, he never had so many good players before in the squad. From all
our tournaments the European Championship was the one we both
expected more of. We even shared this experience. I will miss
Schweini very much.
Who would be the suitable successor
for Bastian as the captain?
During the European Championship, Jogi
Löw appointed Manuel Neuer as substitute of Schweini, so it would be
consecutive if he becomes the new captain. But only Jogi Löw will
make this decision.
How would a national team look like
without you and Bastian Schweinsteiger?
My first kit: I’ll have to have a think. I had a lot of kits as a kid because, as a coach, my dad would always bring a lot of kits back that he had exchanged at tournaments. I remember two in particular: A classic blue and white Argentina kit that my dad brought back from the Student World Cup. We still have that one – it’s an awesome jersey. The other one was a Barcelona kit that was very, very small.
My first club: I haven’t been at that many clubs. My first one was actually FC Bayern. It was almost Mainz though, but when I wanted to start playing football at six, we moved from Mainz to Munich. And I thought to myself, while we’re in Munich, it might as well be Bayern.
My first coach: I would call my dad my first coach. I always played with him on the driveway or on a nearby football pitch and that was my first training.
My first game: I don’t know who it was against, but it was with Bayern of course. I still remember us winning by a mile, and I think that I scored too, but don’t quote me on that.
My first role model: I never really had any role models in the classic sense. There were players that I thought were good, but none where I said to myself, I want to be like them. The player that probably made the biggest impression on me was Zinédine Zidane. His elegance, his productivity – everything he did looked amazing and he brought so much to the table.
My first title: I won indoor tournaments and stuff during my youth career, but my first significant title was winning the 2009 European U21 Championship in Sweden.
My first trip to a stadium: One of my first was going to the Bruchweg in Mainz when my dad still worked there. I’m told that I went to a stadium in Bonn as a baby, but I don’t have any recollection of that.
My first Bundesliga game: On the final matchday of the 2006/07 season, I was brought on for Martin Demichelis in the 52nd minute of a game against Mainz. We conceded the first goal three minutes later, so it wasn’t exactly the perfect start.
My first professional goal: It was for BVB in Bremen and it was a spectacular goal. I was injured for three weeks beforehand and came off the bench. We broke away from a Werder corner and I scored to make it 2-1. It wasn’t your typical goal for a centre back.
My first international: It was the benefit match against Malta before the 2010 World Cup. The 0-0 draw with Sweden in November 2010 was of more significance for me though.