Julian Gressel will be in the starting lineup when Atlanta inaugural United in the title-the finals of the MLS against Portland Timbers. The 24-Year-old has revealed in an interview with DW, how his life in the MLS to the touch.
DW: Julian Gressel, you and your Team, Atlanta, United, will play its first MLS Cup final. How do you prepare for it?
Julian Gressel: It is exciting. Every player wants to be in the Position to play a title. And as I came into the MLS, it was from the beginning, my goal is to win the MLS Cup. On the other hand, it is just another game about 90 minutes, and you really have to focus on the weekend. I would like to have fun, to me make comments and enjoy the Moment.
Many young Americans go to Germany to play football. But the other way around, a few German go for this reason, in the United States. How have you reached this decision, to take the opposite way through the College football? It was a purely sporting or a life decision?
It was first and foremost a life decision. I wanted to be a professional football player, and might also get a Chance to do so in Germany. But I wanted to simultaneously be a Student and to be prepared in case the Plan would not have worked. These opportunities I have seen in Germany. I’m here and with my decision, very happy.
Julian Gressel played in Germany is not higher than in the Regional – and country League
How has this step in your development as a player?
I think that has made my development a big boost. I was always something of a late developer. And when I came here I was not yet ready to go Pro. In the consciousness, I went three or four-year school quite relaxed, which has reduced the pressure enormously. I had to make with no thought about whether or not I get a contract. I didn’t have to fight for it. I was able to focus on me and my development.
Atlanta United has an audience of around 50,000. The atmosphere in the Mercedes-Benz-Stadion is considered to be one of the best in the MLS. The Fan-culture in Germany compare?
In Germany, every Fan goes to a game to cheer and entertain.The people in Germany go to the stadium to have fun, but also to analyze and to be critical with the own Team. Here in the US it is the Fans to be entertained.
You are not the only German who plays for Atlanta United. Kevin Kratz, a former professional at Alemannia Aachen and Eintracht Braunschweig plays for the Team. It helps you that a very experienced country man in their ranks?
Yes, Kevin and I have become great friends since we met here. He has helped me to become a better player. I have incredibly benefited from this cooperation. It is also nice to be able to every now and again to speak German.
They should both win the title, they are the most famous German in the League. Or is that too much competition with Bastian Schweinsteiger?
(laughs…) it’s hard. I mean, Schweinsteiger is great. And what he has achieved in his career is unique, and an incredible success. But at the same time, we were the first Germans that would win the MLS Cup. That would also be special.
Speaking Of Schweinsteiger. Many Europeans are of the opinion that in the MLS, especially older Stars, the more strength your greatest achievement. Atlanta has reached the final, however, with a lot of young American and South American players. The MLS changed?
Atlanta United and Julian Gressel (2. Row, center) celebrate winning the Eastern Conference in the North American MLS
In any case. It changes in the direction we are taking here (in Atlanta). We have a lot of young South American players who are not yet long at the end of their career. A lot of guys come here with big ambitions, to make, perhaps the next step is to play someday in Europe.
Andre Pirlo, for example, has not played here (at New York City FC), because he was good enough for Europe. There are always Stars who want to play like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Wayne Rooney, which may contribute to the development and this also make. These Stars, which are still in the League, must continue to play at a high Level and will need to show that you are capable of doing it.
Of course, her current focus is on the final. But have you thought also about, to return again in the future to return to Germany and pursue your career here?
You never know what happens in a football career. My contract runs two more years and I’m open to it, a further contract to sign. On the other hand, I am in Germany, with the Bundesliga, grew up. So if there were the right opportunity, I could imagine well, to go back and have a try.
Julian Gressel (24) has passed through the youth Academy of Greuther Fürth and played afterwards at Eintracht Bamberg in the fourth, of the Regionalliga Bayern. In 2013, he moved to the United States of America to play for the Providence College. The German midfielder has been selected as the eighth player in the 2017 MLS Super Drafts and moved on to the development team of Atlanta United. Gressel, in its first season, five goals and nine templates, which earned him the title of MLS rising star of the year 2017. Gressel meets with his Atlanta United on 8. December in the MLS championship finals at the Portland Timbers.
The Interview was conducted by David Braneck.