In a DW Interview, the former Spain-professional Bernd Schuster talks about his successor Marc-André ter Stegen and Toni Kroos, and remembers his time at FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
DW: Mr. Schuster, they were after her transfer to FC Barcelona in 1980, one of the first German football professionals, who were also outside the League successfully. What was at the time in Spain is your biggest challenge?
Bernd Schuster: it was strange, because for me it really was not an issue, to go abroad. At that time I was still very young, had just started to be a professional. It all went very quickly. It was not common for German players go abroad. The League the League was at all in the whole of Europe. It was, therefore, planned nothing. Then it went very quickly. I had some problems in Cologne, and from one to the other day, I was in Barcelona, Spain. It was, in retrospect, but not a bad decision. Sometimes the results, you can’t plan everything. In my case it was so. I’ll stay as long [editor’s note: from 1980 to 1993], I didn’t expect but also.
How hard was it then to learn the language?
To me it is like very easy, because I had a lot of interest. I got there and knew no ‘Buenos dias’, not ‘Gracias’. I couldn’t speak Spanish word and had never made there holiday. Suddenly I realized: ‘man, you have to understand the people! As fast as it goes. That is not so.’ I have often noticed that players have been talking to. And as you know, you think, then, quickly: ‘The talk about you.’ I said: ‘This is not okay.’ I then learned relatively quickly Spanish. But I had the luck that our Association had studied the doctor for many years in Berlin and flawless English language. He was practically my interpreter.
And on the football field?
Because it was actually easier. It is not so the language. Since it was movements. There could even scream, even if it was in German or in English.
Barcelona 1980: coach Johan Cruyff presented the new additions Bernd Schuster (R) and Diego Maradona (l)
You have been paying attention a bit and quickly adjusted. In football, you also needed to have a few words less. Since there were only five or six of the words you have used on the course. So, one more came up quite well.
Currently, there are Marc-André ter Stegen and Toni Kroos just two players in the Primera Division. What you don’t believe, why many players leave the Bundesliga and remain in Germany?
The Financial plays probably also a role. There are now far more big clubs that did not exist at the time. The are now grown up, on the financial possibilities of different owners, and the clubs have built. But in Spain, the German players are very much in demand, because actually, all of the players that were there were incredibly good times. In front of me, it was Stielike, Günter Netzer, Paul Breitner and Uli, then Bodo Illgner [editors ‘ note came: all played at Real Madrid]. German players were always in demand. You could rely on them. They were good professionals. And also the mindset to work English-Spanish-wonderful. It fits very well. That’s why, I’m sure, there will always be a German player in Spain. In Italy it was so. There, the mentality is similar. This will always remain so.
How do you see the services of ter Stegen and Kroos?
Marc-André ter Stegen has earned his place at FC Barcelona properly. For me, he is quite rightly the number one in Germany. Toni Kroos has of course had a super run and a super team to get caught, is three years in a row, Champions League winner and has had lots of success. You have to recognize. He has contributed his part to this success. It is difficult, of course, year in and year out, one hundred percent out of, to put everything back on the place, in spite of the huge success. Since it’s not so easy to motivate yourself. Then, a year in which it is not running so once in a while, like this year, where it is at Real Madrid not went well. But I think next year will change again.
Zinedine Zidane is considered to be a promoter of Toni Kroos. You see, for him, a future in the team of Real?
Actually, it does, but at the Moment is a lot of speculation. A very bad season comes to an end. Now, it is speculated that, who comes and who goes. It is to say, therefore, difficult, but from the Football he has a future at Real. It must also be said: last year was the world Cup. This is for the players to always be incredibly long. No holiday, no rest. Then, it is not surprising that it runs in the next year times.
They were even coach at Real Madrid. What needs to happen with the Team, so it will be again a Top team?
Schuster led Real Madrid in the 2007-2008 season, the Spanish championship
It signings to come, especially in the attack. This year, goals have been lacking. It was not necessarily in defence or midfield. But when with Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who shoots 50 goals, going from today to tomorrow – ten years, he has dominated the game from the Real, then he leaves, of course, a hole. This is what happened this year. At the Moment it looks as if Eden Hazard comes from Chelsea FC, has almost Torgarantie. Maybe one or the other still. And then Real Madrid again right here.
How do you see the Spanish League in comparison with the Bundesliga, especially in terms of the title race?
In Spain, it will make up again in the next year, the Big three [Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid] among themselves. In Germany, it had finally re-tension until the last round. It has been a long time. It is positive that Dortmund comes back to Bayern. But Bayern are going to change in the summer with safety at your team a little, so that the difference in the next season is again likely to be greater.
The former German national player Bernd Schuster (21 games) began his professional career in 1978 when 1. FC Köln. In 1980, he moved to FC Barcelona (1980-1988), and was then for Real Madrid (1988-1990) and Atletico Madrid (1990-1993) active. After his time in Spain, Schuster played for three years in the Bundesliga for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. After his time as a professional, Schuster was coach. He was responsible for teams in Germany, Spain, the Ukraine, Turkey and China, among other things, he sat on the bench of Real Madrid and Besiktas Istanbul For his work abroad, Schuster was honored last week with the honorary award of “German football Ambassador”.
The Interview was conducted by Hecko Flores.