Who is your favorite Indian violinist?
Juwel Geiger: That's how I think about the Guardiola rumors
"I'm sure: If he gets a quality similar to Joshua Kimmich, he can become a great player," said ex-professional Sandro Wagner once SPORT1 about Dennis Geiger. His former teammate at TSG Hoffenheim.
Geiger, the Hoffenheim-Kimmich!
The two defensive midfielders are not only similar, their style of play also shows some parallels. Geiger makes no secret of the fact that he looks up to the triple winner from Munich. The 22-year-old is a regular in Hoffenheim and indispensable at TSG headquarters. Most recently he was captain for the first time.
He is firmly planned in the coming year for the U21 European Championship and Olympics with selection coach Stefan Kuntz, even though Geiger is doing everything to be able to play his first international match in the near future.
The CHECK24 double pass with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Sunday from 11 a.m. on TV on SPORT1
in the SPORT1-Interview Geiger, whose contract in Sinsheim expires in 2022, talks about his future, the national team and goals with Hoffenheim.
SPORT1: Mr. Geiger, are you a bastard on the pitch in a positive sense?
Dennis Geiger: (laughs) In fact, some opponents and teammates have already said that to me. But 20 minutes after the final whistle, I'm completely calm and normal again.
SPORT1: Your former teammate Sandro Wagner compared you to Bayern star Joshua Kimmich.
Violinist: That's a compliment, but I'm still missing a lot about Joshua Kimmich. Since he started playing on the six, he has become a role model for me. He always performs consistently and moves forward. I haven't seen a really bad game from him. You can also tell that FC Bayern are missing something on the pitch due to their injury. For me, Joshua Kimmich is the best German player in his position. He is in the top 3 worldwide. There are not many who are better than him.
SPORT1: What place are you in?
Violinist: (laughs)Among the top 100.
Geiger: injuries "were bitter for me"
SPORT1: After your red card on matchday 9 against Mainz 05, you can play again on Saturday in Gladbach. How did you fare after being expelled?
Violinist: After I found out that I would be banned for three games, it was difficult for him for the first three days and not easy on the head. I still think the decision is borderline. Luckily we had two games in the Europa League after that, so I was able to keep the rhythm.
SPORT1: What's in it against the foal elf?
Violinist: It will be difficult, but anything is possible for us in this game too. We all see what the Gladbachers are playing, especially internationally, for a great season. In the league, however, they didn't get off to an optimal start. It will be an interesting game for sure.
SPORT1: In your young career you suffered a lot of injuries. Now you look in top shape. Why?
Violinist: Failing so often at a young age was bitter for me. This season, for the first time in previous years, I was able to take part in a preparation completely and without any problems, which was a plus. I didn't have any problems either, even though I played up to three games a week. I feel very fit.
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Hoffenheim as the Europa League winner?
SPORT1: Have you ever been afraid of your future as a footballer?
Violinist: No, it was actually just a big injury that broke open again afterwards and got worse as a result. This resulted in secondary injuries. It was an extremely difficult time in which I gave a lot of thought. But I didn't have any career fears. That doesn't help. I pulled myself out of this situation with my family and friends. You gave me support.
SPORT1: Most recently you were TSG captain for the first time in the Europa League against Gent and played a sugar pass to Robert Skov before the 2-0 win. Was it the bandage?
Violinist: Many players who would have worn the armband in front of me were spared, but of course I was pleased. By the way, it doesn't give me any extra motivation. I am always motivated.
SPORT1: Europa League winner Hoffenheim, realistic?
Violinist: (laughs) We're in competition - it's still possible, so it's realistic. In any case, Molde is a feasible lot for us if we call up our performance. We can reach the next round.
Hoeneß "very open and communicative"
SPORT1: After the 4-1 win against Bayern on matchday 2, their team had a dry spell and is now in the no man's land of the table. Where is Hoffenheim to be classified?
Violinist: At the moment it looks like we're a midfield team. You have to honestly say that. We were first after two match days, then an extremely difficult phase came for us and if you don't win several games in a row, your head starts to work. We have to look ahead, but we don't belong right at the front, also considering the quality of the other teams. Sixth or seventh place is possible for us.
SPORT1: What kind of coach is Sebastian Hoeneß?
Violinist: He is a young coach and, especially when dealing with the players, he is very open and communicative. Bringing impulses in such a first season, in which you play every third day and can hardly train properly, is certainly not easy for a coach. Nevertheless, he prepares us very well for the opponents. This will be shown in the results.
SPORT1: How much responsibility do you take under him?
Violinist: I take responsibility with my style of play, not with words. That's not my job either. I always have to give one hundred percent in the games and want to pull the others along. It's more my thing. I'm not the big speaker.
Geiger on Nagelsmann: "I owe Julian a lot"
SPORT1: A few years ago, your former trainer Julian Nagelsmann prophesied a great path for you, provided you "stay clear". Did it work out?
Violinist: For young players like me, it is important to know that I cannot imagine anything on a few Bundesliga games, but have to stay on the ground, do my best and not make a big fuss. Everything else comes naturally. In any case, I owe Julian a lot. He helped me a lot in my youth. Even in my difficult time in the U17. He made me a professional and developed me further. He's one of the best coaches you can have. We are still in contact from time to time, but not regularly.
SPORT1: Your parents should have taken care of your down-to-earth attitude.
Violinist: I come from a very good family. They pay attention to something like that there. In my early days, my father said: 'You don't need to think that you are going to get yourself a big car, but a completely normal one. You just have to go from A to B. ' They also made sure that I didn't spend any money on shoes or clothes every month, but that everything stayed within limits. In retrospect, I am very grateful to my parents for that. Because there are many examples where things are different.
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Geiger doesn't believe in Löw's chance
SPORT1: How will 2021 go for you at the DFB: U21 EM? Olympia? Or the EM in Joachim Löw's squad?
Violinist: The latter is not. I think that is still a long way off for me. The EM group stage with the U21s next March will be very exciting. We recently had a lot of new players in the courses and have never played with the same team. We don't have any real preparation time before the tournament. We must therefore allow ourselves to be surprised. Hungary and Romania are feasible in our group. The Netherlands is a bit stronger than us. But anything is possible in a big tournament. We are Germany and we want to at least make it to the quarter-finals.
SPORT1: The A-Elf remains your target?
Violinist: Sure, if that weren't my goal, then I'm out of place here. To be a national player has always been and will always be my dream.
SPORT1: You have not yet extended in Hoffenheim. Why?
Violinist: That's right, I haven't renewed it yet, but I still have a contract until 2022. I feel very comfortable here this season. With our coach and the team, it suits me. So I can't complain.
That's what Geiger says about the Guardiola rumors
SPORT1: Have you already made your decision for the future?
Violinist: No, I haven't thought about this topic yet. There is still time for that.
SPORT1: Are you interested in going abroad?
Violinist: In any case. It is different for every player to take the big step into another country. That would definitely appeal to me.
SPORT1: Pep Guardiola has you on the radar. Manchester City reportedly asked about you on his behalf last year.
Violinist: I just read that and then ticked it off because I wasn't happy with my season. Neither have I talked to or thought about it with anyone. Much is being written.
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