With today's interview, we would like to introduce you to a soccer professional who has been with VfB Stuttgart since last summer. His name may be well known to most of you: Hans Nunoo Sarpei.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Hans, you are one of the upcoming soccer stars whose name is already widely known in Germany. Your uncle, Hans Sarpei, played a little more than a decade from 2001 to 2012 at Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Schalke in the Bundesliga. How much has his career influenced you? Is he the main reason that you have made the way to a soccer pro?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: No. Not at all. My uncle was a very good player and has played here in Germany with some good and well-known clubs. But for my career he was not decisive. I was helped by my uncle Edward Sarpei. He has already supported me in my time in Ghana. Edward has also played football in Germany, among others, he has made three Bundesliga matches for FC Köln.
Der Fußball-Blogger: In October 2014, you took the step from Ghana soccer club Liberty Professionals Accra to Europe. Was this a great step for you? Was it connected with many complications? Did your manager Mehmet Eser support you at this time or did you first meet him in Germany?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: Yes. In any case. This was a huge step for me. But it was also a necessity for my career as a soccer pro and in hindsight a clear step forward. Everyone wants to go to Europe. But thanks to God and with the support of my uncle Edward Sarpei and my manager Mehmet Eser, I made this step.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Did you train with the first team right away? Do common training sessions with 1st and 2nd team take place? Can you briefly describe the differences in the training between your home club and the VfB Stuttgart?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: The two teams train completely separately. Since I have come as a professional to the VfB, I always train with the 1st team. There are fundamentally different approaches to soccer between Ghana and Europe. In Europe you are much better prepared. Whether on a training unit or on a game. Everything is planned down to the last detail. Nowhere else is so much emphasis placed on positioning and tactics. In Ghana you are largely left to yourself and the training is more focused on power and sprints.
Der Fußball-Blogger: With Hannes Wolf, VfB Stuttgart has a very young coach, who also was responsible for the youth teams of Borussia Dortmund. You probably did not have so many coaches in your career so far. But I can imagine that Hannes Wolf is very good for your personal development. Do you especially feel his support for young players?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: Yes. I feel his confidence in both the training day and the squad and learn a lot from him. I believe that he would certainly not have lined me up in the DFB Cup before nearly 60,000 spectators if he was not convinced by me.
Der Fußball-Blogger: The season is going very well for your VfB this season. After the relegation last year, you are aiming for the direct resurgance. With 38 points after 19 games, you are in 1st place three points ahead of the teams from Hannover and Braunschweig. Do you make the ascent in Germany‘s top league?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: Certainly! VfB Stuttgart belongs to the first league with all its tradition. The team of coaches, the players and all responsible persons radiate the necessary self-confidence. We want to play in the Bundesliga again next season.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Hans Sarpei has gone a very interesting way after his professional career. Having enjoyed a good deal of entertainment through various social media channels, he is now even seen on TV, where he trains amateur teams in his series „Hans Sarpei – the T stands for coach“. Have you already thought about your future after your professional soccer career or is it still too early?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: No. This is not too early at all. It is better to think too early than too late. Soccer is what I love. I would like to make a name for myself in this area and remain in this environment after my active career. I don‘t see me as a coach. Maybe I‘d like to be a players agent, and I‘d like to share my experience with the young players around the world.
Der Fußball-Blogger: After you had your first few minutes in DFB-Pokal, you were sadly injured in autumn. How do you go about this situation as such a young player with such a setback and how does rehab go? Is there already a plan, when you can train again with the team?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: I injured myself in November during a training session on the meniscus and was already successfully operated the next day. Nevertheless, I am at the best time of my career. Other players have the bad luck that they have to end their careers after injuries. For me it is only a few months break. I will come back even stronger in March and I am already proud of what I did in rehab.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Let‘s briefly talk about your personal perspective. You play in the central defensive midfield. Especially at this point, VfB Stuttgart has not seen a constant. Your coach has already lined up many different players. How do you see the chances of more playing time for you after your return?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: I work hard both in training and in games and I try to convince the trainer of myself. Of course Hannes Wolf always has the last word. I train and play to gain more and more experience. And basically, I always wish that everyone in the team can get his top performance, because that is the best for the team. Because the team comes first.
Der Fußball-Blogger: How was your start with the team last summer? Are there special relationships with team mates?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: I was welcomed warmly and got along well with everyone. In Mitch Langerak, Carlos Mané and Stephen Sama, I have found friends with whom I also do a lot outside of the pitch. Unfortunately Sama went to Greuther Fürth in winter transfer period.
Der Fußball-Blogger: When I was in your age, I always had an soccer idol. In my case, it was Mehmet Scholl. Do you have a role model or a favorite player?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: No. As a soccer professional you only look at yourself. From my position as a defensive midfielder I find Arturo Vidal outstanding.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Because of my favorite player Mehmet Scholl, I always wanted to wear number 7. Why do you wear number 18?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: This, in fact, has no meaning. The number was assigned to me by VfB. Of course, I know the importance of this number. Cacau was a very important player for the club.
Der Fußball-Blogger: If one thinks of the best players of our time, then no way leads past the two superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Rarely opinions and assessments concerning these two players are that different. Who is the better player for you?
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: Messi, of course! What he shows on the pitch, he has always been. This is his natural talent. He is much more versatile than Ronaldo. In addition, I consider him to be the better team player. He assists goals as often as he scores them himself.
Der Fußball-Blogger: Thank you for the interview! We wish you only the best for your career, that you will be able to overcome your current injury as quickly as possible, and maybe even come up for further minutes this season. Der Fußball-Blogger keeps you in the eye in any case. Maybe we‘ll talk again in a few years and you are soccer star. We keep our fingers crossed!
Hans Nunoo Sarpei: Many Thanks! We will probably see each other again!
culled from www.der-fussballblogger.de