Since his first game for Bayer Leverkusen in 2006, striker Stefan Kiessling has endeared himself to fans as a constant threat to score goals and a happy-go-lucky player whose work rate is without reproach. Kiess!, as you will hear fans scream/chant, is known as one of the hardest working forwards in the Bundesliga, and although his strike rate isn’t what it was two years ago, he remains, along with Andre Schuerrle and Eren Derdiyok, the focal point of the Leverkusen attack. A tireless runner with a (prominent) nose for goal, Kiessling took some time for us to answer some question from the Mundilev team (see proof here):
– 2009/2010 was your best season wearing the Bayer cross. The injury the following year really affected your performances. Can you talk about how you work through those high and low points?
Sometimes it is really difficult to deal with, but you can’t ever give up and you have to believe that you will come back!
– What are your thoughts on the most recent system development that emphasizes only one striker? In which areas do you need to improve in order to work within this new philosophy more effectively?
The system is fine, and it’s not only me who has to reconsider his new role, but also the rest of the team, which now has new responsibilities.
– What goes through your head when you hear the south terrace in the Signal Iduna Park begin to sing, “You will never be German Meister (champion)?” How do you react? With humor, indifference, or do you get angry? And is there really a 2nd place ghost in the BayArena locker room?
I don’t believe that this ghost exists, and I’m convinced that we will win the Meisterschaft (title) here in Leverkusen in the next couple of years. The songs from the opposing fans are part of the game and nobody takes them too seriously.
– Do you think that it’s unfair that you and today´s team are constantly reminded of the past, although you had very little to do with it? Rudi Voeller, Wolfgang Holzhaeuser and coach, Jupp Heynckes, had to keep reminding the press last season that for Leverkusen finishing second at that time was a great result for the current squad.
And that was a huge success of which we’re proud of!
– At the moment, things are going very well in the Champions League. Is there a big difference between Champions League and Bundesliga football, especially in terms of pressure and speed?
The pressure is greater because there are fewer games than in the Bundesliga, but it’s a lot of fun to play in the best league in Europe.
– Who was your football idol as a kid? Which player now really impresses you?
I never had an idol, but Messi is, of course, an exceptional player.
– Do you have any rituals before matches? Are you superstitious?
Actually, I am pretty superstitious and the rituals usually change from game to game 🙂
– You kiss the tattoo on your arm with your son’s name on it after every goal – do you also do this at other times during the day. For example, when you’ve successfully washed the dishes?
No, only after a goal.
– What season result would you immediately sign today?
For Bayer Leverkusen to finish second again!
– You’ve often said that you feel very comfortable in Leverkusen and that you could see yourself playing here until the end of your career. Is that really the case, or will you have a desire to move to Italy/Spain when you’re 33-34 in order to catch a little more sun?
I can enjoy the sun once I’ve retired. But in football you never know what tomorrow will bring. I do love it here, though, and could certainly see myself finishing my career here.
– With which part of the body do you enjoy scoring the most: Head, feet, leg, torso, hips?
– Which song do you play most often on your MP3 player?
Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)
– How often do you go to the hairdresser?
Once a month
– What’s your favorite food?
– What are you currently playing on your Playstation/Xbox?
– Which team outside of Germany do you regularly follow?
No other team!
Please also have a listen to the new Neverkusen Podcast here>> www.neverkusen-podcast.tk