Categorized | Player Focus

Donovan Q&A (translated from German)

Posted on 13 November 2008 by ASN Staff

German Web site spoke to Landon Donovan after Thursday’s Bayern Munich practice. Donovan started a 10 day trial with the German champs Tuesday. The interview was done in German, which Donovan speaks “very well,” according to the report.

Mr. Donovan, how do you like it here so far?
Everything is perfect. The first day I was nervous because I didn’t know any of the players. But I was taken in very nicely. I have a very good relationship with Jürgen Klinsmann, whom I met in the U.S.

Surely you didn’t come to Munich just to stay fit?

I have a chance to find out how they practice and play here. It was a big opportunity to play with very good soccer players.

So you do want to pursue a spot with FC Bayern?
Yes. As a soccer player you always want to pursue opportunities and present yourself well. But I do not have high expectations. If I fly back to the U.S. Thursday without a contract from Bayern in my pocket I will still be happy.

Are you strong enough for Bayern? [translator’s note: this is a literal translation. It probably means “skilled enough”]
I’m not the best player here, but I can keep up with the level of play.

Your existing contract would permit a transfer?
Any player in the world has the possibility of changing clubs. Should Bayern want me, they would have to pay a transfer fee. My contract runs another three years. Too bad, right? (laughs)

Your former coach Alexis (sic) Lalas said the concept of your market value could be vastly different in the U.S. and Europe.
That could be a problem. In the U.S. I surely have a higher market value than in Europe.

Would you take a pay cut to join a European club?
Absolutely. Money is not important to me. I have enough of it. And I don’t need 50 million euros.

Would a loan arrangement, such as David Beckham’s in Milan, be feasible?
Yes. The MLS season doesn’t begin until March.

Talks with Klinsmann about a possible transfer to Munich took place over the summer. Why didn’t it work out?

There was no possibility to move to Munich because we were in midseason in the U.S.

What’s your favorite position?
I’ve played all offensive positions in my career. I can play midfield and in the attack.

From 2001 to 2005 you were under contract with Bayer Leverkusen. Why did you not establish yourself then?
I was too young and unripe. I thought Germany was not for me. Everything was bad. It was all on me that I wasn’t able to establish myself. The team always supported me but I wasn’t ready. But I have developed [since], both personally and athletically. Now I’m ready.

What does your wife say to your desire to play in Europe?
I have her full support, no matter how the story ends. She told me I should go to Europe if offerend the opportunity. She unfortunately had to stay in the U.S. for her job (editor’s note: Donovan’s wife is an actress)

Would Bayern win the championship if they played in MLS?
Surely, without problems. All players in the Bundesliga are better than the ones in the U.S., from number 1 through number 22. In America there are maybe three players on each team that could play in the Bundesliga. Many in the U.S. can’t [even] play properly.



6 Comments For This Post

  1. Monkey Boy Says:

    Good interview, but I definitely don’t like the answer to the last question. I wonder if some of that was from the reporter or if it was all from Landon. It may be a correct statement, but it was definitely very harsh. He could have simply said that of course Bayern would win the MLS championship and the Bundesliga is a top quality league, then leave it at that. No need to add in that everyone in MLS sucks.

  2. Scott Ferguson Says:

    Monkey Boy, I imagine that something was lost in the translation of that last comment. Definitely not a nice thing to say, but I have a feeling it didn’t sound as harsh in German. I imagine that Donovan didn’t imagine the comment would find its way back to North American shores either!

  3. Landy Says:

    I don’t know dude, 3 players on each team sounds fair to me. The thing with just “good” MLS players is that they are not consistent. Very few would make that high level

  4. ASN Staff Says:

    yeah well he said “maybe three”. I thought it was a bit inappropriate. There are worse things though.

  5. Eric (San Jose) Says:

    lLandon’s last answer is certainly striking, but it is consistent with his desire to go to Europe to play.

    II think everyone in MLS should take it as a (deserved) kick in the rear. Stop being satisfied with the MLS level of play, aim for true world class.

    And, you know, I have a TV, so I can see how they play over there on the best teams – it is an amazing mix of skill and speed and tactical insight.

    That said I think the MLS can do as well, if they, if soccer America sets it sights on being the very best. And I hope we see that develop here in the next couple seasons.

    Good luck to Landon, but go MLS, go America! Nothing keeping us from the top except ourselves

  6. Kyle Ritter Says:

    what a conceited jackass. there's the poster-boy for american soccer, ladies and gents.

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