Ahead of SCF’s trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach this Sunday (17:30 CET), midfielder Maximilian Eggestein spoke to us in the interview of the week.
scfreiburg.com: Maxi, where would we find you when you’re not on the pitch?
Maxi Eggestein: When I joined Freiburg I spent a lot of time in the “Kaffeekiste”. Apart from that, I enjoy going out and going for meals with friends or teammates. I also really liked going to the cinema before Corona, but I can still keep myself occupied on my own, watching films at home or playing on the PlayStation. I do also pick up a book now and again too. I think I’ve got a lot of ways to fill my time.
What was the last book you read?
At the moment, I’m reading “The Inner Game of Tennis: The Ultimate Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance” by Timothy Gallwey. It’s about high-pressure situations in tennis. It’s a one-man sport very different to football so I find the way the author has described the thought processes of tennis players interesting. As a team-sport player it’s quite difficult for me to imagine how it feels to be on the court alone, playing on your own and solely responsible for the outcome of your own game.
Despite the differences, have you found lessons for yourself and your game from the book?
Yes, of course. Even as a footballer I need to make sure that I perform to the best of my abilities, so that I’m able to fit into the team structure.
Did you have a plan B if professional football didn’t work out?
I probably would have tried to stay in the sporting world and maybe studied sports management. That would have been my first idea – everyone who knows me knows that I struggle a bit without football.
We’re of course very happy that plan A has worked out for you. You’ve been here in Freiburg for about three months and seem to have found your feet pretty quickly. Is that the case?
Yeah, I would say so. I’ve felt really welcome from my first day here and got taken in by the team well. At the start I thought “Oh, I’m the only new signing, it’ll be difficult for me,” but that was definitely not the case. I’m thankful that it’s gone the way it has.
You’ve played in every single competitive game for SCF this season, starting ten of them. Was it the right decision to come here?
You’ve said in previous interviews that Freiburg and your former side Werder Bremen really aren’t too dissimilar. What is different here – apart from the weather of course?
The last two years in Bremen were a very turbulent time, but that’s not the case here in Freiburg. The club and its surroundings are so calm. I felt that immediately and find it very relaxing. I had only seen SCF as an outsider looking in, but now experiencing it as part of the club there’s actually not much difference between expectations and reality. Everyone has a positive impression of Freiburg – you see that time and again in interviews, and I noticed it when I spoke to the people closest to me about my transfer.
Now, onto sporting matters. Next up is Borussia Mönchengladbach, who you might not enjoy looking back on.
That’s true; I don’t. It was the last game of last season, and now I always connect the memories of that relegation with Werder to Gladbach (the game finished 4-2 to Gladbach, sending Werder down). It’s not a nice memory for me.
Do you still feel the pain of that relegation with Werder Bremen?
I’d be lying if I said I had forgotten it. I’ve tried to put it behind me as much as possible with this transfer and I think I’ve done quite well in that regard.
On Sunday there’s an opportunity to connect Gladbach to a positive memory once more. The Foals lost 4-1 last time out – a sign of things to come, right?
What I’ve seen from the highlights and match reports says that the result flattered Köln. You have to take some things into account: it was a derby and Köln’s stadium was sold out, so it wouldn’t have been easy for Gladbach to play there. We know they are a lot stronger at home than away, too.
We do have a good record at home against Gladbach (12W, 6D, 3L), but a less positive record away (2W, 7D, 11L). What do you expecting from them?
Gladbach have always been a side which plays attacking and dominant football, and the atmosphere is very good when fans are let in. When you combine these things, playing there is never easy. Nevertheless, it’s our goal to take some points from Gladbach, no matter what our record there says.
We also failed to win last time out. How do you feel about the 2-1 defeat in Bochum today?
Very annoyed – it was a game we should never have lost. That’s how it felt after analysing the game and that’s how it feels today. When you deserve to lose, you’re sure that either the opponent was better than you or you were worse than them. You couldn’t say any of that after the Bochum game. We were decent, gave our all and Bochum weren’t better than us.
You’ve said it – we can’t beat ourselves up about the result. What can we take away from the Bochum game to use against Gladbach?
We can use our performance. We need to perform like we did last time out this time.
Interview: Marcel Burger, Sina Ojo