Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng from Bundesliga club Hertha BSC has defended sports director Fredi Bobic. “The fact that Eintracht just won the Europa League is thanks to the foundation that Bobic laid six years ago. Bobic is something like Lionel Messi among sports managers. You have to give him time,” Boateng told the news magazine The mirror.
Bobic worked successfully at Eintracht Frankfurt from 2016 to 2021, including winning the DFB Cup with Boateng in 2018. Last summer he moved to Berlin, where Hertha recently held the class in the relegation against Hamburger SV.
“Hertha is treated in the press like a top club, like Real Madrid or FC Barcelona,” said Boateng: “If it doesn’t work after three months, people will ask you to be kicked out. That’s not the case in Frankfurt.”
In addition, Boateng again pointed out that he was responsible for the line-up and tactics in the second leg against HSV. “I gave the speech before the game. Magath wasn’t there at all, the assistant coach sat next to me, put the laser pointer in my hand and said: Talk to the team. I took it really seriously, with him pointer,” he explained.
For example, he said to striker Stevan Jovetic: “You press, you go for the goalkeeper, I have the six, you go out on the right and so on. An hour and a half later we drove to the stadium together and won. For It was like an accolade for me. Now I can also become a coach.”
Boateng approached coach Magath before the second leg
Boateng had previously approached Magath. “We in the team thought about what we could do in the second leg. Then at some point I said: Let me talk to the coach. I know how we all think,” he said and explained: “He came to me and asked me how I see my role in the second leg. And I told him that I could play until it was no longer possible. And I had an idea of how we should play. He replied: Tell me. I then explained to him that I would which line-up I would like to play and said: “If we play like this, we’ll win and stay in the Bundesliga. I’ll talk to the players. Trust me, Mr. Magath.” Then he replied, ‘Okay.'”
Boateng had hardly played a role under Magath’s predecessor Tayfun Korkut. “If you’re constantly criticized as a leading player and don’t play, you get a problem with the support of the team. If you don’t play and, like me, always talk loudly, people quickly say: Shut up! When Magath came, I did I asked myself what the boys expect from me now. That I would face Magath? That I don’t do certain things in training? But what did Prince Boateng do? I gave it my all, as much as I could. Because I knew: That’s Fredi Bobics and also my last chance,” he said.
Boateng tells anecdote: “And that’s how I strengthen Magath”
Standing up for Magath cost him an effort, as Boateng explained with an example: “I remember a training session where I actually said: I don’t do that shit. We should leapfrog and climb up two iron bars and then the Touch the ceiling. Like I used to at school. I thought for a moment: Okay, I trained with Ronaldinho, played with Lionel Messi, at the Camp Nou in front of 70,000 spectators. I’ve had two World Cups. And now I’m supposed to climb here? Me I had to overcome my weaknesses, but then I did it. Because I knew that when I climbed, the whole team climbed. And that’s how I strengthen Magath.”
Boateng mastered said exercise “after two seconds”. His teammates then applauded. “The assistant coach was speechless, I was so quick. I then said jokingly: Men, I’m used to it, we used to go up to the second floor to break in. After such training sessions, I sat in the car and had cursed. But I did it. I led the way and the team followed me,” he explained.
Curious: Boateng stated that he had a premonition before the announcement that Magath would be the new coach in Berlin. Three days before the announcement he said to teammate Davie Selke: “You’ll see, they’ll get Magath. I meant it as a gag. And then Davie calls me three days later at ten in the morning: ‘Did you see? You knew yes.’ Me: ‘What are you talking about? It’s ten in the morning, I just woke up.’ And he: ‘Magath is a coach.’ And I: ‘Get lost, don’t lie!'”