In an interview with Spox and Goal, Thilo Kehrer talks about the volatile Nations League duels in the Netherlands and France, explains how Thomas Tuchel lured him to PSG and how Neymar and Mbappe really are.
Thilo Kehrer is one of the few new faces in the German national team. The big upheaval did not happen despite the World Cup debacle. The 22-year-old's eyes are all the more focused, especially as he became the second most expensive German defender of all time due to his move to Paris St. Germain in August.
In the exclusive interview in Berlin, the defender, who gave his debut in the DFB team in September 2-1 against Peru, makes a sympathetic, but also very professional impression. He does not want to speak publicly about his retirement after six years at Schalke, but all the more about his social involvement in his mother's homeland.SPOX / Goal: Mr. Kehrer, where did you pursue the German World Cup campaign against South Korea? Thilo Kehrer: There I was on vacation. As a spectator and fan we were all disappointed of course and would have hoped for more. So it was everyone in the team, because we had bigger goals. SPOX / Goal: Is the historically early K.o. Another topic in the team? Kehrer: No. The focus is fully on the tasks that lie ahead. We talk about how we present ourselves and which football we want to stand for. Negative thoughts, what if, bring nothing. SPOX / Goal: They are considered a face of new beginnings. Kehrer: I do not feel that the focus is very much on me, or that the expectation of the new players is higher. There is simply a good atmosphere here, so I feel no pressure. SPOX / Goal: In the Nations League compensation is possible directly, but heavy opponents are waiting with the Netherlands and France. How do you approach the two prestige duets? Kehrer: That one might not be successful is not an issue for us. We are not led by fear or pressure, but go positive. We know that they are big opponents. But we are all looking forward to it, because we can show what we have against such teams. SPOX / Goal: Is the match in your new home Paris against France a special match for you? Kehrer: Yes, even if I'm new I'm in the city. France is the reigning world champion and has incredible quality, which is a big challenge for us, especially away from home. With the French colleagues in the cabin at PSG already had a few sayings. Both sides have respect for each other.
© gettyKehrer about PSG teammates Neymar and Mbappe: "Neymar is a different kind of private" SPOX / Goal: The biggest star in France is your teammate Kylian Mbappe, who scored four goals at the weekend. How do you experience him as a player and as a guy? Kehrer: Of course, I get to know him quite differently as a teammate. As a player, he has outstanding abilities, but at the same time he is a down-to-earth, witty type in direct deal.SPOX / Goal: And Neymar? Kehrer: He is a sociable and nice person. The way he gives himself privately is quite different than he may come across medially. In the cabin we have a very good atmosphere, which has made it really easy for me so far.SPOX / Goal: In the face of all the world class players in the team: How big was the step for you? Kehrer: From the understanding of the game and the class is again a higher level than Schalke and demands a very strong learning process from me. I notice this every day in the training and I am very good, because I can develop myself incredibly. SPOX / Goal: How did you settle in the first weeks? Kehrer: I grew up French-speaking thanks to my family, so I had none adjustment problems. I was very well integrated into the team, the people and the city. That worked out very well, I feel well in Paris.SPOX / Goal: Did the step away from Germany still cost you an overcoming? Kehrer: I do not feel really far away. Paris is not far away from both my hometown Tübingen and Gelsenkirchen. Therefore, it is not difficult for me to keep in contact. Especially since my family comes to visit me regularly.
Kehrer on Tuchel's role in the change: "Wanted to use this opportunity" SPOX / Goal: The public actually expected in August with her contract extension on Schalke, then it went very fast. Kehrer: Thomas Tuchel and I were in touch before the whole thing became a public issue. I was surprised by the first contact by the coach, so I had not expected. The discussions afterwards were consistently positive. Therefore, I was very happy that it worked – even if it was a very, very big step for me. SPOX / Goal: Was Thomas Tuchel the decisive reason for your change? Keeper: Thomas Tuchel convinced me and showed me that he is very interested in working with me and developing me. That was the most important thing for me, so I wanted to take this opportunity. SPOX / Goal: They are with 37 million euros transfer fee to Shkodran Mustafi the second most expensive German defender of all time. Does this burden burden you? Kehrer: That's not an issue for me. This is the football market as it has developed. I do not judge that. This sum is for me a number that shows some appreciation for my performance. That's better than the other way around. SPOX / Goal: How are you satisfied with the sport? Sweeper: It's getting better and better. Of course, it took a little bit of training to get used to the changes in training and all the trappings. But I realize that in every training I learn and develop very quickly. I also got my stake last, so it can go on.
© imagoKehrer convinced: "PSG can win the Champions League" SPOX / Goal: PSG has made a strong start to the season. Is this year the longed for victory in the Champions League possible? Kehrer: We certainly have the opportunity. But it is also certain that it will be very, very difficult. There are just unbelievably many, really strong teams here. From the knockout stage, many details will decide to win the title. SPOX / Goal: Her mother is from Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world. For this reason, you are the patron of the charity campaign "Kick Off for Hope?" Kehrer: I grew up in Burundi and Rwanda until my fifth birthday, and then I visited the country several times. That's why it has always been important to me to participate in aid projects whenever I have the opportunity. I would like to try to give something back and help people who are not as well as I am.