News : Robin Gosens in the national team: In the left fast lane – sport
Robin Gosens is sometimes approached about a famous footballer who is said to be similar to him. He couldn’t see it, but it wasn’t the first time he had heard it, replied the German international at the training camp in Seefeld this week when he was told at the press conference that he looked a bit like Lukas Podolski. Gosens laughed, he didn’t seem like he was bothered by the comparison with the national team’s long-time favorite. “I’d like to have the left hoof off him,” he said.
Depending on how the coming weeks go, it is not unlikely that it will soon be the other way around: that Podolski, 36, after leaving Antalyaspor in Turkey in late autumn, is confronted with the comparison, visually Germany to resemble a new left-back. In this role, Gosens, 26, is well on his way to becoming a famous footballer at the upcoming European Championship.
His path to completely unexpected fame a few years ago has been told many times, there is even a book about his life, “It is worth dreaming,” they say. But the story is really too beautiful not to mention at least a few key data every time it comes to him: Gosens did not seriously consider a professional career as a teenager, failed in the trial training at Borussia Dortmund, wanted a police officer on the Lower Rhine become.
His heart “opens up”, says Gosens, when he thinks of amateur sport, which can now take place again
Then it worked out more or less by chance with an offer from the Netherlands, via the Eredivisie he made it to Atalanta Bergamo in a team that mixed up the Champions League sensationally. He is now one of the protagonists of a top Serie A team there and is said to have attracted the interest of top European clubs. It’s a career that has been declared practically impossible after Miroslav Klose made it to the national team on a similar path without attending a youth academy. Jonas Hector from 1. FC Köln did it again. Now Gosens continues the apparently impossible story.
“Since the moment I got the chance to become a professional footballer, I’ve always done a little more than everyone else,” he says to explain his path. But the story of the hard worker is by no means the only thing that makes him a somewhat different professional. An example: When the press conference was about the fact that 14,000 spectators were allowed to be in the stadium at the European Championship in Munich, he not only said what every footballer says about it: That he is happy. He also added that his heart “opens up” when he thinks that the falling incidence will soon make amateur sport possible again.
It’s the way he speaks and the way he presents himself that, even if that sounds a bit pathetic, sets him apart from many other footballers at the top. Another example, even if its importance should not be overstrained: He is studying psychology on the side, and now has his reading with him. In terms of communication, he tries to contribute his “tiny” part to the atmosphere in the team, which is enthusiastically praised by everyone involved. Gosens also speaks a lot on the pitch. When he explains that, it sounds like this: If you play “any brawn” in training, you just have to accept that you are “a little pissed off”.
Someone like Gosens may not be the worst thing that can happen to a national team that wasn’t exactly famous for its positive atmosphere at the 2018 World Cup; a team that also does a bit of authenticity good when it comes to working on the image, which is still in need of improvement.
But of course nobody has spoken to the national team yet. It was his performance in Bergamo, eleven goals and six assists in Serie A, as well as the impressions during his first international matches that made him recommend himself. “I’m a dynamic rail player who often cuts in on the front,” he says. And it is also the moment that suddenly makes him important: In a back four, his offensive urge would be very risky, there would be gaps behind him, maybe he would not be a starting candidate. But Joachim Löw is considering setting up a three-man chain with two attacking full-backs for the start against France on June 15 for more compactness on the defensive. It was the topic of the last few days in Seefeld, and Gosens was able to explain it: Bergamo also plays with a chain of three.
The next and last test this Monday in Düsseldorf against Latvia, after leaving Seefeld this Sunday, could reveal more about the national coach’s plans. “I think we’re on the right track,” says Gosens.