Professionals | 08/03/2019

Interview in GeißbockEcho

Modeste: “My heart was always in Köln”

Hope, relief and excitement – all on one day. On the 14th February 2019, a day after FC’s 71st birthday, Anthony Modeste was given permission to play by FIFA. A long wait was at an end, finally Tony was allowed to play for FC again. The confirmation, that this was the right step, was something that the French striker had already experienced before.

Anthony, you’re back at FC after around one-and-a-half years. How big is your excitement, and how did you follow the discussion around your introduction at the FC-Gala in November?
The idea to announce it at the Gala was good. I was and still am happy with it. Obviously a lot of people were critical, that we should have waited, but you can criticise everything – no matter what you do. But you shouldn’t let yourself be taken off course. Lots of people were happy, and with myself it was only positive. I always say: “Do what you can and do what you want, then you’ll be happy.” That’s the most important thing.

How have the last few months been?
I had a strong character beforehand. I’ve also learned a lot. What has happened in the last six months, only my wife and I can understand. It was a hard time, but at the end a lot of positives have come back from that. No-one can understand why I wanted to come back to Köln and go into 2. Bundesliga, instead of Bundesliga and playing in Europe. No-one can understand that. Only my wife and I. My kids were naturally really happy, but were also a little irritated. As I began to train with FC again, they asked me why they couldn’t see me on TV. It’s not easy to explain that to three and seven-year-old children.

Were there people aside from your wife and kids, who were important in the past half year?
My father was always an incredibly important person for me. His death effected me a lot. I promised him that I would care for the family now and I will do that. The most important people are my mother, my wife and my kids. In the difficult times, you can see how is really there for you. And my family was there. I can’t say that about many people. Now a few are writing again and want tickets (laughs).

Would you make the step to China differently?
Lots have put it down to just money, as the reason to why I moved. But it was a lot more complicated. I do not want to complain, but I did not get any money for eight months. Moreover, the negotiations are not easy and exhausting. But now I am here again and I am very happy. My heart was always in Köln. Now I just want to help the team so that we can return to the Bundesliga.

Das komplette Interview mit Anthony Modeste gibt es hier oder in der GeißbockEcho-App für Apple und Android.

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