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On the spot

Andreas Beck

Andreas Beck is a defender who feels right at home going forward. The national under-21 player was a choice pick of Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick. Already, the young defender is key to the team's strategy.

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DWTV:

"Congratulations, Andi – two games, two wins. You’re topping the table. It’s a dream start for a newly promoted team, isn’t it?"

Andreas Beck:

Definitely. Who would have believed it at the start of the season? We knew that we had some really good qualities, but now we also know that we haven’t discovered all of them yet. We’re looking forward to the next game, and enjoying being on top for the moment.

DWTV:

Every 150th resident of Hoffenheim is a Bundesliga player. Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Andreas Beck:

You could say that again. Hoffenheim really doesn’t have many residents, but the surrounding region is actually very densely populated. Lots of people are moving there, and fans are popping up all over the place.

Hoffenheim is the youngest side in Germany's top division. Andi Beck is just 21. Luiz Gustavo is also 21. Demba Ba is 23.... just a little older than the team average. And this is the man who helped make it all happen: Dietmar Hopp. The co-founder of German software giant S-A-P has invested tens of millions in the club.

DWTV:

You have a billionaire patron in Dietmar Hopp, and you’ve had to swallow a lot of criticism for that, haven’t you?

Andreas Beck:

Yes. I can’t really describe it. Promotion came incredibly fast. We went from from the regional leagues all the way to the top. And fans from other teams probably don’t want to accept that. But I’m just happy to be here. I’m enjoying it, and I really admire Dietmar Hopp, what he's accomplished, and will probably continue to accomplish. He has my deepest respect. And I really can’t understand why rival fans have a problem with it.

At their first home game last Saturday, Ralf Rangnick’s players beat Mönchengladbach to stay at the top of the table. And Beck kept Germany rep, Marco Marin, scoreless. The Hoffenheim defender had more possession than anyone else on the field.

DWTV:

You’re a right back, but you saw the ball more than anyone else on your team. Does the term ‘defender’ really describe what you do?

Andreas Beck:

Sure it does. My primary job is to keep the opponent from scoring a goal. But as a right wing back you also have to set up plays. This kind of model – this philosophy – also means that the left and right backs get involved, and in that sense it isn’t all that strange when they get loads of possession. I like to have the ball. I don’t have a problem with it. Though, this is the first I’ve heard that I had the ball most in the last game.

DWTV:

You have a light Swabian accent. You weren’t born in Germany, though, but in deepest Siberia...

Andreas Beck:

In western Siberia. Novosibirsk is the closest city. I was born in Kemerovo but I don't remember it. I was born there, and my parents both grew up there. In 1990, we emigrated to Germany. In that sense, there’s definitely a German-Russian identity divide, but I mostly feel very German.

DWTV:

Maybe it’s just a prejudice, but reading Nietzsche is not how you expect a young professional footballer to spend his free time. But you recommend books like that on your website.

Andreas Beck:

It isn’t like I carry around philosophy books or psychology books for a little light daily reading – Freud, Nietzsche or others. But I’m interested in topics like these, and I had a phase where I did some heavy reading. It isn’t like I do it every day, though, because it can be a pretty tough slog.

DWTV:

In the parking lot there are a lot of fairly new cars – some of them luxury cars. And in the midst of them...pardon my terminology....is a twenty-year-old rust-bucket!

Andreas Beck:

What can I say? I’ve been driving it for about three years now. It’s a Saab 900 Turbo that’s two years younger than I am. It was built in '89. I can’t just get rid of it. It does what it’s supposed to, and always gets me from A to B.

Sometimes it’s a little annoying because it doesn’t have a radio or an air conditioner. But I like to drive it. I’m keeping it for the time being.

Andi has his feet planted firmly on the ground. His career began in Stuttgart: twice champions in the juniors, and then went straight to the Bundesliga. Andreas Beck developed an early taste for victory.

Andreas Beck:

It was pretty crazy. I joined Stuttgart at 13. It was a dream come true. I had 8 great years there. Stuttgart will always have an important place in my heart, both the city and the club. Training in the juniors was terrific. In those successful years we won two junior championships, and then the German title in the pros.

In spite of that, I have to say that moving to Hoffenheim has been the right move to make in terms of development. And I’m really happy it’s worked out.

DWTV:

You’re the most expensive German player on the squad. Hoffenheim is paying you an estimated three million euros. What does it mean to a player to know they're worth 3 million?

Andreas Beck:

It’s an honor for the player. But over the course of time, you want to prove why you’re there, and why they chose you.

I just try to live up to my market value with good performances, by giving a hundred per cent and then some. I think I have a lot of potential and at some point I want to be worth even more.

DWTV:

You speak Russian. Do you know what they call a front-runner?

Andreas Beck:

Sorry ... nope.

DWTV:

What does that mean?

Andreas Beck:

I just apologized for my poor Russian, and said that Hoffenheim was in first place.

DWTV:

I wish you all the best.

Andreas Beck:

Thanks

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