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On the spot

Jan Koller

At 2 meters 2, Jan Koller is a commanding physical presence. He's played for Sparta Prague, Belgian sides Lokeren and Anderlecht, Borussia Dortmund, then Monaco and now Nuremberg.

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DWTV:

"I was wondering if we might have some of the same childhood memories - like the television shows Krtek the Little Mole or Pan Tau. Do you have those associations with your childhood?"

Jan Koller:

"Yes, I'd say our childhood memories overlap. The shows you mentioned, like the Little Mole or Pan Tau - I liked them very much, too. And now I play them for my five year old daughter."

DWTV :

"Is there one that you particularly like?"

Jan Koller:

"Yes, the story I like best is the one where the Little Mole sews a pair of trousers with pockets and all the animals help him."

The cute main character is still immensely popular. In his world, life is good. Because everyone pitches in.

Jan Koller:

"For me the (collective) team success is more important than personal success."

DWTV:

"What are you especially proud of?"

Jan Koller:

"Looking back now, I'd say the championship title with Dortmund. The last day of play where we were trailing 1:0 and I equalized. 15 minutes before the end Ewerthon scored and we won the Bundesliga. There was great celebration. It was very emotional and very nice for me."

DWTV:

"Who would you say has been your best coach?"

Jan Koller:

"I've had a lot of coaches in my career. Three of them were special. Willy Reynders from KSC Lokeren in Belgium gave me a lot and stuck up for me a lot. Then there was Bert van Marwijk in Dortmund. He was an important personality for me. And the most important is Mr. Karel Brückner, the Czech national coach."

DWTV:

"What is your personal goal for the European Champioships?"

Jan Koller:

"This will be my last major competition for the Czech national team and the last major tournament for coach Karel Brückner. We absolutely want success. That is a motivation for us - to have a final chance to prove ourselves."

DWTV:

"What are the most important things that makes a coach a good coach?"

Jan Koller:

"On consideration, I'd put them in this order: I think the trust placed in me is very important. Then come the technical aspects, and then fairness. But trust and confidence is the most important thing."

DWTV:

"Why?"

Jan Koller:

"It's easier and better to play when someone trusts you, if someone believes in your capabilities."

DWTV:

"Once when you were asked about your qualities, you said it was all a question of self confidence. Does that really play such a big role? Maybe it has to do with the trust the coach has in you."

Jan Koller

"Sure. Self confidence is very important. In my opinion the psychological aspects are so important that'd I'd say they add up to around fifty percent of the strength of a player. If a player is physically fit, but doesn't believe in himself, then he can't be good."

DWTV:

"Is it important for you to have other Czechs in the team? I'm thinking of Dortmund, where you went. Tomas Rosicky was already there." +++ (ROZ-ITSKY)

Jan Koller:

"It's a big advantage if there's a Czech player I can get on with. I was on the same wavelength as Tomas, we got on well as people. I look back fondly at that time."

DWTV:

"Was that one of the reasons you went to Nuremberg, because your countrymen were here?"

Jan Koller:

"The most important reason why I came to Nuremberg was because the coach Hans Meyer absolutely wanted to have me, although he doesn't work here anymore. That was the catalyst. And also Nuremberg were prepared to give me a long contract despite my age. And Nuremberg is not that far from my homeland. In addition to that there are two Czechs and two Slovaks playing here."

When Jan Koller went to a team in the past they usually went on to win the league. Now he's involved in a relegation battle.

Jan Koller:

"It's difficult and it's a situation I haven't experienced myself yet. When I arrived in January I thought we would move away from the relegation zone. The team has a lot of quality. But unfortunately the hopes have not been fulfilled. There are four matches left and we're still in the relegation zone. But we still have a chance."

DWTV:

"What is Nuremberg's main problem?"

Jan Koller:

"Hard to say. If I knew then we would work on it. We aren't playing badly. But we aren't getting any points either."

DWTV:

"Could it be that self confidence is low?"

Jan Koller:

"It's possible. If I think back to our last match, we were winning two-nil after the first half. And then we conceded two goals within ten minutes. There probably is a psychological connection somewhere."

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