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On the spot

Marko Marin

Nineteen-year-old Marko Marin is Gladbach's biggest talent and greatest hope. The midfielder is also billed as a future star for Germany and his sights are firmly set on the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

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Marko Marin is a rising Star for Mönchengladbach and the german national Team.

DW-TV:

Hi Marko. Why do people call you the magic midget?

Marko Marin:

Well that's probably because of the way I play and because I'm so small. I see it as a compliment. There are a lot of wingers and a lot of central midfielders who are small, especially in Spain, and they're European Champions. The amount of small players they have shows that it can be positive. Agile players have their advantages.

How big are you really? I read you were one metre sixty eight. But I also read one metre seventy.

One metre seventy!

Let's test it.

I'm sure I'm bigger.

Who's bigger?

Marko's bigger!

Great!

Marko Marin transfered to the Gladbach youth academy from Frankfurt when he was 16 years old. Within a year he was playing for Germany. While still playing in the second division he helped Germany qualify for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. But he didn't make the squad for the finals. At the moment he plays for both the Under 21 and the full Germany squad. He scored once, against Belgium.

Was it maybe a good thing that Jogi Löw didn't take you to Euro 2008?

I don't know what's positive about it.

It might have gone to your head!

I don't think so. There are enough people around to take care of me. My parents, my family and Christian Ziege here at the club. They keep an eye on me.

But can you explain why Jogi did what he did? He nominated you and after you put in a good performance he sent you home again.

He told me that the leap from the second division to the European Championship finals would maybe be too big.

Look! Your goal against Belgium.

That was also to do with Philipp Lahm, fantastic combination.

But against Belgium you were back in the team and scored a goal. Are you in the squad for good now?

I hope that I will be included in the extended squad and that I get to play.

Things are not going too well at Gladbach at the moment. Can you lead the team out of trouble?

You can't lead a team out of trouble by yourself. We have to find out way back to success as a team. Of course things are difficult at the moment. But things will change eventually, eventually we'll start winning again, and the time is now!

When you left Frankfurt a lot of top European clubs were interested in you. Why did you chose to go to Gladbach and not some other club?

Borussia is a big club, known around the world and well recognised and we hope of course that the club will return to the top again. But at the moment we have to concentrate on securing our place in the first division.

What were Gladbach's greatest successes?

Well the League and the UEFA cup. Most of the success was in the 70s.

Let's do the test. See if you know. Who is the club's all time top goalscorer?

All time top scorer?

Went on to coach...

Ah, Heynckes.

Who was Hacki Wimmer?

Hacki Wimmer? Probably, er... I'm not saying anything. I could be totally wrong.

Who was Gladbach's most successful coach?

Probably Hennes Weisweiler.

Yes.

What time is it? Training is at three. I have to go. I'll be back later.

See you then!

We'll be back in a minute or so. In the meantime here's a look at who Gladbach play at the weekend.

Hi, I'm back again.

Where does the name Marin come from?

Well my grandparents and my ancestors come from Serbia, from the former Yugoslavia. I was born there as well and came to Germany when I was two and a half. My mother is a nurse and back then there was a cooperation agreement between Germany and Yugoslavia. I still have a lot of contact to my grandparents, I go there twice a year and still have friends and family there.

What languague do you speak with your parents?

Serbian.

You could have played for the Bosnian national team. Why did you chose Germany?

Well I grew up here and I feel comfortable here. I learned to play football here and have a lot of friends and everything. Choosing Germany wasn't hard for me, because I feel at home here and that's why a made the decision.

If everything works out where will you be playing in three years?

In the Champions League I hope.

Hello, Frau Lintjens.

Oh, Frau Lintjens

How did you two get to know each other?

In the disco (laughs). When I arrived at the academy and was looking around Frau Lintjens was there straight away. She lives next door and that's the first time I saw her.

Birgit Lintjens:

That's how we met.

And you're a kind of surrogate mother?

Birgit Lintjens:

Probably. I can't really say what we are. But he's our child, our fourth son.

And what's he like?

Birgit Lintjens:

Great. It happened just the way I wanted it. It was the same for you. I liked him right away. I knew there was something special about him from the beginning. Marko lived in the third floor next door to us, where he had his apartment. There was only a wall between us. We left the doors open sometimes so that Luna, our dog, could run about the place.

You're a family guy. Your dad's name is on your right boot and your mother's on the left. And you dedicate your goals to your parents.

Marko Marin:

Well they went through a lot with me.

Birgit Lintjens:

Ja.

Marko Marin:

They were always there for me and it's clear that I have a lot to thank my parents for.

But is your mother sad you score more with your right foot.

Marko Marin:

No, but my dad was the one who thought more about football. Mum paid more attention to the school side of things.

Birgit Lintjens:

And the heart is on the left, which also means something.

Marko Marin:

You could put it like that.

Just what did you put them through?

Marko Marin:

Frau Lintjens can tell you. I'm off to training.

Birgit Lintjens:

He's the way he is - lively and responsible and punctual. Ciao Marko.

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