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Bundesliga Kick off!

Mladen Petric

Mladen Petric wears 10 for Dortmund. The 27 year old Swiss Croat moved to Borussia in the summer after being top scorer in the Swiss league. But the first half of this season was marked by ups and downs.

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Mladen Petric

Kick Off:
Why is the team so inconsistent. You've probably talked about it, have you found the reason?

Mladen Petric:
It's always hard to find the reasons. We thought about it after every match in the first half of the season. It could be because we're a young team. We have a lot of young players who aren't that consistent. And we had a lot of injuries too. We hardly played two matches in a row with the same team.


Do you know Lüdenscheid Nord?


Lüdenscheid Nord? I've heard of it.


What do you know about it?


It's a small village or town. A little village. And I know that it's the name that Schalke fans use when they want to insult us.

And when your old team mate is playing for the enemy, is that a special feeling?


Well, special...I think that there are no exceptions on the pitch. You try not to injure your opponent, but there are no friends on the pitch. You just want to win.


And you're probably banned from seeing him ahead of the derby.


We haven't organised anything. We phone each other from time to time and we see each other too. But that doesn't depend on whether we're playing each other or not. Just on what we feel like.

So no one has banned you from meeting, not even ahead of the derby?

Nope.


When you go into the derby will you be looking for revenge for the four one defeat earlier in the season?


I reckon you can talk about revenge in almost any match. That win was their revenge for our two nil win last season, which ended their hopes of winning the league. Revenge is not the right word. It's more about winning the derby.


Switzerland is like home for you isn't it?


Yes...I'm at home in Switzerland, but Croatia is my homeland.

And is it more interesting for you to play the European Championships in the country you grew up in?


Definitely. All my friends are there, my family is there and I know it all. Playing there is certainly special.


Let’s look forward at the matches. When Germany plays Croatia...that fixture has always been at least seen as tough in the past."


I think it'll probably be the same. They are both fantastic teams. Germany is always one of the favourites at big tournaments, because they have often done so well. But we were pretty convincing in qualification and we have a young but very good squad. I think we're good for a surprise.

ATMO: "Petric again…he scored!"


At that moment I didn't think much at all. There was so much euphoria. You just run to your fans and celebrate. You're just ecstatic after scoring a goal like that. But you don't think about it. It took two or three days before I realised what had happened. Every station I tuned to was talking about the goal, and my cellphone was ringing all the time. That's when it sank in.


And what did you think?


I thought, well, I've gone and done it now.

When I saw that scene I asked myself what the goalkeeper said to you.

The keeper just told me that I should chose a corner and not stay still. But that was pretty clear to me. I played in goal a lot as a kid. I liked jumping around in the dirt and it was clear to me that I would have to chose a corner. That's what I did. You need some luck of course, but I'm happy it worked out well.


Why you?


I don't know. When I saw that the keeper had been given the red card then it was clear to me. I came from the other box to the keeper and told him to give me his gloves. None of the other players did that so it was clear to me that I had to get between the posts and save the penalty.


So you like responsibility?

Yes, sure. I liked that. But in this case I have to say that the opposing player who took the penalty had a lot more to lose than I did as a striker who went into goal and tried to stop a penalty.


But you need a healthy dose of confidence.


Absolutely.

And would you say you have that?


Yes I would.

You've said you would describe it as positive arrogance.

Exactly.


And what do you think positive arrogance is?


I think positive arrogance is all about believing in yourself. If you're on the pitch and full of self confidence and holding your head up high, then you can seem arrogant to your opponent. That can have the effect of intimidating him a little, or he gets the feeling that he's facing someone who has absolutely no fear. That's positive arrogance for me. When you are self confident, but keep your feet on the ground.


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