“I’m hoping to see a fighting derby performance from HSV!”

HSV president Marcell Jansen speaks with about the expectations for the upcoming derby, his personal memories of the duel and having to watch the game from the stands this time around.

During his illustrious career, Marcell Jansen played in a number of derbies, but the former pro says that the Hamburg derby was something special. During the 2010/11 season, the HSV president played the brown and white side of the city on two occasions, yet was unable to win either game that year, something that should hopefully change on Saturday (22nd February, kick-off 1:00pm CET) in his current role as a functionary. How Jansen has followed the preparations for the derby in his current role, his memories of his own derby appearances and the first derby this season, were part of a lengthy interview with

The Hamburg derby between HSV and St. Pauli is almost upon us. How does the derby affect your daily life? Are you excited already?

Marcell Jansen: Since last week I haven’t had a meeting or appointment that hasn’t had some kind of reference to the derby. It’s something special to have a derby within a city, you can feel it throughout the week leading up to the game. The many HSV fans and members that I have met are really looking forward to the game – the same as I am.

What are your own sporting memories of the derbies in the 2010/11 season?

They’re still in my mind and quite emotional memories. We managed to get a draw in the first derby of the season through an amazing strike from Mladen Petric; it was a fair result because neither team played particularly well on the day. Then for the rematch in the Volksparkstadion we were very unfortunate to lose 1-0. I was only able to play until half-time then had to be substituted but I know that the chances were only falling to us and we just weren’t able to get the reward for our performance. At the end you lose the game 1-0, when you should have won 4-0. That hurts twice and three times as much.

This season there was a bitter 2-0 loss at the Millerntor in September. Has HSV got something to make up for, as manager Dieter Hecking put it at the beginning of the week?

When talking from the point-of-view of a player, I can say that it always annoyed me when you slept during a game for 20 minutes, all in all played well but didn’t get the reward for the overall performance. Then (when the replay comes around) you feel like: “Now it’s time to make amends.” Especially with our fans behind the team, in our own stadium with the amazing atmosphere in the Volkspark, that’s definitely going to be something the players will be talking about in the changing room. But you shouldn’t work yourself up into a frenzy, you have to stay calm.

From your own experience: Will the players who have only just joined HSV realise the importance of the game? Is that something that’s talked about in the changing room? Or is it more a derby for the fans?

The best thing about HSV is when a new player arrives – independent of whether it’s a derby or not – and sees that the club fills out half of a sold-out stadium in Hannover and experiences the atmosphere at a home game; after that you don’t need to explain to them what a Hamburg derby is about. Having seen the power and energy behind HSV, the new players quickly realise what they’re a part of. They can feel the level and passion of the support behind them.

In your career you played in various different derbies. Where does the Hamburg derby fit in?

It’s comparable with a few other derbies but the difference here is that the derby is within the same city which adds another layer to it. Despite that, things should always remain sporting and revolve around what’s happening on the pitch. I think that’s my perception of how the game in September played out.

What’s your personal favourite derby moment?

I don’t have to go too far into the past for my favourite moment: it was the tifo from our fans during the first game this season. The statement on the banner was exactly how I grew up and why I always felt so comfortable here in Hamburg. It’s the attitude of the Hamburg working class, being Hanseatic, standing up for particular principles and not sending any hate-filled messages in a derby display. I was happy that the display from our fans included the things that I can relate to the most.  

How big is the difference between the derby as a player, fan or functionary?

As president, I’m more tense because I’m not on the pitch myself and can’t help the team out. I’m used to being able to impact the game in some way. With 12 years at HSV behind me in which I’ve absorbed the DNA of the club and its fantastic fans, I’m very tense but also really looking forward to the game.

Where will you be watching the derby?

Of course I’ll be watching it at the Volksparkstadion. I’m hoping to see a fighting derby performance on the pitch with the answer in a sporting sense from our side, and a great atmosphere at the Volkspark that can make the difference for the players. And that we get the three points, which is extremely important for us. On top of that, both sides of the city should behave in a dignified manner and especially on such a big day demonstrate the values that we strive for, both in the stadium and in Hamburg on Saturday.


We've collected the 5 best HSV derby goals over the years on our YouTube channel. Watch it here.