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(Kopie 1)

Work, home and YouTube – Sonny Kittel from A to Z

Training camp


Work, home and YouTube – Sonny Kittel from A to Z

The new signing from FC Ingolstadt speaks about his impatience, his brother and his youth career.

Sonny Kittel is naturally funny. The HSV fans realised this after his social media post declaring his intention to move up north to Hamburg from Bavaria. The midfielder is more than used to the word play that his surname is perfect for (in German anyway), and enjoys playing along with it as well. The 26-year-old explains what else makes him laugh, where he wants to travel to and why he has a particularly special connection with his brother in ‘Sonny Kittel from A to Z’.

A = Arbeit (Work): You have to work hard every day, even as a footballer! I’m certainly of the opinion that hard work beats talent. I always try and drill this mindset into my younger brother as well.

B = Brother: I have a very close connection with my brother Sammy, he’s a very important part of my life as I had to take responsibility for him when I was still quite young myself. He’s only 19 so can be a bit immature in some situations but we’re always talking about those kind of situations between the two of us. He’s currently playing for 1860 Munich U19s.

C = CR7: Cristiano Ronaldo is in my opinion a role model for every young footballer, because you see what is possible if you have a lot of talent but also have the constant motivation to perform at the highest level, and to present yourself in a professional way every single day. He’s a textbook example for every young player. Everyone says that who’s ever played with him.

D = Dubai: Dubai has become one of my favourite holiday destinations over the past few years. There’s guaranteed good weather, lots of attractions are currently being built and it’s fairly easy and quick to get there. 

E = Eintracht: Eintracht Frankfurt wasn’t just an employer for me whilst I was there. I still feel a strong connection to the club, like to see how they’re doing and can’t help but cheer them on when I watch their games. When you grow up in that area and played for the club for 17 years, right the way through the age groups, I think it’s fairly normal that it means something special to you. The stadium, the fans and the club are still home for me. 

(Kopie 2)

In Hamburg Kittel has already realised the impact of the fans

F = Fans: At my previous clubs I always had a really good relationship with the fans. I think that’s due to the fact that I’m a fan myself. The support that we get and the passion from the stands is very important for us as players. At some point you grow that connection with the fans which can then spur you on during games. I know myself how it felt to be in the standing section and that’s something I’ll always try to remember as a player.

G = Gießen: My home town, where my family still live. In the little free time that I have, for example at Christmas or over the summer, I always try and spend as much time as I can there. 

H = Hip-hop: When I listen to music, it’s usually hip-hop or German rap. I find quite a lot of different artists and bands good, but there isn’t a particular artist that I follow religiously. 

I = Ingolstadt: Ingolstadt was a great time for me and I felt very happy there. FC Ingolstadt is a good, professional club which is still in its infancy and I made a number of friends there. I’ll never forget the time I spent there. 

J = Jugend (Youth): I look back on my youth career very fondly. People always say it was the best time of their life and things were without a doubt less complicated. In school there was a bit of pressure but whenever school holidays came around you didn’t really think much about school any more. I grew up in a high-rise apartment block and spent a lot of time with people my age playing outside in front of people’s garages. A great time without mobile phones and all the stuff that comes along with it. You always had to be creative to think of something to do.

K = Knee: My knee problems are unfortunately part of my story, but when it’s the only thing that people talk about it gets a bit annoying. I’ve risen above it, carried on focussing on my plan and my exercises, which I’ve been doing for years. 

L = Lion: The lion is an animal that represents strength and has a real aura around it. I very much like looking at pictures of lions and got a lion tattooed on my body because I particularly liked one of the pictures I’d seen. 

(Kopie 3)

For the midfielder hard work and discipline are very important.

M = Mother: I also have a lot to thank my mum for, she always wholeheartedly supported me in everything I did. For example, she drove me practically every day from the age of six onwards, all the way to Frankfurt just so that I could play football. She worked incredibly hard so that she could pay the money for petrol to drive me there, without any kind of guarantee that it would pay off. For that reason I will always in her debt.

N = National team: I played for pretty much all of the German international youth teams. I learnt a lot from that period of my life, particularly from a number of difficult games and talented teammates, who have gone on to have great careers including Draxler, Rüdiger, Younes, Horn, da Costa and Schulz. It’s always special to play for your country. I had some very good managers as well, Horst Hrubesch added a lot to my game.

O = Organisation: Being organised and disciplined are very important for me and I try and impart this on to my brother as well. I’m also very organised when I’m at home. I don’t really like it when things are lying about everywhere and aren’t arranged in some kind of fashion.

P = Poland: My family comes from Poland and I speak with my relatives sometimes in a mix of German and Polish. It’s definitely a part of me and I’ve got a Polish passport as well. I thought about playing for Poland and it’s still an option but there hasn’t been any contact so far and it’s a long way away geographically.

Q = Quatsch (Messing about): I’m generally quite a quiet and reserved guy but I would also like to think that I’m a fun guy to be around. I’m always positive and smiling. I’m a fan of Teddy Comedy.

R = Rückennummer (Number on the back of the shirt): In Frankfurt I had the number 28 shirt for a long time. I don’t really want to wear that number any more though because I associate that number with bad luck and injuries. In Ingolstadt I had the number 10 shirt. That’s quite an important number but I’ve played with it on my back quite a lot and would be thrilled if I got that number here as well.

(Kopie 4)

Kevin de Bruyne is one of the players that Kittel likes to base his game on. Dieter Hecking was the Belgian's coach in Wolfsburg.

S = Schur, Alexander: Thanks to him I successfully made the jump from the youth team to the first team at quite an early age. Alexander Schur was a manager who helped me a lot, at an age when you’re very impressionable as a player. I’m still in contact with him to this day.  

T = Tattoos: I had my first tattoos at 18 and I quickly became addicted. My approach is that every tattoo has to have a meaning for me. Some of them have quite a personal meaning.

U = Ungeduld (Impatience): I’d say I’m a very impatient person. At the beginning of my career I had to learn how to be more patient. When you’re injured and have to go through rehab then your progress is slowed down. In daily life and when I’m driving I’m still very impatient like before though.

V = Verrückt (Crazy): I watch a huge amount of football games. In that way I’m a bit crazy because I can remember quite a lot of individual plays.

W = Will Smith: Will Smith is one of my favourite actors. ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ is my favourite film; it’s a great story that’s also very cleverly produced. 

X = Xbox: I’m one of those guys who just prefers PlayStation to Xbox and it goes without saying my favourite game is FIFA, and I think I’m pretty good. I’m interested to see how good the rest of the team is here, I’ll have to sit and watch for the first few days, then maybe I’ll get involved.

Y = YouTube: I’m a real YouTube addict as well, and have watched a lot of football videos since I was a teenager. I watch quite a lot of videos of players who play in a similar position to me, to see if I can learn anything from them. Obviously Kevin de Bruyne features a lot in the playlist and I really enjoy watching videos of him playing. It’s pretty cool that I’m now playing under a manager who also coached him. 

Z = Zweite Liga (2nd division): That is currently the situation that faces us. I’ve been able to gain a lot of experience in this league during the past two seasons. You cannot underestimate the division because there a lot of talented players and strong teams to compete with. The jump from the first to the second tier isn’t as big as it perhaps used to be. There are some teams who could definitely play in the Bundesliga and that’s why I say that you cannot underestimate the other teams in this league.