1-How was your childhood as a football player? How did you grow in Sportfreunde Fasanenhof and VfL Kassel?
Eversince I was a young boy, I wanted to become a professional football player. I started out in the offense and scored a goal, sometimes even more than one in almost every match. This fired up my passion to become a professional football player even more. Of course I knew that it would be a long way from my childhood clubs to the Bundesliga, so I worked hard and worked my way up into team of the local district selection, then into the team of the state Hessen selection, up to the youth academy of Borussia Moenchengladbach.
2-After you joined Mainz in 2011, you worked with Thomas Tuchel and You are familiar with his ideas. So do you think he can have a successful time in Dortmund and finally challenge Bayern for title?
Looking at the board, you can already see that his work is successful. They are one of the top teams of the league for a reason, their style of football is very good. If they will challenge FC Bayern for the top spot in the future remains to be seen, but I believe if any team can challenge them in the Bundesliga right now, it is Borussia Dortmund.
3-Who is the best current player of the Bundesliga? Who was the best coach you have worked with?
I would say Robert Lewandowski, because he is what we call a complete football player – he has every quality one needs to be successful. And regarding the coaches, I cannot single out one coach. I got along well with all of them and learned different things from each one. I am grateful I got to work with all of them.”
4-You've seen the progress of İlkay Gündoğan, Mesut Özil and Emre Can in Mannschaft jersey, and finally you choosed Turkey. What is the main reason of your choice and how far Turkey can go in Euro 2016?
This was a decision of the heart, because I knew it would be extra-special to play for the native country of my parents. When I first played for Turkey, I can tell you that this feeling was true. Regarding the Euro 2016 it will be interesting to see, because we have a very strong group with Spain, the Czech Republic and Croatia. But we are capable of doing well, and I hope I get to be part of it and get to help the team play a good tournament.
5-What is your team objective for this season? Which place will you get with Martin Schmidt at the end of the season?
Our first goal is to reach the 40 point mark to secure us a spot in the Bundesliga in the next season. After this, it would be amazing if we could reach a single-digit spot in the board. But first things first.”
6-We had an Iranian player in Mainz; Sirous Dinmohammadi. Do you know him?
No, I never met him. He played here way before I came to Mainz.”
(2016, March 2)