Our latest signing kept up-to-date with our late goal that saw us into the second round of the DFB-Pokal from the airport. The winner was not only celebrated in Meppen, but also in the south of the country. Marco Richter wants to make history in blue and white as of now. On Monday, the 23-year-old became an official Hertha player. “There are many reasons why I have signed for this club; I had some great conversations with the board, including with Fredi Bobic and Arne Friedrich, and I also had a good chat with Pál Dárdai. The team has some good plans for the future, and that convinced me,” commented the attacker, who quickly made it clear that he would like to sign for the ‘Old Lady’: “This club is the right move for me.” Speaking to herthabsc.com, our new number 23 spoke about his reasons for signing, familiar faces and his mentality on the pitch.
herthabsc.com: Marco, welcome to Hertha BSC. The first thing we wanted to ask you is, what were the deciding factors that made you want to transfer to our club?
Richter: Thank you! I had many reasons for signing and had good conversations with the board, including Fredi Bobic and Arne Friedrich, and I also had a good chat with Pál Dárdai. The team has a clear plan for the future, which is what persuaded me. Last season did not go completely to plan, but the ambition to keep aiming higher was a key point for me. It was soon clear to me that I want to move to Berlin and play for Hertha! Personally, I also wanted a change, and this team is the right move for me.
[>]The ambition to keep aiming higher was a key point for me. It was soon clear to me that I want to move to Berlin and play for Hertha![<]
herthabsc.com: You are a home-loving person and still a huge fan of your grandmother’s Dampfnudel, and your grandfather would have been thrilled if you had gone to Italy, while your parents claimed to have never missed a home game. How did your family take the move to the ‘Old Lady’?
Richter: I always get asked about the Dampfnudel (laughs). The last few days were a bit up in the air before everything was finalised. I spoke to my family about it, and that was, of course, emotional. Some tears were shed, but eventually they were all very happy for me. I think that my parents will travel to Berlin for the home games as much as they can (grins). Now that I am here, everyone will support me!
herthabsc.com: The season got underway last weekend with the DFB-Pokal. Because you took part in the Olympics, your pre-season was a little different than usual. How would you describe your fitness at the minute?
Richter: The Olympics were a great highlight and an incredible experience, even when everything didn’t go according to plan. I am now completely focused on Hertha. I am in a good condition and have started training again after the Olympics and have done some running in the gym to keep fit. I am ready for the game in Cologne and am really looking forward to playing in the Olympiastadion, especially when the fans slowly start to return.
[>]The Olympics were a great highlight and an incredible experience, even when everything didn’t go according to plan. I am now completely focused on Hertha.[<]
herthabsc.com: A new season always brings new expectations and goals. Have you set yourself any targets for the upcoming season at Hertha?
Richter: I think to begin with I will talk to a lot of the coaching staff so I can get to know the style of play of the team. Of course, I would like to get into the starting XI as soon as possible and establish myself in the team. I always want to win, and will do everything I can in order to get it – I think that is what sets me apart. I won’t be making any targets in terms of numbers of goals and assists just yet, I just want to get settled in, play a few games and give my all for the team.
herthabsc.com: You can play as a winger, or up front too. Regardless of which position, you like to get forward at pace. Old coaches describe you as someone that occasionally goes from being a genius to frustrating. How would you describe your game and where do you prefer to play?
Richter: (laughs) There’s never been anything but football for me. I just need the ball at my feet, I like to play with it and spread it about. I’m confident on both wings or slightly deeper as a striker.
[>]There’s never been anything but football for me. I just need the ball at my feet, I like to play with it and spread it about.[<]
herthabsc.com: You know a few of your new teammates from Germany youth’s sides. How much do you know about your new club?
Richter: I’ve spoken to Suat, Jordan, ‘Klünti’ and mainly Maxi over the last few days. I shared a room with Maxi during our time with the U21s. I was therefore able to get lots of information about the club, which helped me make my decision. I’m looking forward to playing with the lads, hopefully they are too! Us footballers always settle in quickly.
herthabsc.com: After time in Bayern’s academy and ten years at FC Augsburg, this is your first spell away from your home region. What are you most looking forward to in Berlin?
Richter: I was in Augsburg for a long time. I think doing something new like this will help my personal development. I’m looking forward to a new flat, where my girlfriend will join me at the end of the year. Aside from that, I want to become a better cook, even though I like to go out and eat as well. I hope that Maxi will show me around and we can see some of the nice places here together.
herthabsc.com: What kind of guy are you away from the pitch?
Richter: Hmm (laughs). I’m very ambitious and I don’t like losing. I never like to play games against people, especially board games. When I have, the board has been thrown a few times. Apart from that, I’m open to anything, direct but also chilled out. I like to play tennis now and again on holiday, but other sports don’t really interest me.
herthabsc.com: Finally, a question on your shirt number. Does 23 have a special meaning to you?
Richter: I always had this number while I was in the first team at Augsburg. I was offered it here, so I took it straight away. I just simply like the number 23, it’s nothing to do with Michael Jordan or David Beckham.