Jean-Paul Boëtius tries on the blue-and-white for the first time.
First team | August 8, 2022, 07:00 PM

"A challenge that makes you happy!"

At the end of a long day, our new signings spend time not only carrying out interviews with HerthaTV and, but also their social media skills are put to the test for the first time. Jean-Paul Boëtius not only looked the part wearing our new shirt, but also during the interview, filling the room with his laugh and all-round positive energy. “I am really up for the challenge of playing at such a high level here in the Bundesliga with Hertha”, confessed the 28-year-old. What does he want to bring to the team? “A love for playing the game! I step on the gas and always try to entertain the crowd a little bit.” In his first interview as a Herthaner Boëtius explained, among other things, how family and in particular his mother have shaped his career and what he feels is the particular appeal of the Bundesliga. Jean-Paul, welcome to Hertha BSC! Everyone calls you Djanga, should we call you that too? How did you come to get that name?

Boëtius: That’s right, and yes of course! When I was 12-years-old, I was out with some friends and we said at the time that we each needed a new nickname. They decided on Djanga and it's stuck ever since. Got it! Can you tell us how the conversations with Fredi Bobic and Sandro Schwarz went?

Boëtius: They were very pleasant; the exchange with Sandro was particularly good. We have known each other for a long time and have a very close relationship already. Even after our time together in Mainz, we have always been in contact and spoken outside and beyond football. When he came to Berlin, he told me that he wanted to coach me again and I was also eager to work with him again. The fact that this is now all working out at a club like Hertha and in the Bundesliga is awesome! Across your career, you’ve played more minutes under Ronald Koeman than our head coach. Can you tell us what is special about working with him?

Boëtius: Sometimes it’s hard to explain properly. The connection between us is just really strong. I always say to people that he is my footballing-dad (laughs). That feeling is still there and that’s why I’m really excited to start working with him again. Now that you are reunited, what other factors were important in signing with Hertha BSC?

Boëtius: I am really up for the challenge of playing at such a high level here in the Bundesliga with Hertha. Moreover, the stadium, the city – all of it is incredible. I’m curious about living and working in the capital. I’ve never been here myself, but I know plenty of people who have experienced Berlin and were absolutely thrilled with it. That’s what makes me curious...

“I am really up for the challenge of playing at such a high level here in the Bundesliga with Hertha”

-Jean-Paul Boëtius We’re curious now too! Despite the conversations with our head coach, you’ve been clubless lately. What was it like for you to be without a club at the start of the season? Did you get nervous at any point?

Boëtius: No, not nervous. I was absolutely convinced that a new challenge would arise for me that would make me both happy and excited. That’s exactly what happened, and I can’t wait to get going here now! In your Instagram story, you congratulated our former player Javairô Dilrosun on his wonder goal for Feyenoord against Vitesse Arnhem. Did you get some information from him before your move to the Spree?

Boëtius: For sure! We trained together for two and a half weeks when I was keeping fit at Feyenoord. After the rumours in the media, we had a chat, especially since I knew about his background at Hertha. He answered a few of my questions and spoke very positively about the club and the city. After your breakthrough at Feyenoord, you gained valuable experience abroad in Basel and Genk before you left your hometown for Mainz and the Bundesliga. Now it’s time for you to carry on with our Blue-and-Whites. What fascinates you about Germany’s top division in particular?

Boëtius: The full stadiums, the great atmosphere, which is actually never a negative one – and then there’s the fact that it’s all guns blazing from kick off to full time. No matter who you’re playing against, no matter what the score is, it’s intense. For me, that’s what makes the Bundesliga so appealing. A Dutch cup and Supercup winner with Feyenoord, Swiss champion and cup holder with Basel, you’ve already won titles, including A- and B- youth championships. What was the most important one for you personally?

Boëtius: The league title with Basel! To be a title winner is something totally special. For me, personally, that was the most beautiful and emotional title that I’ve won. We’d like to get to know you a bit better as a player. You are very versatile, but you have mostly played as a left winger or an attacking midfield during your career. Where do you feel most comfortable?

Boëtius: Attacking midfielder is my preferred position, since I’ve played there more frequently in previous years. Left wing was my position more in my youth and at the start of my career, but lately I’ve almost exclusively been playing in midfield – and that role suits me better. I want to show my enthusiasm for the game, to always give it my all and always try to entertain the fans to some extent.

Jean-Paul Boëtius during his fitness test
Jean-Paul Boëtius during his fitness test Is it true that you have your mother more than anyone else to thank for your footballing ability?

Boëtius: That’s correct! She played football herself and represented the national team. I got her good qualities and talent... ... how important has your family been for your career?

Boëtius: Especially at the start of my career and when I was younger, their support was very important. Now I am a grown man, but of course I still love them. They are still there for me (smiles). They always made sure that I had football boots, had my back at games and were just there for me. For all that, I can only say a huge thank you to them. Now your path leads to Hertha. A new team, a new stadium. Who will accompany you to Berlin and what do you enjoying doing in your free time?

Boëtius: My girlfriend and daughter are here! Of course, I enjoy being out and about with them, but I also like to do a bit of recreational sport too. I love paddle tennis and having a round of golf with mates. I don’t really care who I play against – as long as I win (laughs)!

by Hertha BSC