“I want to continue on this path”

First Team

Nicolas Höfler first put on a Freiburg jersey at the age of 15 and it is fair to say he is a true SC veteran. After it was announced on Thursday that “Chicco” would be extending his stay with the club, we spoke to the 32-year-old about the start to the season, his time at Freiburg so far and what the future holds.

Chicco, congratulations on your contract extension. Did it take you long to decide that you wanted to continue your journey at SC?

Thank you so much. I’ve been with the club for so long and I feel really happy here so there was only one option for me, and that was to extend my contract. It’s also great to look back on what we have achieved over the last few years. I want to continue on this path.

A lot has also happened on the pitch since then. Is this the best Freiburg squad you have seen since you arrived?

I would certainly say so. The quality that we have across the board is something that I haven’t seen here before.  Even when things aren’t going so well for us in a game, we can create goal-scoring opportunities through our individual quality and that helps us a lot. This is also down to the fact that we are in good shape as a club and we were able to strengthen in the transfer window despite the pandemic.

What has been your highlight of the three months of the season so far?

So much has happened in such a short space of time and there were so many games that after one or two weeks you couldn’t really remember the ones that came before. It has been a pretty special three months but I would have to say that the matches in the Europa League stand out. Both at home, because our fans were outstanding, and away, because it was great to play in the other stadiums. They were really cool and we were all really excited about it.

Training resumes on 5th December. What will you be doing until then?

I’ll be spending the time at home. Two of our kids are at school so we can’t go on holiday but you can still use the time to relax as a family and to spend time together.

The media are constantly speculating as to whether the ‘surprise packages’ such as Union Berlin and SC Freiburg will need time to get back into their rhythm after such a long break. Are you confident that we’ll be able to?

I have no doubts about that. We’re fully aware of the quality that we possess and we have what it takes to win games. We have that hunger in our ranks.

You are now 32-years-old. Cristiano Ronaldo recently said in an interview that the perfect age to retire is 40. Do you agree with him?

I am still full of ambition, hungry and I still have goals that I want to achieve. If my body would allow me to, then I would play until then. But at some point you have to start thinking year-on-year. I will do all I can to stay in shape in order to play for SC for as long as possible.

Photo: Nikos Karanikolas

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