Christian Streich: Game is threatened
Freiburg coach Christian Streich has warned that football is endangered by too much marketing.
Streich was voted Bundesliga Coach of the Season by 228 top-flight players last term after guiding his side from the bottom of the table to Europa League qualification in just 18 months.
Freiburg face a tough challenge this coming season with five key players having left the club -- the majority having had their release clauses triggered.
The most prominent name to leave Die Breisgauer has been Germany international Max Kruse, who joined Borussia Monchengladbach for a mere €2.5 million.
However, alongside on-loan Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin and former Germany international Mike Hanke, six new players have arrived at the Dreisamstadion.
“The question is how soon we can integrate those new players,” Streich told kicker. “That’s an exciting process.”
Streich has made a name for himself in the Bundesliga for his unusual approach towards the marketing machine of football.
“It is about a relativisation of what you do. The professional sport has a lot of value attached to it and a lot of folks are interested in it and I am just a figure in that play, and a camera is directed at me often,” he said. “You should be able to keep a distanced view on it. Just like again and again you reflect what you do.”
Streich said he tried to focus on football rather than pay attention to his presence in the media.
“You walk into a tent and it rains -- it is loud. You walk into a house with bricks and thick walls, it is quieter,” he said. “You are aware of that before you walk into a tent or a house. And equally I know how football works. Furthermore it is nice that everyone can see us kicking the ball around.”
Streich also offered some insight into his way of thinking when it comes to his own salary, and what has changed in the game from when he was younger.
“I live in total luxury,” he said. “I have a flat, a car, a good bike, a TV, even if that is no longer a luxury good. I can buy high-quality food, eat in restaurants and fly on holiday.
“But I am not the kind of guy who says he wants to have a house when he is 50 and something different when 60. Do I spend more money now? I don’t know, I could as well be.”
After a lengthy conversation about agents and how they move players around without being “interested in the person but only in the money”, Streich was asked whether football these days was dominated by egocentrics.
“No, the game is bigger than everything else,” he said, before going on to talk about the recent match-fixing scandals.
“That the game has survived until now and still excites millions of people is close to a miracle. But I don’t know if it will carry on like that,” Streich said. “Maybe there will be breaks for advertising or cameras have to be installed somewhere in the back of the dressing room. The game is extremely threatened by this.”