“It’s not my style”

Zvjezdan Misimovic on his 40th birthday, his ties to VfL and a particular memento from his time with Wolfsburg.

Zvejdan Misimovic, or “Zwetschge” (Plum) as he was known, was one of the lynchpins of the 2009 Bundesliga-winning side. This Sunday, the Bosnian, who now lives in Munich, celebrates his 40th birthday. We caught up with the man who made 65 appearances in the league for the Wolves between 2008 and 2010, scoring 17 goals in the process, and who has since gone on to become sporting director for his country’s national team. He looked back on his time with Green-and-Whites and even admitted to a rather cheeky case of theft.

Zwetschge, what does the big 4-0 mean to you?

Zwetschge Misimovic: “It’s just a birthday like any other for me. There’s nothing much happening here today, other than enjoying a meal together as a family. Having a big party’s not my style anyway.”

Are you still in touch with VfL?

Zwetschge: “I actually do talk to a few of the people in the office now and then. The one I’m closest to is certainly Marcel Schäfer, who’s someone I played alongside at VfL.”

VfL are about to celebrate a quarter of a century in the Bundesliga. You certainly picked the right time to be part of the club…

Zwetschge: “That’s absolutely right! It’s crazy to think that we wrote history by winning the league title. Obviously I hope that the club will get back to its glory days at some point in the future. They’re an established force in the Bundesliga – they belong up there.”

Do you have any souvenirs from your VfL days at home – maybe a jersey on the wall?

Zwetschge: “Something along those lines. I actually stole a match ball from my last game against Bremen. I have to hide it away, otherwise my three boys would just end up playing with it all the time.”

Your former teammate Claudio Pizarro was still playing in the Bundesliga at the age of 40. Is that something that you could imagine?

Zwetschge: (laughs) “Not in the slightest. I occasionally play in a team for fun but it’s been five years since I hung up my boots as a pro.”