First Team

“We still have big aims”

An interview with Egyptian Wolf Omar Marmoush ahead of the Gladbach match.

Die VfL Wolfsburg-Spieler jubeln nach dem Spiel zusammen.

After two successful loan spells at VfB Stuttgart and FC St. Pauli, Omar Marmoush – who has been under contract at VfL since 2017 – returned to Lower Saxony for the start of this season and has featured in every competitive match since. We spoke with the 23-year-old.

Omar Marmoush, firstly a compliment on your impressive German. Where did you learn our language so well?

Omar Marmoush: “When I was 18, I played here in the reserve team and after a week I started a German class – it was an hour and a half, two to three times a week. That helped me a lot.”

And how have you generally settled in Germany?

Omar: “It was certainly difficult at the beginning. I came from Egypt, a completely different culture. At first it wasn’t easy for me living alone. In Egypt life is very family-centred, so at the beginning it was hard to be separated from family and friends, but I always wanted to go on this journey and play in Europe.”

How important were your loans to St. Pauli and then Stuttgart for you and your development?

Omar: “They were hugely important for me. Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to then take two steps forward.”

You’ve claimed a regular starting berth under Niko Kovac. How are you feeling right now?

Omar: “Of course I feel good, I started the season well with my goal in the cup. I always try to do what the coach wants from me and what the team need from me. At the moment I’m happy to be getting playing time.”

In the national team you’re playing alongside global superstar Mo Salah. What can you learn from watching such a star striker?

Omar: “It’s rare to have such a global superstar on your side and to be able to learn from him. It’s helped me a lot as I can learn a lot from what he does on and off the pitch. In lots of little details you see the difference between normal professional players and a world star.”

After a difficult start to the season, you’ve picked up four points in the most recent games against Stuttgart and Augsburg. How do you assess the team’s current situation?

Omar:Scoring the winning goal in the last minute against Stuttgart gave us a boost. Then at Augsburg it was certainly a tough game, in terms of the intensity they play with but also the fans and everything. We’re continuing to work on our weaknesses because we still have big aims.”

Now you face tough opponents in Borussia Mönchengladbach. What kind of game do you expect?

Omar: “I think it’s going to be a cracking game. Gladbach want to play from the back, like we do; both teams want to play football. We’ll see at the end who’s more determined but also more accurate in front of goal.”