Exclusive Interview with Joe Šimunić

Emilija LEKO (Age 12)

Ever since I’d heard from my friends that Josip Šimunić was coming to Canberra to promote the documentary film ‘Moja Voljena Hrvatska’, I got it in my head that I really wanted to meet him. I’d heard that Josip was born in Canberra and as a kid he had started playing soccer for Croatia Deakin Soccer Club, where the film was being shown Friday, 5 February.
So, I tagged along with my Dad and encouraged by my parents, I prepared some questions in the hope of meeting Josip and was lucky enough to have the opportunity conduct a short interview with him.

Josip Šimunić with Emilija Leko
Josip Šimunić with Emilija Leko

EL: How does it feel to be back in the Club where your football career started?

JŠ:   It’s a great feeling and brings back a lot of good memories. It is always good to come back to Canberra and see my family and friends.

EL: Did you ever think you would make it as far as you did in your career?

JŠ:   Sometimes I wonder when I see what goes on in football today, but I always believed in myself and I think it did pretty well. I’m very, very happy with how my career panned out.

EL: Who was your biggest inspiration growing up as a kid?

JŠ:   There was a lot of people who inspired me. I would have to say mostly my parents and my family. As well as all of the coaches I had and all of the people, not just in coaching, who believe in something and they give their best for what they believe in.

EL: What was the biggest setback in your career?

JŠ:   At the start of my professional career I had a lot of bad luck with injuries. I fractured or broke my fifth metatarsal four times in the same spot. That is the long bone on the outside of the foot which connects to the little toe and I was on the sidelines for two years.

EL: Who is the best Croatian footballer you have played with?

JŠ:   There’s actually three. Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić and Niko Kranjčar.

EL: Who is the best footballer you have played with or against?

JŠ:   I would have to say Zlatan Ibrahimović.

EL: If you could have the opportunity to play with any footballer, who would that be?

JŠ:   Lionel Messi.

EL: What is the favourite club you played for and why?

JŠ:   Hertha Berlin because it is a huge club and Berlin is a great city.

EL: Is there a club you wish you had played for?

JŠ:   If I could go back, I would have probably signed for Bayern Munich or Juventus. But they are the decisions you make in life and, at the end of the day, I am still more than happy with the career that I enjoyed.

EL: Which is the favourite stadium you got to play in?

JŠ:   Olympiastadion or the Berlin Olympic Stadium. It’s also the home ground of Hertha Berlin and has a 75,000 seat capacity which creates a fantastic atmosphere.

EL: What is the biggest crowd you have played in front of for the Croatian National team?

JŠ:   Over 70,000 people at Yokohama International Stadium in the 2002 World Cup.

EL: Which one match was the standout of your career?

JŠ:   There is a few – but I would have to say the last game that I played for the Croatian National team against Iceland. There are a number of reasons – but mainly because we finally qualified for the World Cup in Brazil.

EL: Which do you think is the best league in the world?

JŠ:   The English Premier League and the German Bundesliga are equal first, followed closely by the Spanish Primera.

EL: Do you regret not having the opportunity to play in the EPL?

JŠ:   No. I don’t really regret it. I’m happy with the choices I made throughout my career. It would have nice to play in the EPL, but it was also an honour to play in the German Bundesliga for so many years.

EL: Do you regret turning down any transfer offers?

JŠ:   No. I turned a lot of transfer offers and I don’t regret turning down any of them.

EL: Will you encourage your children to play football or any other sport?

JŠ:   I will encourage my children to do what they like to do and what they enjoy doing, which may not necessarily be football. Hopefully it will be in a sport though, as I think sport is very important for every child.

EL: Finally. Is there any advice you can give to young aspiring footballers?

JŠ:   The best advice I can offer kids is to have fun, love what they do, do their best every single time – at every training and in every match. If they do that, everything else will fall into place.

EL: Thank you very much for your time, it was pleasure meeting you.

JŠ:   Thank you.

President of Canberra FC Marko Vrkić (left), with Josip Šimunić and Jakov Sedlar
President of Canberra FC Marko Vrkić (left), with Josip Šimunić and Jakov Sedlar





One thought on “Exclusive Interview with Joe Šimunić

  • February 12, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Well done Emilija … Great interview.. Job well done !!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *