Interview: Jonas Wind, VfL Wolfsburg

Image Credit (Bundesliga Content Hub Images)

It was a dream start for you: two games and four goals. If you look at the recent past, only Andrej Kramarić and Robert Lewandowski have scored four goals or more in the first two games and there has only been one Danish/Spanish player (Thomas Christiansen) who has done that. What does that mean to you?

“Well, of course, that is a huge achievement and something I can be proud of to be a part of those names. It is a great feeling to be in this company. I scored a brace in the first two games, that is something I am really happy about.”

Can you pinpoint a reason for your strong start to the season?

“Good question. I don’t know, I just feel good. Of course, outside the pitch, I feel good and on the pitch, my body is in great shape I think. I think since pre-season I have done a good job and I have felt sharp on the pitch – in the box where the goals I have scored have been close to. I feel in good shape and of course, my teammates have helped: they have to set me up and they have done that in a good way the first couple of games as well. There is not only one answer to why I am doing well at the moment but a lot of things that kind of click and connect at the moment. I am just really pleased with that.”

What do you make of VfL Wolfsburg this season?

“I think we have a good team, a good mentality in the team. We feel good with each other outside the pitch as well which is also really important. I see that on the pitch as well compared to last season, we have a good mentality and on a difficult away game in Cologne, we managed to get back from 1-0 to win the game 1-2. That shows great character from the whole team so I feel good about the season for our team.”

Is Niko Kovac’s match plan tailored specifically to you?

“I wouldn’t say that, no. It is about all the eleven players on the pitch. Of course, the striker needs to be there where the chances are created and then yes, it is up to me to finish them off and luckily I have done that so far. Of course, we have a tactic but it is not just all about the striker and not only about me but of course, we work on some things during the week and yes, hopefully, you can see that at the weekend. We try to create many chances during the games and so far we have done that pretty well. Like I said before, I have to try my best to score the goals and it has been good so far.”

Feel free to describe your favourite goals to us again!

“I think it is between two goals. I think the second one against Heidenheim where Mattias (Svanberg) played the ball and is a good striker’s goal. I made a good run to get off my defender and then I had a good connection with Mattias who played a good ball in the box and I had to finish it off. Also the first against Cologne – again with Mattias. The Danish-Swedish connection is really good at the moment. He laid it off and then I was calm in the box. I took a couple of touches and then I put it into the far corner. There have been some pretty nice goals I think.”

Your parents and brothers are very often at the stadium, you notice a special connection between them there. How important is that for you?

“It means a lot to me. My family and I are close. I have been like that all my life. I have a big family with two brothers and two sisters and of course, my mum and dad. A lot of times they are here at the home games. My dad sometimes travels for the away games like he often did in Cologne. It means a lot, to have their support. I know that they will always support me no matter what but to also have them in the stands, during the game, means a lot to me. It is a nice thing to know that they support me no matter what.”

What are your first memories of playing football as a child? Was there a particular place or pitch where you enjoyed playing?

“Well, I started playing in Avedøre in my hometown of Hvidovre. I played there with some good friends. After a few years, we switched to another club called Rosenhøj. Again, I had a lot of fun playing with my friends and I think as a kid the most important thing is to have fun when you play football and to do it with your friends – having good friends there is even better – and I was lucky to do that. I developed a lot of good friendships because of football so that is where it all started. My love for football has always been there because I come from a football family. Of course, my dad worked at my old club in Copenhagen. My whole family has always loved football so since I was a little kid it has always been about becoming a football player. If I could be that, then I would be a happy man and here I am.”

Avedøre Sports Association and Rosenhøj Boldklub were your youth clubs. What memories do you have of their first football clubs?

“I think we had some good trips, even to Germany where we played some tournaments. Some memories that I still cherish to this day – travelling with my teammates as well as some parents who took care of us a bit. Those memories are great and many players from back then I still see to this day. Some good memories from some tournaments abroad where we played some good football and had a lot of fun.”

FC Copenhagen is the most prominent club you have played for. How did that time feel and what meaning did it have for you?

“That meant and still means a lot to me. It is my club, you can say. It is near to my heart. I have always supported them since I was a kid so to be able to play for the first team in Copenhagen, that is the thing I always dreamt of – to represent my favourite club is a huge thing and so I am happy that I was able to play there for, I think, four years. We won some championships. That is a great thing. That means the world to me – to be able to do something for my club.”

What role does your family, especially your father, play in your development?

“He always meant a lot to me. Since I was a young teenager playing football, I could always talk with him about games. He would always come to my games so I could always use him to maybe hear from his point of view what he thinks I could do better. It is not only him. I know you asked about him but it is my whole family. But my dad has been in the football world himself and played a long time ago. To have his support and his help has always meant a lot to me and still to this day he supports me. I can still talk a lot of football with him and that makes me a better football player, I would say.”

Are there any other people who made their mark on your career?

“I think I have been blessed with having had a lot of good coaches since I was a young kid. If I should name one, I think it should be the present head coach in Copenhagen, Jacob (Neestrup). I worked with him when I was a U-17 player and he meant a lot to me because I feel he was the first one who pushed me to give my best. I have always been – not to sound cocky or anything – I have been a good player but he was the first one who really pushed me to the limit and demanded something from me. It wasn’t enough to score one goal and be happy with it – he always wanted me to do better and improve. He meant a lot to me in the early stages of my career and you can also see now, he is doing well as a coach in Copenhagen. He is a really good guy and a really good coach.”

What do you think you can achieve personally and for VfL Wolfsburg this season?

“I just hope to do my best and play some good games and then hopefully the goals will come, but if not then I always try to work hard for the team. In every training session and every game, I try to do my best and work hard and as a team, I think I have big expectations. I think we have a strong squad with good players in each position. We try to aim high and go for the European spots and I think we have the quality to do it so it is just about being stable the whole season and then when the season is over, I hope we will be in the top six.”

Jonas Wind against Grischa Prömel during the match between TSG Hoffenheim and VfL Wolfsburg at PreZero-Arena on 2 September 2023.