Eredivisie exclusive

Jakob Jantscher: It's always a fine line between star and loser

1:55 PMAleks Vee

Few players leave a lasting impression in the RPL after only one season. Jakob Jantscher is one of them. The N.E.C. forward spoke with Aleks V about his career, football in Russia, and the upcoming World Cup.

Jantscher at Dynamo Moscow.
In the 2012-13 season, you were on loan at Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League. What was that experience like?
It was a great experience for me to play in Russia. It's a really good league with top teams on a high level. Games against Spartak or CSKA are really special! It was great to see that I can play on this level. Personally, that year in Moscow was a lovely time for me and my wife!

What's it like playing for N.E.C.? What drew you to that particular club?
N.E.C. is a very traditional club in Holland. The whole city lives for this team! We have a lot of young players, so it's a really good experience for me to help them at the beginning of their careers!

How is the Eredivisie different from the RPL and the Austrian Bundesliga where you played earlier?
In Russia, there are a lot of big teams with very good players (like Zenit, Dynamo and Spartak). That means the level is really high. You have to be strong in every part of the game. The Austrian league is very physical. Also, tactics and organization are important points in Austria. In Holland, there are a lot of very high-quality young players - 17, 18, 19-year-olds. Nearly every team tries to play football and keep the ball in the team. Also, passing and the first touch exercises are a particular part of the training sessions.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
The first game in the national team was a very big moment in my life. Also, the first title with Sturm Graz in the Cup! My second year in Salzburg, with the win of the championship, the Cup, best player of the league and top goalscorer was fantastic! [In the RPL,] Spartak vs Dynamo was a great game. We won 5:1!

If you could go back in time and play alongside any famous player, who would it be and why?
Definitely Del Piero! He is a great player and I like his style of playing football. He played a really long time on the best level and he is like an idol for me.

What national team will you be rooting for in the World Cup this summer?
My favorite is Brazil! To know the conditions (climate, time, etc.) is very good! So I think one team from South America will win the World Cup.

What do you think will make the 2014 World Cup unique?
I think every World Cup is unique. It's a big tournament with big teams and fantastic players. So I hope that we see a very special World Cup in a very special country.

Austrian Bundesliga's 2011/12 top goalscorer. © GEPA
Do you think the media puts too much pressure on young players these days to become "the next star"?
The media is always a critical theme in our time. After a good game you are the big star, after a worst game you are the biggest loser! So it's always a fine line between star and loser. But not only for young players!

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