By Thomas Meinders, PV Germany Correspondent.
The Algerian international football player Karim Matmour ( photo) is one of the shooting stars in the Bundesliga. The 24-year-old made every game in his first season in the highest level of German football (soccer) at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
PV met and had this conversation with him recently:
Patriotic Vanguard: Mr. Matmour, you were born in Strasbourg in France, but you play internationally for the Algerian national team. Was it always obvious for you or did you consider playing for France?
Karim Matmour: No, there was never a doubt. It was always Algeria. My parents are from Africa and I wanted to play for the country since I was little.
PV: What is your standing in the squad?
KM: I debuted two years ago and came as a substitute from time to time. But since about six months ago, I think of myself as a regular starter.
PV: Algeria is on the way to qualify for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Do you think you’ll manage to come out on top?
KM: I am optimistic, but it’s still too early to think about it. We have still three games to go. Egypt and Zambia will be tough opponents till the end.
PV: You scored a very important goal - your first goal for Algeria.
KM: Yes indeed, it was the 1:0 against Egypt in our qualifiying match in June. It was unbelievable to score in such an important match.
PV: You are usually known more as assistant than finisher.
KM: That’s how I use to play. I like to come from the outside and I think that I have a good eye for my teammates.
PV’s Thomas Meinders
PV: What are the chances for the African teams at the first World Cup in Africa?
KM: I always said that I think that there may be surprises. It will be very hard for the European teams, because they’re not used to African summers. I don’t know which team and which round they’ll reach, but there will be a surprising team from Africa, that will get very far.
PV: You grew up in Strasbourg, not far away from the German border. When you were 18, you switched to German second league club SC Freiburg. What were your experiences?
KM: I practiced with the first team squad from the beginning, but it took one year to make my first appearance. However I always knew my qualities and I managed to find my position in the team very fast. So I missed only five matches in two and a half years.
PV: in 2008 you moved to Bundesliga-club Borussia Mönchengladbach. What are your targets now?
KM: First of all, I am very glad to play in the Bundesliga. The next step would be the European cups of course. I want to play in the Champions League one day. But right now, I FOCUS my concentration on Mönchengladbach.
PV: Mr. Matmour, thank you for the conversation.