Christoph Zimmermann: “It was a massive step from Borussia Dortmund II to the Premier League but I’m loving it”

Christoph Zimmermann. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Christoph Zimmermann. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Christoph Zimmermann (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Christoph Zimmermann (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

BM: You mentioned Max Aarons, he has been on the radar of a few Bundesliga clubs like Bayern Munich. Would he make it in the Bundesliga?

CZ: First of all, I’m quite happy we’ve got him here but he’s got all it takes to play in any of the top five leagues. Just speaking for myself, I can say for me, it was very good to have the chance to play in a different country because it really has helped to improve my career.

I think just sometimes leaving your comfort zone and taking a step into the unknown, going abroad and playing there can help in your development. Max can compete in the Bundesliga because he is good enough for the Premier League and this is probably the best league in the world at the moment. For personal reasons though I hope Max is going to stay with us for a little longer.

BM: When you first joined Norwich City in 2017 you said you were ‘honoured and delighted’, does it still feel like a delight and an honour and if so why? What makes Carrow Road so special?

CZ: 100%! Back then the motivation to play in the Championship, playing in England the motherland of football, when I was ten, twelve years old, me and my brother and also sometimes my father we would watch Premier League highlights on German television and I really enjoyed that so when I was given the opportunity to play in England I did not hesitate.

Obviously, I didn’t know too much about Norwich as a club though. Having spent four and a half years here I now realise just how much work Delia and Michael (Norwich City club owners) put into this club. The way Norwich are run is unique in the Premier League we are one of the few self-funding clubs and I think that’s something to be proud of. Also when you realise how much this club means to the people of Norfolk, after all, we are the only professional club in the county it’s a very, very special place to play.

BM: There are some pretty big guns in the Premier League!

CZ: Yes and they have a long way to travel to play us here, but Carrow Road as a ground is also unique in so many ways and we have to continue to make it hard to beat us here, it cannot be a pleasure for other clubs to play here in Norwich.

BM: Travelling around you have played at Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, which are the clubs that have made the biggest impression on you?

CZ: I’ve been injured too much of late but there is something special about the sound of say Old Trafford, or Anfield isn’t there?

I’ve been lucky to so far that I’ve had games at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup, at the Emirates in the cup, Man City at the Etihad, two seasons ago same with Manchester United and also with Tottenham Hotspur. The only thing that’s left for me in terms of the massive grounds is in fact Anfield.

I really enjoyed playing at Old Trafford as it is a very big, very intimidating ground. When I was growing up, when I was probably 10, 12… Manchester United was in the Champions League against Barcelona and they lost 3:1 but I remember even then wanting to play at Old Trafford. So then, a few years later to play there was a very special experience.

BM: I guess meeting Ronaldo there will be unique this season?

CZ: That’s for sure, one of the best players that’s ever been around. His record for Portugal is unbelievable, and it’s great he is back at United, he may be 36 but he is one of the most impressive players around currently, a lot like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

BM: I watched a lot of the European Championships and it was great to see Timo Pukki playing for Finland what is he like to play alongside?

CZ: Timo Pukki is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. It’s funny if you then see him playing for Finland knowing that he is a national hero there, people in Finland just love him, he is a national hero there but totally down to earth.

BM: And Emilano Buendia? A massive £40m transfer from Norwich to Aston Villa a lot of pressure?

CZ: ‘Emi’ is the best player I have played with so far. It’s a lot of money to be transferred for and I don’t know what that feels like that kind of transfer but he is an outstanding performer. I think that it’s just not fair on players that kind of price tag, it doesn’t mean that you never make a mistake but it’s the first thing people mention when you make a mistake.

dark. Next. Interview with Borussia Dortmund II defender Lennard Maloney

BM: Wish you all the best with the season ahead and what the future may bring ‘Zimbo’ thank you for the chat.

CZ: Thank you. Cheers.