Lukasz Piszczek looks back on a long and successful career at BVB. In an interview, the Polish defender now speaks of a time when he had lost the joy of football.
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He has been under contract with the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund for ten years, and on Saturday he played his 250th Bundesliga match. Nevertheless, BVB defender Lukasz Piszczek is still hungry for success. “I’m not burned mentally. I’m still hungry and want to achieve something,” said Piszczek in an interview with the “kicker”.
But the 35-year-old has not always had this mental attitude in the past. “There was a time when I felt burned. That’s when I started working with my sports psychologist,” said the former Polish international. “I meet with him once a month, he comes to Dortmund from Poland for two or three days for a few meetings.” Piszczek claims to invest a lot of time for this. “People see me on the court for 90 minutes. To perform well there, I have to do more than just be physically fit.”
“Had a little bit of fun”
The eight months after his hip operation after the 2013 Champions League final were particularly difficult for the Pole. “I had high expectations that I would reach my old level of performance again,” said Piszczek in the “Kicker”. “But it didn’t go my way, I put too much pressure on myself and had a little bit of the fun.”
With the help of a sports psychologist, the joy of football returned to the Poles. However, the way there was not easy: “This required a lot of talks. It would have been wrong to stop after these talks,” explained the BVB star. “I need someone with whom I can honestly discuss my problems – in football and in everyday life. Without him, it would not have been possible for me to play at this level for so long.”
Representation as BVB captain
The former Polish international enjoys a high reputation at BVB. Since Marco Reus is injured, he has led the team as captain. He is considered a dormant pole, he has extended his contract with the Borussia until 2021. “I can be angry on the pitch and react accordingly. But in the cabin? No. You can also influence the team with a calm atmosphere,” said Piszczek.
Even top international clubs had their eyes on the defensive player. “There were always rumors that Real was interested in me,” said the Pole. “There were never any direct contacts. Maybe BVB blocked that back then to prevent me from leaving,” said Piszczek with a wink.
But despite a long successful career at BVB, Piszczek would rather not play a farewell game at the end of his career. “There are two hearts beating in my chest. Such games are nice – I just don’t like being the center of attention. My departure from the national team was very emotional last year, but that’s enough. I don’t necessarily have to have it a second time,” said the BVB defender.