German in Brisbane editor, Louise Moeller, was privileged to chat with Thomas Broich about the man, his career, the future, and what makes him laugh.
Move over Mercedes, BMW and Porsche … Queensland’s favourite German is not a car but a football star – none other than Brisbane Roar legend, Thomas Broich.
(GiB – German in Brisbane) Guten Tag, Thomas. Firstly, I’m sure I speak for all Queenslanders in saying how sad we are at the thought of you no longer playing for the Roar in your famous #22 jersey. Your football career has been a long one with many highs. What were the most important highlights for you?
An early career highlight was definitely playing for the German under 21 team. I just loved it. Playing for Cologne (1. FC Köln) when me moved up to the Bundesliga (German premier league) was an experience I’ll never forget! And, of course, those Australian A-league championships with Brisbane Roar were amazing – the drama, the atmosphere!
GiB: What made you decide to move to Australia to pursue your football career, rather than, let’s say the USA or other Asian countries?
I fell in love with Australia after a 2008 holiday road trip from Melbourne all the way up to Darwin.
GiB: What main differences did you experience between living in Australia & Germany?
Life as a footballer is a lot more relaxed in Australia, and I just love the outdoor lifestyle here.
GiB: What is your legacy to young Australian footballers? What piece of advice would you give them?
Express yourself fully through overcoming insecurities. Practice football and master the mind – they are equally as important.
GiB: What role did being able to speak more than one language play in your career?
Football is a global phenomenon. English is key for dressing room communication around the world, so speaking only German wasn’t enough.
GiB: How important is learning a second language for today’s school students and young sportspeople here in Australia?
English is sufficient for practical purposes. Yet speaking more than one language gives you access to a different way of thinking and lets you explore other cultures around the world.
GiB: Why would you recommend Australian school students choose German to learn over other more ‘popular’ languages, such as Spanish or Chinese?
German is a beautifully constructed language, with a rich history of writers and poets. Germany has a strong economy with big companies, so it’s very attractive not only for tourists, but for business people and all sorts of professional people.
GiB: What one piece of advice or message would you give to today’s students of German in Queensland?
Watch German television shows. It’s one of the easiest and most fun ways to learn a language.
GiB: And on a personal level … What will you miss most about Australia? And Queensland?
The incredibly warm and welcoming people, and the 365 days of summer.
GiB: What is your favourite German expression? And your favourite Aussie expression?
“Not exactly my cup of tea” – that’s a funny expression. “Kindergarten” is a great word – again, it’s funny to break the word down.
GiB: Wenn ich nicht Fussballprofi wäre dann wäre ich am liebsten …
… a singer/songwriter like Bob Dylan
GiB: What are your future plans? Short-term and long-term?
Short term travelling. Long term coaching.
GiB: If you could take: a) one German person (living or dead), b) one German food, and c) some German music/film/book with you to a desert island, what would they be?
Schnitzel with potato salad. Berlin Philharmonic. Faust. Marlene Dietrich.
GiB: Lastly, and on a lighter note, what or who makes you laugh?
GiB: Vielen herzlichen Dank for this truly fascinating insight, and all the very best for your future plans. Alles Gute!