About his former club, his career in Canada and the World Cup
A return to his home club – it would have been the transfer coup of the year. Raphael George has been training at FC Langengisling since September.
Long geisling However, there will be no match for the District League team. After his time with Bavarian league club FC Ismanning and state league teams TSV Grünwald and SpVgg Landshut, the native Brazilian moved to Canada in 2020 to study, where he played for Altitude FC. Now he stayed in his old homeland for half a year.
The FCL responded immediately, applying for a sports permit, which failed in August as George was still playing for Altitude. “Unfortunately, we paid little tuition. “We didn’t know that the game in Canada would have an impact on the Upper Bavarian District League in the east,” says FCL’s technical director and player Maxi Meyer. He would have liked to have the 24-year-old in his team “because he’s a great outfielder.” Meyer knows that because George trains regularly. We spoke to the student (Nutrition and Food Service Management) and wanted to know who he’s cheering for at the World Cup.
Rafael George, how do you get back to Langengisling?
Of course, it was nice to be back home. It was the club that took me to Germany when I was ten years old with my family. I always feel very comfortable and have great memories with the boys. But it’s a shame that he missed the opportunity because he could only practice and not be allowed to play. It would have made it even better coming back.
Do you still know your former players?
At that time I was already in elementary school with Niko Simak. He is one of my old friends. I played for a long time with Kilian and Severin Stensl, Hannes Dornauer, Florian Ruprecht and Paul Bucher. These are all the people I’ve been waiting for.
But now instead of assists and passes, there is only coaching.
It’s really annoying. You go to practice to prepare for the game and the opponent, to make yourself better. I want to help the team. Then you watch the games. It is painful. But I am grateful that I get to train with you. The level is very high and so is the intensity. I have only good things to say about the coaches. They practice well. This bodes well for me and my next chapter in Canada.
Speaking of Canada – can the level be compared to the District League?
Unfortunately I couldn’t say anything because I couldn’t play.
How did your studies in Canada come about?
At the beginning of 2020 I wanted to study and at the same time I wanted to play football. I was born in Richmond, which is less than five minutes from Vancouver. My father asked me if I could imagine spending time in Canada. Then I got a scholarship from Langara University. I played there for two years. I thought it was really cool to combine football and studies. At the beginning of the year, I received an inquiry from a semi-professional club. Then I played there. I will play there again when I return.
How is life in Canada? What makes it different from Germany?
The things that are said about Canadians are actually true: they are actually very nice, helpful and incredibly social. It’s fun to be with people who are so open. That also fits my mood. But the population in Canada is also very international, with a large Asian culture. I met a lot of Brazilians. What I don’t like is the architecture. Canada has a younger history than Europe. It can be found in buildings. You won’t find the old, historic houses of Munich in Vancouver. The food is also very different. Cool for me: I’m a big fan of donuts, and Canadians are the real experts here. They have tons of donut shops and an incredible selection. It might not matter so much now, but I’m looking forward to the world’s best donuts.
How is football there?
Every now and then you still see the old kick and rush, where balls are hit over the strong player. We have three coaches from France and Italy who played in the 1st league and place great emphasis on European style and playful accents. I like it. I don’t mind playing against kick ‘n’ rush teams either.
Now the world cup starts. Who are you cheering for? Germany? Canada? Brazil?
I was always for Brazil. Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Robinho – these are my childhood heroes. I think we have a good chance this year. The team is high quality, the harmony and team spirit is perfect. Only you feel better. And Neymar has had a fantastic season.
It is great to see Canada participating for the first time since the 1980s. This is a talented team, but an inexperienced team. I’ll have my fingers crossed for Canada and Germany too. But I don’t think the national team is that strong this year. If Hansi Flick doesn’t pull out some special magic, things will get pretty tight.
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