Michael Schumacher is a super-star in his own sport of Formula 1 racing and is one of the best drivers in the world. He also likes to play football and is delighted that the FIFA World Cup™ will be held in his home country, Germany.
FIFA Magazine: You somehow manage to find time to play football yourself, including as a member of a club in the fifth division in Switzerland. Where does your love for the game come from?
Michael Schumacher: Most likely it can be traced back to Toni Schumacher and Pierre Littbarski, two former German internationals. When I was a boy they were the two most outstanding players for me. They were both with 1. FC Cologne, the club that I supported. And like every other young boy I played myself as well; I was not as good as I would have liked to be, but I enjoyed playing all the same.
Was there any chance of you making a career in football?No, I did not have enough talent for that. It was clear pretty early on who was good enough and who was not, and I was in the second category, unfortunately.
How did you react to the news that it will be Germany hosting the FIFA World Cup™?Once it became clear that it was going to be mainly between Germany and South Africa, I got excited like practically every other German and crossed my fingers that we would get it. I have supported the German bid right from the start. Who would not like his own country to host the World Cup?
What does it mean for you personally and for the nation as a whole to have the World Cup coming in 2006?I expect that by 2006 the German national team will be strong once again and able to be a main contender. The World Cup will certainly give them a boost. Otherwise I hope that Germany will be able to present itself abroad as a sporting, interesting and hospitable country. I also see the World Cup as being an investment for the future, including for the tourist industry. There are lots of things to see and visit, some superb towns and countryside. All of that was brought back to me by an American recently who told me about all the things he had seen in Germany and what a great time he had had.
How do you feel about the countries that did not get chosen, South Africa, England and Morocco?Well, it's always the same; in the end there can be only one winner, and the losers are naturally disappointed, having put in a lot of effort and still missed the big chance. But there will be other World Cups in the future.
What do you personally look forward to during the World Cup in six years time?I hope that Germany will be world champions once again.