Last Wednesday, the phone lines at the VOLKSWAGEN ARENA were buzzing. As part of a telephone activity set up by 'Kicker' sport magazine, Arne Friedrich personally took the calls of his fans. Patiently and good-humouredly, the German international answered all of his fans questions. Here just a selection of the questions and answers.
Christoph von Helden (13, Waldfeucht-Haaren): Why did you move from Hertha BSC Berlin to VfL Wolfsburg?
Arne Friedrich (31): "There were various reasons. Some things just weren’t working out anymore. In the second division I would also have had problems keeping my place in the national team."
Christina Stüwe (38, Dusseldorf): You were also in talks with Leverkusen, why did you then go to Wolfsburg?
Arne Friedrich: "I was in contact with a number of clubs – but I’ll be keeping the names of those clubs to myself. VfL have unbelievable potential. The club were German champions in 2009. Now we have one of the few teams of players together that can really reach for the very top."
Johannes Schmittmann (18, Ahaus): Are you worried that, with the new man on your side Simon Kjaer, you could be caught out cold in your Bundesliga start because you haven’t had time to play together very often?
Arne Friedrich: "I most certainly haven’t forgotten all of my technical tasks during my three week break but of course we want to do as well as possible right from the start. It will take some time until we have gelled together convincingly. The best way for that to work out is with match practice."
Stefan Jansen (15, Gifhorn): Would Germany have won the World Cup if they hadn’t had to play Spain in the semi-final?
Arne Friedrich: "That’s difficult to say, but prior to the game, I did tip that the winner of that clash would become world champions. And that’s just how it worked out. On the day we simply didn’t play well."
Sabrina Kreuscher (18, Neuenbürg): Do you still recall what you felt after your goal in the World Cup against Argentina?
Arne Friedrich: "I think I actually thought about how I should celebrate – I haven’t scored all that many goals. I was just so delighted, there were so many emotions involved. After all, it was quite an important goal. In my 77th game for the national team I managed to avoid breaking Jürgen Köhler’s record of going 83 games before he scored his first goal for the national team."