Oliver Baumann: “Basically you need explosiveness as a goalkeeper”
28 November 2021
Oliver Baumann has now been standing between the posts in the Bundesliga for over 10 years. What moments have made this time special and what goals Oli has set himself for the current season, he tells us during our visit to Sinsheim.
Hi Oli, nice to see you again!
Thanks, I am very pleased.
You are currently in the midfield of the table with your team. How satisfied are you with the season so far?
It could be worse, but it could definitely be better. We have phases where it just goes well. We have games, like against Cologne, which we win 5:0 and then again bad games, like the week before against Stuttgart when we lost 3:1. So far it is still very mixed. We have to play more consistently in order to be more successful, and that is what we are working on now.
“It is still a dream for me to play a game for the national team.”
What goals have you set yourselves as a team for the rest of the season?
That has not really been an issue yet, or has never been an issue. I am not a fan of it and I do not really need it because I set my own goals. But I think everyone is basically aming for international places. Since we simply play too inconsistently, we do not need to talk about that at all. I think if we play a season that ends in a single-digit place in the table, that is okay but not satisfying.
You just talked about your own goals. What goals are you focusing on for yourself?
Well, first of all, I want to play a consistent season again, at a high to very high level. It is still a dream for me to play a game for the national team. Maybe in some constellation it is possible to play one or two minutes. (laughs)
Since the start of the new season after one and a half years you are allowed to play in front of the spectators again. How does that feel?
That is exactly what makes the sport. We play soccer to be successful, of course. But also for the fans, who bring the atmosphere into the stadium, fill the stadium with life, and that is what we play soccer for. That is what it is all about and we are very happy that the spectators can come back to the stadium.
“If a striker watches the goalkeeper for a long time, as a goalkeeper you can not move for a long time and then you have to jump into the respective corner as quickly as possible. This is crucial.”
How has the Corona time changed you? Has it had an influence on you or your career?
Of course, the time has had a direct influence on everyone. I did not want to change my club but I think the transfer market and many players who wanted to transfer had suffered. On the one hand, meeting friends in person and not only via PC or smartphone. On the other hand, being out in the fresh air and being able to move freely. I think these are crucial things that are fundamentally important for people and that many people have lacked.
You have been standing between the posts in the Bundesliga for over 10 years. When you look back on your career so far, is there a particular moment on the pitch that you like to remember?
Yes of course, there have been a few moments where I have achieved my goals – with Freiburg we were never relegated, then I played internationally for the first time with Freiburg and then I also got to play internationally with Hoffenheim. The first time in the club’s history in the Euro League and in the Champions League and I was allowed to be there. Being in goal in the Champions League was a dream come true. You work towards it all the time, somehow you have it in your head, you absolutely want to get there, and the fact that it worked out was great. Those are moments that I remember and look back on with great pleasure.
Your record of penalty kicks saved was remarkably good. Do you have any tips for that?
For amateur sports it is difficult because there are not a lot of statistics. We get statistics and videos of the opposing strikers and I watched that a lot. Basically you need explosiveness as a goalkeeper. If a striker watches the goalkeeper for a long time, as a goalkeeper you can not move for a long time and then you have to jump into the respective corner as quickly as possible. This is crucial.
“Of course you can say “here is your money and goodbye” but for me it was somehow more personal and I wanted to be part of making trips or special wishes for sick children possible.”
We took up the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. You are very committed to the issue of sick children and are founding your own association. Why is this particularly close to your heart?
It started when my father died of cancer in 2012. As I came to terms with that over the years, I also wanted to help. It is best to start early, and that is why I wanted to help children. That is how I found the Children’s Cancer Clinic in Heidelberg as a partner. They are happy to accept donations in kind or even experiences and activities. That is what is important to me. Of course you can say “here is your money and goodbye” but for me it was somehow more personal and I wanted to be part of making trips or special wishes for sick children possible. When you are closer to that and all of a sudden you see the kids forget about their illness and the parents see their kids happy, that is worth so much. I had the situation once where a child wished for a Nintendo Switch. I then added Mario Kart and delivered it personally and that moment when he just forgot everything, that was very good moment. That is what it is all about. Of course money helps, but I think that personal experiences are much more important. That gives me back a lot. That is what life is all about. We footballers are always in a bubble and in a world of our own but the real world is just “out there” and you just have to see both.
We are impressed with what you stand up for. Sometimes soccer is not the most important thing in the world! In this sense stay healthy and fit and see you soon.
Thanks, see you soon!