First Team

"Anything can happen in football"

In the second part of our interview with new recruit Alexander Milosevic, the Sweden international talks about, his international teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the meaning of his tattoos and the differences between Germany and Sweden.

Alex, you know PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic from playing for the Sweden. What’s it like to play with a striker like him?

Alex: “When you play against him in training… I think we all know how he plays. He is just as amazing in training as he is in matches. For me, Zlatan is up there with Messi and Ronaldo as one of the three best players in the world. He is a really nice guy and has a good personality.

Which striker has been the hardest for you to play against?

Alex: “It’s hard to say. To be honest, I don’t know. I haven’t faced any particular player and thought, ‘Okay, that was difficult for me.’ All players at this level are good. 

You have a few tattoos. Could you tell us a bit about the meaning behind them?

Alex: “On my ribs I have a tattoo with the names of everyone in my family. On one of my right ribs I have the name of my brother who passed away six years ago when he was 25. Then I have a tattoo of Mary on my right underarm and another on my wrist of Rissne, which is my hometown in Sweden. On my left arm, I have the Serbian flag to symbolise my Serbian roots and a Viking for my Swedish roots.

When you were presented to the fans, you said that you and Miiko are on the same level in terms of speaking German…

Alex: “Yeah, we went to a German lesson for the second time yesterday. Miiko has been here almost a year and has been trying to speak the language (laughs). I think, I’ll be better than him soon though.

That was going to be my question. Are you better than him at German?

Alex: “No, not yet. He can order a cappuccino (laughs). Swedish is different to German in a lot of ways, but I can already understand a few things. That part is easier than speaking German myself.”

What was your first sentence in German?

Alex (in German): “I don’t know (laughs).”

"At the moment, the most important thing for me is to help Hannover and to try and keep the team in the Bundesliga."
Alexander Milosevic

Is it a big change for you from the Swedish or Turkish way of life compared to life in Germany?

Alex: “It wasn’t a big step changing from the Swedish way of life to the Turkish way of life. In Sweden, I was brought up with Turkish and Arabian people. Because of that, I understand their culture. The Swedish and the Germans have a largely similar way of life. For example, when it comes to discipline, you always have to give 110 percent in training and everything that goes with that. Because of that, that’s why we Swedish players also enjoy playing in Germany. Football wise, the Bundesliga and the Swedish league aren’t that different. The tempo is quicker here; it’s more about the team. In Turkey, for example, the players and their great individual skills come to the fore more.”     

Which league do you enjoy most?

Alex: “Unfortunately, I barely played In Turkey. I was injured for a long time and we were top of the table, so why would I have gone to the coach and asked, ‘Why am I not playing?’ At the moment, I think that the Bundesliga is the best league because I am here. All of the players give 110 percent and help each other out. In Turkey, it’s more like, okay, you have the ball, and you’ll have to work out yourself what to do with it.”  

Alexander Milosevic made his first appearance for Hannover against Mainz.

In summer there are two big events for Swedish football. The European Championship in June and the Olympics in August. How do you rate your chances of getting chosen for each of the tournaments?

Alex: “I’ve spoken a lot with the national team’s coach. He told me that I must be playing at club level, so I’ll do my best and try to get as much game time as possible to challenge for the European Championship squad. There is still a lot of time before the tournament, so it’s a bit early to talk about it. Anything can happen in football, so you have to look at things day by day. At the moment, the most important thing for me is to help Hannover and to try and keep the team in the Bundesliga. I will give absolutely everything to try and do this.

Which tournament would you prefer to play in?

Alex: “It was always a dream to play for the national team, it doesn’t matter which tournament. I would personally prefer to be a part of the European Championship. The team can only play three players over the age of 23 at the Olympics, which is awkward for the team. Mind you, I was a part of the side that qualified for the games. If the coach asked me to be a part of the team, I would never say no. At the moment though, I am fully focused on Hannover.”

Thanks a lot for your time!