Cherundolo at Hannover 96: ‘My heart aches’ | – Sports

Status: 03/16/2022 12:05 PM

Ten years ago, Hannover 96 was in the quarter-finals of the European League, and now it is about sporting survival in the second Bundesliga. Someone who knows the best times suffers in faraway California: Stephen Chirondolo, Hannover’s record player in the Bundesliga.

By Johannes Freitag and Heiko Oldorp

Los Angeles instead of Großburgwedel. It doesn’t look so bad. The sky is blue and the thermometer reads 24 degrees on this sunny March day at the Los Angeles Football Club Training Center.

Twelve months ago, after 22 years in Hanover, Chirondolo moved to his American homeland with his German wife Mandy and two children, where he coached the Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer (MLS) team for a few weeks. So far with success: With seven points from three games, his team receives from the top of the standings table in the Western Conference.

“Coffee, cake. I liked it in Germany too. It’s not here. But I’m about to serve it. At least in the club.”
Stephen Chirondulo

However, the former professional footballer often has his thoughts in Lower Saxony. How not: “I spent half my life in Hanover. It shaped me and shaped me. I created my family there, made friends and had a career,” the 43-year-old said in an interview with NDR.

Hannover 96 is my club, my club.

On Saturday evening (8:30 p.m. local time), LAFC will play a home game against Orlando, on the same day, the second division match between Schalke 04 and Hannover 96 (1.30 p.m., at NDR Livecenter) kicks off in Gelsenkirchen. Cherundolo may set an alarm to watch the match live. Because of the time difference, it’s only 5:30 AM in California.

At the heart of the Hanover record player (302 appearances), the club’s only professional player to have participated in three world championships, will always be in the distant state of Lower Saxony: “Of course I cheer you up. “Of course I cheer you up,” said Chirondulo, who followed the disappointing 0-3 draw against 1. FC Nuremberg last Sunday, “Hanover 96 is my federation, my team. I’m still a member. Every defeat hurts me.”

‘Incredibly emotional’ times 96

The fan favorite, the former defender had better times with the Reds than the current team. In ’96, almost ten years ago, he led Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals of the European League. After two defeats 1: 2, Lower Saxony was eliminated from the competition at that time.

For Chirondolo, the European Cup season is one of the most formative moments of his career, along with the promotion to the Bundesliga in 2002 and the tragedy surrounding Robert Enke’s suicide in November 2009 and subsequent relegation the following year: “These are the three phases that were incredibly emotional” .

“On the right track with Dabrowski”

But since then, she has “made a lot of mistakes” in Hanover, according to Chirondolo. You have to “think honestly, stand up to mistakes and not be afraid of criticism.” Apparently it happened at the club: “We found a good way with Christoph Dabrowski as coach,” said the 43-year-old, expressing once again his great attachment to his former club with “we”. He played with the current 96 coach, whom he calls his “friend”, between 2003 and 2006: “I keep my fingers crossed for him because he is a very good coach and I hope the 96 continues to improve.”

“I’m mostly Hanover – and proud of that.”
Stephen Chirondulo

And at some point, the guy from San Diego wants to go back to Hanover: “The good thing and the bad thing about working in football is that you get fired at some point. I hope this happens late in my case. But the moment will come when I have time.” The Maschsee does not run away from me.”

More information

2 minutes

Stephen Chirondolu is the Bundesliga record player for Hanover 96 and now coaches Los Angeles Football Club – with success. 2 minutes

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German Football League Show 2 | 03/19/2022 | 13:00 “Oh the clock

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