Nils Petersen: “The Champions League is a dream, not a goal.”

Speaking to the German Press Agency, via Kicker, Nils Petersen expressed his dream to be able to play Champions League football with Freiburg and the prospect of extending his contract at the Black Forest club. 

Freiburg currently find themselves second in the league and four points off of leaders Bayern Munich. SCF nearly reached the Champions League last season but stumbled in the latter stages of the season but this time they find themselves in a better position, and Petersen stated his desire to play in it: “The Champions League is a dream, not a goal. When you’re up there after 15 matchdays, you don’t want to give it away quickly.

“The momentum is on our side. We know that we can get very good players here that we didn’t get before, that we can now fill a stadium with 35,000 spectators, that we can compete internationally, that we can withstand the triple load. Of course, the Champions League is a dream. It’s far from a goal. The club is still too much in the growth phase for that. It’s better to stay ‘humble’.”

Petersen goes on to explain why he has not played as much nowadays: “You have to be realistic. I’m 34. We have players like Schade, like Sallai, like Weißhaupt, like Jeong – young players who are itching to get my minutes. We’re so good now that we don’t know how good I am can still help the team at that level. We used to be behind a lot, but now we’re often in the lead. That’s why you don’t need my substitutions that often.” Petersen is one of the most successful substitutes in the Bundesliga but this season is yet to score for Freiburg. 

Finally, Petersen also opens up about his future with there being three options for him extend his contract, change clubs or end his career. However, Petersen did not say whether this is his final year: “Can’t say yet. It’s a matter of consideration: Does the club still need me? How’s my health? How’s it going athletically? Last year it was also the case that I was in the second half of the season I scored a couple of goals that kept the club interested. So far there have been no talks. Of course I’m worried. I probably won’t be able to give a prognosis until February or March.” 

He expanded on this with his desire to still be involved with Freiburg but not in a coaching manner: “If I had one wish, I would like to stay close to the professional team. But I don’t see myself in the coaching role. With Christian Streich, with Jochen Saier, with Klemens Hartenbach, we have personalities who would be interesting to see to learn.”

Petersen has played 259 games for Freiburg scoring 103 goals for the club since he first moved to the Black Forest in 2015. His time at Freiburg even earned him a call-up to the Germany squad where he made two appearances in 2018. 

GGFN | Jack Meenan

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