A new story from Men In Blazers

Men In Blazers


At night, but the whole area around the ground, one that's so many great footballers have emerged from concrete Catalonia they call it in England home to such an incredibly diverse population, a truth that's reflected really in the diversity of the palace squad, and I loved hearing you talk about just how much that means to you, Chris, as someone who grew up as the only black kid playing soccer in his hometown. of the black kids out here and it's something that like growing up, I never would have thought was even possible. And you know, it's cool. Even not necessarily saying that it's just about the black kids, but it's like, we have, I feel like we really very much London's team, like we represent every corner of London and whether it's now we have a Serbian on our team, we have players from all over South London, all over London all over the UK, France, other nations in Africa, and it's just nowhere. I feel like we very much stick to the root of London, which is immigrants and just kind of who we are. We don't we don't put up this facade where we're like this posh team, you know, we want to be the people soon. And I think we very much represent that. I've got to say, one of my delights when I am in London is to catch a game at Crystal Palace and every listener, when you are there, make a pathway down there to watch Chris and his team, it is the kind of authentic joyous experience that you will never forget. But how you find in London Chris after Germany, can you talk about the cultural transition? I know you've said that you find the street signs hard still. Yeah, I mean, London is, it's like a place where you can be yourself, you know? You can be who you want to be. I think Germany is very traditional in that sense where everybody kind of knows everybody even in a big city like Munich. It was like everybody knew everybody and you're kind of where forced to just be like a football player. And then you get to London and you can go through the city and just not have to worry about somebody stopping you or not have to worry about putting up a false image of who you are who you want to be. You can just be the authentic version of yourself and I think it's really easy to get lost in London in that sense. August 15th, you made your debut. You came on as a substitute against Liverpool. How much of a step up playing wise is the Premier League, you've remarked just how much faster you felt the experience was. Can you describe it to someone, me? Who's not played a single minute? Making your debut against Liverpool is pretty quality team, you know? They're not a bunch of scrubs. And you know, I'm not saying the Bundesliga is a bad league, but also every team here has quality players, you know, like world class players even. And coming in, you know, of course you're adrenaline's really high and you add an amazing ground like Anfield and the game is one one at that point so you're like, all right, I just have to do everything possible to keep it one one or to get us to take this one, go ahead. And it was just so fast. I almost didn't believe it. But I think very much in my head, I made it a bit faster than it was because I was just nervous, anxiety, adrenaline, everything was going at that point, but it was, yeah, it's probably my favorite moment of football so far in my career. This is saying that the beginnings are always difficult. And that was the case for you at Crystal Palace. The frustration of a long-term hamstring injury that you suffered in September kept you out for two months. Can you tell us what that experience is like, a fragmented start being a new gen in a new place, having that compounded by the loneliness of rehab away from the rest of the squad, doubt can creep in. Does that create more immediate pressure as you left upon that? How you yearn to prove yourself to the fans to Vieira. Like you said, doing a rehab, especially for a longer period of time. It's very isolating. And you know, probably say 75% of this year I've been doing a rehab, whether it's how I ended my season of hoffenheim or here and I felt like when I came here, I was in good shape and ready to prove myself and then right before the World Cup, of course, had a bad injury and it was like a double whammy because a, I couldn't prove myself to palace and then B also I was missing the World Cup where it's something that you've football players dreamed of as a kid. And so that whole period coming home and watching games and then going to training the next day and being by myself and everyone's gone for the World Cup break. It was tough. But I think it just made me work even harder to chance finally came to finally be able to put my best foot forward and to make the most of it. I am taking you into a moment of darkness, a moment of darkness for you personally. I've got to be honest a moment of darkness for all American football fans when that injury didn't just keep you out the Premier League. We learned that it was going to keep you out of the World Cup two and you broke the news yourself back in November on Instagram, I believe the word you use was gutted to miss the tournament that you dreamt to playing in since you were a kid. Can you really take us into your head during those final days that moment of realization that the dates of your rehab and the dates of the World Cup were just not going to ally, you weren't going to recover in time. Is it a grieving period? It was a tough time because, like I said, it's something that always dreamed of, but also it was one of those things where I did everything possible. I really did every sort of treatment. I was resting. I was doing everything possible. And we were just trying to hope that maybe one day I'd wake up and it'd be just 1% better. And when you push yourself really hard to try to make something like that, your body needs to rest. And so you can't go every day. And it was tough because, you know, for me, it wasn't just me representing myself. Of course it was representing my country, but it was also representing my family, like all the people that have been there with me on the journey and my first experience with the World Cup was 2010, like the U.S. Algeria game and I remember I was at this I was at a soccer camp back home in Birmingham Birmingham southern actually and we were outside and the game was being played on the radio and the loudspeakers. Landon Donovan there are things on here for the USA. Can they do it here? Cross and dead seas tonight again and Donovan is gone. Can you believe this? Go

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