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Maina: “I’m happy. Even if it gets loud!”

Newcomer Linton Maina (23) introduced himself to 1. FC Köln – and spoke frankly about his once lack of attitude and coach Steffen Baumgart.

Should ensure more speed at 1. FC Köln: Linton Maina.
IMAGO/Treese

Talking helps! In any case, this is how Linton Maina’s statement can be interpreted when asked about his motivation for moving to Cologne. He reports on the first, early talks that “were really good”, in contrast to his “last two years” as a professional at Hannover 96: “They weren’t that successful.” And this was exactly a core topic in the conversations that Cologne’s leaders had with Maina.


I didn’t always have the right attitude.


Normally – that’s how it is in Cologne – you wouldn’t have gotten a player like him. Too talented, too fast, too much potential. A sprinter on both wings, who also moves in and occupies the penalty area in the center. Contact was made early in the year, “in February or March,” Maina recalls. One can imagine that these conversations were less about the player’s well-known talents and more about his professional views: “I didn’t always have the right attitude,” Maina admits frankly. He is convinced that this will change: “It will definitely get better.”

In fact, this got better at the end of the last second division season, when he found his fun again. Which may have had something to do with the fact that Cologne’s interest intensified more and more and finally came to an end. Maina lists “deep runs, speed and dribbling” among other things as his strengths, after leaving “the comfort zone and the changes” he wants to bring in these talents: “I wanted to take this step and see what else I can do.”

His advantages fit exactly into the Cologne profile, from Steffen Baumgart he hopes for the support that Cologne’s coach radiates: “He’s someone who tells you the truth in your face, tells you what he thinks. But completely positive.”

This is exactly what he had missed in recent years with the changing coaches in Hanover, in Cologne he gets the free house: “It got a bit louder one or the other time, my name also came up,” he reported with a laugh after the session on Tuesday, “but I think that’s what I need. You can tell he wants to help, even if he’s getting louder. That resonates immediately. I’m looking forward to what’s to come. Even if it’s a little gets louder.” Talking just helps.

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