Matthias Ginter is world champion, long-running Bundesliga player and socially committed. With his move from Borussia Mönchengladbach to SC Freiburg, the 28-year-old has come full circle.
40 children in red jerseys dribble across the lawn in the Matthias-Ginter-Sportpark. And right in the middle: Matthias Ginter himself. He laughs, enjoys training with the youngsters and manages in a friendly way to lose most of his duels. He feels at home on the SC March soccer field that is named after him. Just like the kids who came to the first inclusive football camp of the Matthias Ginter Foundation.
Matthias Ginter is back at home
The SC March site was not chosen by chance for the football camp. Here, just a few kilometers north of Freiburg, Matthias Ginter started playing football as a child. From SC March we went to SC Freiburg and from there out into the wide world of football. Three years in Dortmund, five years in Mönchengladbach, world champion 2014. Ginter is currently in 291 Bundesliga appearances. In the coming season, the 28-year-old will be playing at home again – at SC Freiburg.
For the native of Freiburg, moving to Breisgau has come full circle. “I’m really looking forward to it, even though the season is actually only just over,” says Matthias Ginter in an interview with SWR Sport. “It was always in the back of my mind, even when I left Freiburg, to play for Freiburg again,” he continues.
He also knew that in football it’s never that easy to implement something like that. “In the meantime I really didn’t believe in it anymore, because it might have been wishful thinking from a football-romantic point of view. But this year it was perfect.”
Matthias Ginter on the move to Freiburg: “I had a great feeling straight away”
After a turbulent last year in Mönchengladbach, it’s now back to the beginning. When it became clear that the defender would not be able to continue at Borussia vom Niederrhein and that a winter transfer would not take place either, talks with other clubs became more concrete in February. Especially with SC Freiburg.
There were several options for the national player, who was not nominated by national coach Hansi Flick for the Nations League games in June. “I would have dared to go abroad, but I felt that I was in the best hands in Germany,” says the 28-year-old about his thoughts in the spring.” According to Ginter, there were three or four clubs that were in Germany Question came, including SC Freiburg.
“I immediately had a great feeling. Both in terms of the emotional track and the track, which affects the purely sporting role and the coaching team,” says Ginter. In Freiburg he meets his sponsor Christian Streich, with whom he won the A-Junior Cup in 2011 and who made it possible for him to make the leap to the professionals.
The 2014 World Champion followed Freiburg’s successful season with qualification for the Europa League. Of course he will also watch the final in the DFB Cup between Sport-Club and RB Leipzig. On a short vacation, “probably with an SC Freiburg jersey.”
Never forget home
Matthias Ginter has never forgotten his homeland, where most people simply call him “Matze”. Not even when he played in Dortmund or Mönchengladbach. “It doesn’t matter how many kilometers there are, he helps us in our daily lives. Be it with his name or simply by dropping by here,” says Jochen Flamm, SC March board member.
He is proud of the development of the club’s most famous son, who was “always talented” but who no one could have predicted would make it to the national team. “For all the children who are here at SC March – the stadium bears his name – it’s an incentive to do exactly what Matze does,” says Flamm.
“Joy, fun and togetherness”, says Matthias Ginter, he wants to convey to the children through the inclusive training camp of his Matthias Ginter Foundation. Especially after the past two years, which were shaped by the corona pandemic and the restrictions associated with it, a framework was created so that “you can just play football with friends outside again and chat.”
Ingo Anderbrügge as a coach at the football camp in March
With his foundation, Ginter supports children who are mentally, physically or socially handicapped. Ginter has prominent support for the implementation of the inclusive football camp: Ingo Anderbrügge, who played a total of 359 competitive games for Schalke 04, and his coaching team from the company “Fußballfabrik” ensure the best atmosphere on the pitch. And of course for high-quality training exercises, where respectful cooperation is always the focus.
It is a highlight for the children in the Matthias-Ginter-Sportpark. And who knows, maybe in a few years a player from the March will make it onto the big football stage again. Just like Matthias Ginter.