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Ex-FCB man turned intern

Hashemian: I can learn a lot here

He somewhat timidly leans against the wall of the hut where the training equipment is kept: cones, hurdles, poles, ropes. Objects that Vahid Hashemian will probably get to use a lot in the future. The former FC Bayern striker is on the right track to folllow Pep Guardiola into coaching - and Hashemian now has the chance to look over the shoulder of the FCB head coach.

“I’m doing my DFB coaching badge at the moment,” explained the Iranian in an interview with held between two training sessions involving the former striker. Hashemian spoke about his three-week work placement in Munich, his first experiences as a coach, and his playing days at FCB.

Interview: Vahid Hashemian Vahid, do you remember where you were on 14 August 1999?
Vahid Hashemian: In Teheran I guess. Am I right?

Not quite. You made your debut for Hamburg SV in the Bundesliga - here in Munich against FC Bayern.
You’re right! We drew 2-2 because Giovane Elber scored the equaliser in the last minute. I came on for Anthony Yeboah on 72 minutes. I was up against Lothar Matthäus and Thomas Linke - two internationals who were very experienced. It was a really stressful introduction to the league but I quickly got used to the pace of the game in Germany.

There were a few minor irritants away from the pitch...
In my first interview at Hamburg I said: FC Bayern was my dream club! The journalists had to laugh. They asked me: 'You’ve just signed for HSV - why Bayern Munich?' I didn’t want to lie to them. FC Bayern were very famous when I was growing up in Iran. It’s always been a great club for me.

After making it at VfL Bochum you joined FCB in 2004. What did that feel like?
I had a lot of offers from different clubs but I didn’t need to think about it: I only wanted to play for FC Bayern. That was my secret target and I suddenly had the chance. It was a dream come true for me.

How did FCB compare with your previous clubs?
Hamburg SV was a big club, but you’ve got much bigger opportunities at FC Bayern. At the same time, expectations are higher as is the competition in the squad. You have to be on the ball when the coach gives you a chance. It’s hard if you can’t do that.

You won the double with FC Bayern in 2005 but you had mixed fortunes personally with 15 appearances and one goal.
I’ve analysed my spell in Munich again. When I came here I thought: I’m the sort of person who needs time to settle in. But that doesn’t work here. You have to come here, perform immediately and take your chance. I didn’t make it. Nevertheless, I only have good memories of FC Bayern.

You’ve come back here on work experience. How did that come about?
After I passed the entrance exam with the DFB I made contact with Hermann Gerland. Like me, he used to play for Bochum and he was a great help – obviously in discussion with Matthias Sammer and the coaching staff. I’m very grateful to FC Bayern for giving me this opportunity.

What’s changed at FCB since your time here as a player?
Everything’s even more professional now - the training, the organisation, the facilities. The set-up here is impressive. The club is very, very well structured with professionals all over the place. That made up my mind straight away: I wanted to do my work experience with FC Bayern. Above all, because the coaching staff here are amongst the best in the world.

When did you decide to become a coach?
I did my A and B licence courses when I was a player in Germany. I then spent 14 months coaching in the Hamburg league before I focused on the entrance exam for the DFB course. I definitely wanted to do my coaching course in Germany as it’s recognised as being amongst the best in the world. I can learn a lot here.

You’re quiet and polite by nature. Will coach Hashemian be more vocal?
I exploded once or twice during my time in the Hamburg league (said with a smile). I can normally control myself very well. I’m disciplined, want to work hard and analyse things.

Your coaches included Frank Pagelsdorf, Peter Neururer, Felix Magath and Ali Daei. Do have a role model?
No. A copy is never the same as the original. Everybody has their own character, individual philosophy and different ideas, so everyone has to make up their own mind about how they want to work. I can take positives from all my former coaches and combine that with my own ideas.

Which club would you like to take charge of?
I would be happy coaching all the teams I used to play for (laughs). And I’m also in interested in the Iran national team of course. The only problem is: you rely on offers as a coach, you can’t just pick your own job. So I want to develop well first. The rest will take care of itself.