Interview Simon Kjær about Ballon d'Or after Moldova
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Interview Simon Kjær about Ballon d'Or and penalty kick against Moldova

Interview: Discovery+ · 9 Oct 2021

Simon Kjær interview after the 0 - 4 win of Denmark against Moldova on October 9, 2021.

Simon Kjær interview after Moldova - Denmark

Simon Kjær, you played only 45 minutes in tonight's match. Is there anything we should be worried about?

Kjær: “No, not at all! I had talked a bit with Kasper (Hjulmand) about it, because you always want to play more. But I also knew if the match proceeded as we had hoped for, then I could risk playing only 45 minutes. I was hoping for a little more, but no, there is nothing to worry about. All is very well."

It has just been announced that you have been nominated for the Ballon d´Or award among 30 nominees. How did you react when you first heard it?

Kjær: “Yes… well how do you react? It’s a huge honour and a huge privilege to be part of the list. I‘m well aware that 2021 has been a fantastic year for me. Both with the national team, to get into the semi finals, and with AC Milan to become number 2 after 7 years and to return to the Champions League. But to be with the last 30 for the Ballon d´Or, I did not expect it either. It’s a huge honour and a huge privilege. Something I‘m incredibly proud of.”

"It’s a huge honour and a huge privilege. Something I‘m incredibly proud of."

- Simon Kjær, captain of the Danish national football team, about his Ballon d'Or nomination

Being a good leader is also a big part of being a good football player. Do you feel that the nomination is due to your leadership qualities, which were so well-demonstrated during the European Championships, as well as your football qualities?

Kjær: “No, these are two very different things. Of course as a leader, as a football player. And the way I lead during a football match, what happened during the European Championships. I‘ve been given a very specific explanation that those are two separate things. And that is also important for me to hear, because I want to be judged on how I am as a football player."

"All the statements and support that have been given to me during the European Championship: I gladly accept that, and I really appreciate that, but those are two different things.”

Is it a special Ballon d´Or bonus that you were allowed to take the penalty kick?

Kjær: “I was actually supposed to do that as well last time. I'm glad I've said for a long time that I’d like to do it, when they need someone to kick. I've also put pressure on it once in a while. It was so cool."

"Last time I gave it to Wind (Jonas) an once to Cornelius (Andreas), but today I thought I’d take the penalty kick myself.”

(story continues below)

View all Denmark GIFs featuring Simon Kjær

And what a kick! Is it a special Simon Kjær signature from now on? During the World Cup against Croatia you also kicked it hard.

Kjær: “It's something I'm training, it's something I've been training for a long time. It's something I've been convinced about. You can train this. Sometimes, even if there is pressure, even if it is the quarter finals or whenever it is, you can put yourself in a situation in which you feel safe. And that is what I have done. I have been training it for a long time. So when the situation arose..."

"I also took two penalty kicks, when we played the qualification last year for the Europa League with AC Milan. I also kicked them both in, so I am reasonably confident in it.”

Many thanks to Randi for the English translation.

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