Interview Simon Kjær - Behind The Scenes
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Interview Simon Kjær - Behind The Scenes

Interview: DR · 26 Dec 2021

This interview with Simon Kjær is from the documentary 'Landsholdet Bag Kulissen' (Behind The Scenes), that was published by the Danish channel DR on December 26, 2021. Read the English translation below.

Simon Kjær about 2021

"Like that? Let’s go!"

"All the things we have been through... it’s been a completely insane year. On every front, I must say. I think the progress as a team and the steps we’ve taken in the right direction have been really great. I believe we’ve grown a lot as a team."

"For me, the absolutely greatest level one can reach as a football player and the feelings you have when you go into Parken, especially playing your 118th international... To go into a full Parken, you get the same feeling every time, and it’s unique every time. This is what we train for every single day, to be able to play on that pitch."

"All the things we have been through... it’s been a completely insane year. On every front, I must say."

- Simon Kjær, captain of the Danish national team

Simon Kjær about Christian Eriksen

"It’s very personal. You have this moment where the whole nation feels the same. You experience something together with the nation, people at home in their living rooms and us down there on the field- we could relate to one another. That night, they had the same reaction in their bodies that allowed them to relate to us."

"Personally, I am not ready to sit here and go into details about where I was, what I felt, what pictures I had in my head…I’m not there yet. It’s still something that’s fresh and something I’m trying to work through, at least for myself."

"What I can say is that what happened that day and the way we handled it, we were only able to do that because of the relationships we have with one another. Because of that support, we were able to find the calm in one another... otherwise there’s no way we could have reacted properly on the field in the first place, then in the locker room, and in whatever followed. We couldn’t have gotten through it without each other."

Simon Kjær about playing against Finland after the game was re-started

"In the first place, we should have NEVER played that match afterwards. We should have gotten back on the bus and driven home. There wasn’t a single player down in the locker room who was in the right frame of mind to make that decision. I wish we could have had the opportunity to change that decision. But then I actually didn’t care about the result and the consequences of having lost because we weren’t in a place where we could play a football game. Or to make decisions."

"We should have NEVER played that match afterwards. We should have gotten back on the bus and driven home."

- Simon Kjær about the match against Finland during EURO 2020

Simon Kjær about the missed penalty of Pierre Højbjerg

"Completely meaningless. A feeling of apathy. Whatever. I mean, I dont think there was a single person who cared about that result. Afterwards, how the hell did we move on? Well, we went on because we got positive news about Christian being okay. Otherwise there’s no way we could have played on. I couldn’t have played if I hadn’t spoken to Christian."

Simon Kjær about playing the next game against Belgium

I knew very well that if you were sitting on the players bus it meant you would play. But whether I would be able to start the game was something else because how would we know how we would react? You were in doubt whether you could actually play football or not play football that evening. But then you come into Parken where now there’s a completely different atmosphere."

We're at 4:30 in the video. Let's dive into the next part of documentary featuring Simon Kjær.

"It didn't matter if we lost or won. It didn't matter. But it did matter if we could go, across that line together, and if we could play a football match. I haven't tried, in my time on the national team, that it was just okay to play. Football was secondary."

Simon Kjær about the match against Russia

"And maybe it also meant that we could be "a little indifferent" for free. It was all free. We didn't worry about the result, we had the feeling of the support and the love we got, we could only give it all back by going in and trying to play."

"We have a great coach, who took care of the situation and said: Well, an hour to an hour and a half a day we think football."

"So, football came in second place, compared to what we had experienced. And it was special. It was important we got through the fight and it was important we got through the fight together. It was just like getting out and enjoying it."

"And it was a nice free space, because there was no doubt about everything after that what happend, every other hour of the day, unless you slept, then you processed what we had been through. Individually, as a team, some needed more time, so it was an individual thing – and nothing was wrong."

"When it get up in the unit as it did, and the way we played, I had not expected that either."

"Football came in second place, compared to what we had experienced."

- Simon Kjær

Simon Kjær about the support of the fans

"We saw people standing on the bridges as we drove in. I never expected that. I had never ever thought it was possible. So, the support it gave us, even when we trained, we also trained 100 percent. We dedicated ourselves to, we allowed ourselves to train and prepare. After that we made sure we were well. We made sure we were in a good place mentally."

Simon Kjær about what happened after EURO 2020

"Full stadium. 24 hours after that, I sit at home on my terrace and have dinner with my wife and kids, and with my mom and dad. Of course, I was happy to see my family and my wife and my kids, but it was very weird too."

"From having lived in a bubble, and having lived a dream. I remember, I also told my wife, that I just needed to have a few days to get into the rhythm."

"Carry straight over with me, I should probably..., I would come back but I need time to do that."

Simon Kjær about qualifying for the worldcup in Qatar 2022

"It was great to be back with the national team again, because somewhere, I have of course talked to my family, I've talked to my friends, I've talked to my wife, I've talked to my mother and father, about what happened."

"But there is only one place where people really understand what I'm talking about. So, it's also nice to come back and talk about things."

"The support, the hopes that are for the national team, the unity that is, it's something we must cultivate, it is something we all have to take care of, the media, those who sit at home in the living room, it's something to cultivate."

"Because we haven’t got here for free. It has been a long way, and there have been some things that we had to go through together, to get somewhere where we can't all relate to the same thing."

"We want at least, will try in the best possible way: Number 1. Win football matches, but at the same time also give something of ourselves."

"That's also why I'm sitting here."

"If I allow myself to have that dream and that goal, whether it's 10 percent chance or 15 percent chance goal, or 50 percent chance goal, it doesn't matter, but I have to have it, because otherwise I'll never be there."  

"Hard to describe how much that support means..."

Many thanks to Randi and Karen for the English translation.