Fame, football, fancy diamonds. None of these are what’s most important to Kai Havertz. And that already makes him more interesting than 90 per cent of all other footballers out there.
Family. Now that’s more his speed. Also, foundation. (And also, football, to some extent obviously.)
The ever-creatively named Kai Havertz Stiftung (i.e. The Kai Havertz Foundation) launched this week. Unsurprisingly, and true to his intentions from a few years ago for example, it benefits animals, too, not just humans. At least in part. Donkeys, dogs, dilophosauruses. Okay, maybe not the latter.
The help support the launch and get the word out, Havertz has hit the interview circuit, including this engrossing sitdown with The Guardian’s Sid Lowe. A standard, harmless little fluffy chat could’ve done the job; Havertz instead gives us an intriguing glimpse into his mind, his personality, and things that matter to him as a human being.
I recommend reading the whole thing; he talks about dealing with the pressures and publicity of his job, the constantly changing circumstances, situations, opinions, criticisms, adorations, and how it’s important to have your constant.
Kai Havertz: ‘From day one I felt a special relationship with donkeys.’ Interview by @sidlowe https://t.co/Xfvj4sEYeF— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) March 29, 2023
Here are my favorite bits:
“Football’s not the most important thing in my life. Other things are maybe 100 times more important. Maybe it’s not easy to say and people don’t like it, but it’s how I feel. [Football is] the best thing in the world [and] no one can say I don’t give 100% [but] to always look at football 24/7 is not healthy.”
“[When] I was 17, 18, 19, football controlled my life, you know? [Since then] I’ve met different characters. Toni Kroos is one: calm, down to earth, doesn’t care about flashy stuff. He knows life is not only football. N’Golo Kanté is another. [...] You have to be stable. If you’re playing badly, it doesn’t make you the worst person on earth and the highs aren’t real. Everything moves fast [...] people love me now but maybe in two weeks they hate me again.
“No matter how well I played, I come home and my girlfriend wants me to put the plates into the dishwasher. [So] when you lose, you are in a bad mood still. But it has switched. You develop, mature [and become] able to really enjoy the moment rather than feel the pressure. And that’s the most important thing: remember, you started playing because you love the game. That is what I have tried to change because before it was different.”
-Kai Havertz; source: Guardian
What a fascinating young man you are, King Kai!