MARIN: ONE WEEK ON

Posted on: Fri 13 Jul 2012

Three young midfielders/wingers have begun training with the squad at Cobham for the first time in the past week and Marko Marin is the third to talk to the official Chelsea website.

There have been some new on-pitch experiences for the 23-year-old German, one familiar face to greet and a different environment to grow used to, but there is already a settled air about the player as he discusses his move to a different league and acclimatising to the Chelsea way of life.

His spoken English is very good - mainly the product of the German education system but also further developed at his previous club, Werder Bremen, where a group of non-German speaking players led to English often being the lingua franca in the dressing room.

Now he has joined another cosmopolitan squad where the common language may be the same but there are daily differences beginning to show.

'The training is a good intensity,' reports Marin shortly after another 90 minutes out on the Cobham grass, 'and I like the training here because we train most of the time with the ball. In Germany in pre-season we did more running without the ball.

'Sometimes we'd go out and run and you don't see the ball, but only in pre-season. We trained with the ball more during the season.

'It is also nice here to see how good the players are in the possession games with the ball. Everybody is a technically good player, and the training ground is something special. In Germany you don't have a training ground like this, so huge where you can see the many pitches for the younger players too.'

The agreement that Marin would join this summer was announced at the end of April, before the end of the season in both Germany and England, and he watched the Champions League Final knowing he would be joining the side attempting to overturn the odds against the local heroes in Munich.

With no connection to Bayern it was clear in his mind that national allegiance would be forgotten on this occasion, not least because the result would determine whether Marin plays Champions League football this coming campaign.

From the moment he discovered there was the chance of that competition plus playing in the Premier League, he knew he wished to move clubs.

'If Chelsea calls you then it is a really nice feeling. It is a good experience to play in another country and in England, which for me is the best league - not only because the stadiums are full, because we have the same in Germany too, but I think here is another atmosphere in the stadiums.

'I have played a few games in England and you can feel it, and the intensity and the tempo of the game is so much higher.'

Marin has 16 caps for Germany although the last was appearance was in the 2010 World Cup. It is natural that he would like to win his place back and his country, he is certain, is not one to ignore players outside of the Bundesliga. Indeed several of the current squad are playing abroad including his former Bremen team-mate Mesut Ozil who has become a big star at Real Madrid where Sami Khedira plays as well, and Lukas Podolski (pictured below) is also moving to London this summer as one of Arsenal's new signings.

Marin


'If you play in a team like Chelsea you are in focus everywhere in the world, not just Germany, so if you perform well it is a logical step you come back [into the national side],' Marin says.

'It is my decision to go to another country because I am not afraid of this, I like this, I want to play for Chelsea. It is not that I want to go abroad from Germany, it is that Chelsea is a good club. They are European champions, so I am happy to play here.

'Of course I know Lukas Podolski, we have played together in the national team, but I played two years together with Per Mertesacker at Werder Bremen before he moved to Arsenal and I am in contact with him more than with Lukas.'

Last Friday, Branislav Ivanovic told chelseafc.com that he was friends with Marin having first met when Serbia played Germany in South Africa two years ago, and now Marin gives his side of the tale.

'Everybody knows that I was born in the ex-Yugoslavia so before and after the game I talked to the Serbian guys, and now when I knew that I was coming to Chelsea I phoned him and we talked a lot and now he is helping me a lot, mostly little things but it is good to have somebody here who talks in my language.

'It is really good to go together to dinner and we are lucky for restaurants here in London, but we didn't go for Serbian food yet.'

Now the new arrival will have the chance to get to know the rest of his team-mates well as they head off together for two weeks in the United States.

'We were in Austria or Germany for our training camps with Werder,' he recalls, 'or one time in Spain or Turkey, never the US. I've gone there for holidays but not with a team. The first reason why we go there now is to train for friendly games and we have not the time to do other things. The main thing is that we get fit.'

And that, as he has already discovered, will be with plenty of the ball at the feet of a player who will soon have the chance to show Chelsea fans what his game is all about.