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"When princes stand up for you": The film-ready career of Munich's Liridon Krasniqi


"When princes stand up for you": The film-ready career of Munich's Liridon Krasniqi Created: 06/23/2022Updated: 06/23/2022 08:44 By: Nico-Marius Schmitz Two legends,” says Liridon Krasniqi about meeting ex-world footballer Ronaldinho. ©Instagram As a teenager, Liridon Krasniqi (30) flew out of the youth academies at TSV 1860 and FC Bayern. And worked again on the construction site in Neuperlac

"When princes stand up for you": The film-ready career of Munich's Liridon Krasniqi

Created: 06/23/2022Updated: 06/23/2022 08:44

By: Nico-Marius Schmitz

Two legends,” says Liridon Krasniqi about meeting ex-world footballer Ronaldinho.


As a teenager, Liridon Krasniqi (30) flew out of the youth academies at TSV 1860 and FC Bayern.

And worked again on the construction site in Neuperlach.

Today Krasniqi is a Malaysian international and families name their children after the man from Munich.


– Summer 2006. The Jürgen Klinsmann disciples celebrate Germany at the World Cup and miss the start of a true football fairy tale.

But like the "summer fairy tale" everything starts with a dizziness.

Scene Giesing.

That summer, TSV 1860 Munich hosted the traditional sighting day for talent from the region.

The then 14-year-old Liridon Krasniqi also marched with friends to the lions' training ground.

But not for playing football.

"My boys wanted to steal something in the dressing room while the others were training," says Krasniqi.

Krasniqi met his coach from Viktoria Munich on the way to the dressing room.

A short exchange.

Liridon Krasniqi: Under false names at trial practice

'What are you doing here?'

'My son is registered here but has a cold and cannot attend.'

It clicked at Krasniqi.

Register: 'Hello, I'm Ivan Bakovic.'

"I went to the field and disassembled," says Krasniqi.

"We're sorry, nobody made it," said the coaches of 1860 after the trial session, "except for Ivan Bakovic."

The scam was a ticket to professional football for Liridon Krasniqi.

A ticket, which he then immediately burned again.

But one after anonther.

Liridon Krasniqi: Between juvenile court and junior academy

Liridon Krasniqi was born on January 1st, 1992 in Vitia, in the east of Kosovo.

In 1996 the parents moved to Munich.

“I grew up in Munich-Sendling for the first few years.

At twelve we went to Neuperlach.

Back then, everything wasn't as easy and tranquilo there as it is today.” From the overachiever area to the ghetto, as Krasniqi says.

Eight years his senior, Damir Suljanovic, took Krasniqi to his chest in Neuperlach and persuaded him: If you go with the track that only makes shit, you won't do anything.

"Unfortunately, I did that for a few years," says Krasniqi, who had to appear in juvenile court so often that the prosecutor was already thinking of nicknames for him.

"He first had to realize that you don't become a professional just with Halligalli and partying.

You can afford that once you've achieved something," says Suljanovic,

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Cheering for Malaysia: Krasniqi recently competed with the national team in the World Cup qualifier.

© Association

The romantic story of football as a way out?

After trying out as Ivan Bakovic, Liridon Krasniqi reported to 1860. Admitted that he participated under a false identity.

The coaches still gave him the chance to prove himself with the lions.

Kransiqi's talent was too great.

"Liridon wasn't without controversy back then.

He was like a square in a circle.

A provocation for those who were strongly adjusted,” remembers Berthold Nickl, then educational director of the Löwen youth academy and today player advisor.

Liridon Krasniqi: With sweatpants in the VIP lounge

At 1860, Krasniqi didn't stay long.

To put it more precisely: He was kicked out.

“I liked the street more.

I respected street football more.

How should we even know what we can achieve with football?”

Krasniqi loved to beat all the soccer field teams in Munich with the boys from his neighborhood.

Meeting point at Steinplatz in Neuperlach, "then it was all about honor." Krasniqi tried harder on concrete pitches with goals without a net than on a meticulously groomed lawn in a youth academy.

At that time, Krasniqi sold tickets in front of the Allianz Arena.

And stopped "fancy cars" in front of the VIP exit, which left the game early.

“Back then, you could get out and back in with the cards multiple times.

Then I stood in jogging pants, a T-shirt with holes and some Deichmann shoes in the lounge.

Suddenly Berthold came and asked me what I was doing here.” Krasniqi's answer: Golden card, brother!

Berthold Nickl does not remember this, after all he experienced a lot with Krasniqi.

But, says the player's agent, "the sweatpants are not a significant part of the story.

I've never seen him without jogging pants, they've just gotten more expensive over time."

Liridon Krasniqi: Move to Prague ends in FIFA ban

In any case, it was over at 60, there was no gold card for Krasniqi, previously he had stolen shoes from the dressing room of the U17s coached by Wolfgang Schellenberg.

Werner Kern, then head of youth development at FC Bayern, gave Krasniqi a chance.

In addition to training, he should attend a sports school every day until 5 p.m.

"Old Swede, I thought to myself.

I've always left my normal school at ten in the morning.” After four weeks, Krasniqi was expelled from the sports school, and some time later he also had to say goodbye to FC Bayern

The next attempt to gain a foothold with the youngsters from FC Nürnberg also failed.

With the boys in Munich: The song "Matdon" is produced by the Berlin artist Davage via Krasniqi.

© LK

Way out abroad?

At 18, Krasniqi signed a junior professional contract with Slavia Prague on his own initiative.

And earned 400 euros a month.

The train journey to Munich and back alone cost 100 euros.

“I hid on the toilet and under the seat.

Spink until the inspector walks past you and only then come out again.

It went like this for two years, crazy, man.”

Nickl recalls that Krasniqi "signed some contract in Czech that he didn't understand and ended up without money and food."

Krasniqi turned his back on Prague, despite the current contract.

FIFA banned him for two years.

"This power of intrinsic motivation can be more important than the best youth academy in the world."

Berthold Nickl

Back in Neuperlach.

Krasniqi worked in construction with his uncle.

Demolition work, backbreaking job.

For eight euros an hour with a shovel in your hand instead of a celebrated young star with a ball at your feet.

But: “I never stopped believing in myself.

I've been kicking my ass off every day for two years thinking: It's going to happen."

Krasniqi trained after the construction site and before the party.

Every day two to three hours with the ball, with friends or alone.

"Before and since him, I've never seen a player who pursued and implemented his plan out of his intrinsic motivation, which was often frighteningly lacking in strategy," says Nickl.

"This power of intrinsic motivation can be more important than the best youth academy in the world."

Krasniqi's youth academy was the construction site.

Here he learned discipline and didn't just run off in the morning like he did at school.

"Love at first sight.

Pure pleasure.”

Liridon Krasniqi on moving to Malaysia

August 2013, the second attempt at professional football.

Krasniqi signed for Turkish Premier League side Ankaraspor, was loaned to the second tier to Fethiyespor and made 33 league appearances in a strong first season.

A year and a half later, Krasniqi had a falling out with the club's management over missing payments.

"I want my account to ring on the first of every month.

If it doesn't ring on the first, I can't step on the gas on the second.”

Back to Neuperlach, back to the construction site.

"Dude, am I really back in this hole," thought Krasniqi.

And got a call from an agent in Malaysia six months later.

Krasniqi flew to Vietnam to prove himself in trial training sessions.

Then the Malaysian first division club Kedah FC took him under contract.

"It was like with my fiancé currently.

It sparked from day one, love at first sight.

Pure pleasure.”

Liridon and Liridon: Krasniqi with a family who named their child after the Munich one.

© Private

In Malaysia, Krasniqi attracted attention.

Almost a million people now follow Neuperlacher on Instagram.

Images and videos of Malaysian families naming their children Liridon can be found online.

“It must have happened six times now,” he says.

How did the hype come about?

With nothing but performance, says Krasniqi.

And after a moment's thought, he adds: "Of course, it also fitted perfectly into the scheme that I don't look bad.

Thanks to my parents.

Thanks to God.”

Liridon Krasniqi becomes Malaysia international thanks to support from princes

Malaysian Football Association officials didn't name their children Liridon, but they wanted the 1.92m midfielder to play for the national team.

Actually, the naturalization regulations for Malaysia are strict – you have to have lived in the country for ten of the past twelve years.

There's the pass!

Liridon Krasniqi obtained Malaysian citizenship in 2020.

© Private

Krasniqi joined Kedah FC in 2015 and was granted citizenship in 2020.

"When politicians, princes and fans work to ensure that I play for the national team, a miracle sometimes happens, like it did to me."

Krasniqi is currently under contract with Johor DT and has regularly played in front of tens of thousands of fans in the Asian Champions League.

He spent the last two years on loan in Australia and India.

After all, as a Malaysian national player who is traveling abroad, you have a higher standing.

"When the whole stadium screams your name, fans look at you like you're from another universe: I suddenly experienced it all myself."

"I have a better career than 80 percent of Bundesliga players."

Liridon Krasniqi

Krasniqi is currently playing the World Cup qualifier with Malaysia.

As always, he spent his free time in Munich.

Cooking with the parents, meeting the boys from before in a shisha bar.

And then there was the nostalgia trip to the Impler School, which he had attended for ten years.

In the corridor, Krasniqi spotted a teacher who had always thrown him out of class and told him: Nothing will come of you.

"I probably flunked out of class every time, but something has become of me.

A professional career was never planned for me.

I've had a better career than 80 percent of Bundesliga players.

There was no elevator, I built the stairs myself.”

Liridon Krasniqi is never at a loss for an answer, lurking during the questions to fire off his stories.

That the leagues in Malaysia or India in Germany are probably only at third division level?

Doesn't matter to Krasniqi, he'd rather be the king in the village than the sheep in the city.

Only when he is asked to describe his own career does Krasniqi have to think twice.

Half a minute passes.

In conversation with the Munich half an eternity.

"Absolute madness," says Krasniqi then, "no one would believe this story in a movie." (nms)

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2022-06-23

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