As a newcomer, he developed very quickly and became a regular in the first team. This season, he returned from a muscular injury and has seamlessly blended back into the back line of the Berliner’s starting XI. The centre-back, who has also made the leap back into the Dutch national team, has long been a top performer and it not only Karim who is impressing at Hertha. His brother Omar plays for the U19s and is the captain of the team.
Before the away game against Mainz 05, Karim Rekik spoke to herthabsc.de about the importance of the team camaraderie, his talented brother Omar and the upcoming match against Mainz 05.
herthabsc.de: Karim, if you watch the team, you notice every time that there is a good cohesion and a good atmosphere within the team. How important is such a thing as a footballer in everyday working life?
Rekik: It helps us in every way enormously also as we can understand each other more on the pitch. When we are close, there is even more cohesion on the pitch, even more willingness to work for each other. We also had a great team spirit last year, and it’s just the same this year. We just enjoy playing football together!
herthabsc.de: The two games in the past week have been very eventful. How would you sum up the results over the last week?
Rekik: It was very good and very important for us that we were able to beat Bayern after losing to Werder. They are the best German football team and one of the best in Europe. Our whole club as a whole did a brilliant job to beat them!
herthabsc.de: You seem to watch your younger brother Omar from time to time when he plays for the U19s. Recently, your dad was there as well. Are you Omar’s biggest fans or his toughest critics?
Rekik: (laughs) I’d say both but I am not his biggest critic, after all, he is my little brother and I only want the best for him. It’s nice to see him play, to see him have fun on the pitch and of course, to see him perform well. My father and I still tell him what we think about his performance and if he can improve. We are always honest with each other as our father has educated us too. If I play badly, I have to listen to my father for at least an hour (grins). It is not the most fun moment but it helps you and it is good that we are all honest with each other.
herthabsc.de: Let's take a look at this Saturday: Mainz 05 have been an opponent recently which the Berliners find difficulty playing against. How do you aim to go into the game in Mainz this time?
Rekik: We have to be fully focused from the beginning, just like we were when we played Bayern. We need to play with intelligence and 100% concentration. I know that our results against Mainz have not been great recently but we want to change that on Saturday.
herthabsc.de: Pál Dárdai said beforehand that converting a home victory against Bayern to a good away performance in the Bundesliga is very difficult.
Rekik: The coach is right! It is a very good test for our team. We will go there fully focused and try to get all three points. Then we can come home happy!