Mattia Maggio has played in the Bundesliga for Hamburger SV, played against Ibrahimovic in Italy and also played in Belgium. He has now recently joined TuS Dassendorf, who are the current title holders of the Hamburger Oberliga, and could make his debut in today’s DFB-Pokal game against MSV Duisburg (15:30 CEST). The 24-year-old spoke to DFB.de about his thoughts on amateur football, what went wrong in his professional career and his chances in the DFB-Pokal.
DFB.de: Mr Maggio, why has a player with your CV chosen to join the Oberliga team.
Mattia Maggio: I have known about TuS Dassendorf for a long time. Two of my good friends, who I played with earlier in my career at Hamburg, currently play here. After my last team, ASV Geel, who are in the third Belgian division went bankrupt; I decided I want to play football just for footballing reasons. Since I left HSV last year, my professional career has gone downhill and now I just want to play amateur football. In addition to the football, I will be doing a management degree.
DFB.de: What are your first impressions on your new team?
Mattia Maggio: I have been training with the team since March, but I have not taken part in any friendlies. The level of football that we play is very high for an Oberliga team. We have some players who have professional footballing experiences and it’s clear to see when we play.
DFB.de: What’s the difference like between professional and amateur football?
Maggio: They are two completely different worlds. When you play for a Bundesliga team or even their reserve team, football takes over your life. You train twice a day, the training is much more intensive and you have to concentrate the whole time. In contrast, training for an Oberliga team is much more laid back.
DFB.de: You played four games for Hamburg in the first team in the 2013/14 season. How did you break into the first team?
Maggio: HSV were battling to stay up and had many injuries. Pierre-Michel Lasogga was injured and Jacques Zoua was in a patch of poor form. At the time, I was scoring and assisting a lot of goals for the second team in the Reionalliga and when I scored a hat-trick, the former sports director Oliver Kreuzer was there to see it. I then started to train with the first team and two days later I made my debut against Bayer Leverkusen.
DFB.de: Why did you not continue at HSV in the next season?
Maggio: My contract expired and although I wanted to extend my contract and HSV were keen too, my advisors let me down.
DFB.de: In what way?
Maggio: He always said to me that he’d take care of it. However, before I knew it, it was the end of May and I wasn’t in contact with my advisors and then I realised that he didn’t care about my future. Suddenly I was without a club and without advisors. Unfortunately I had more bad luck with other advisors. I made mistakes as well but if I had been advised better, my career would’ve been very different.
DFB.de: You have played against Zlatan Ibrahimovic before. How was that?
Maggio: That was before I moved to HSV. At that time I was playing in the Novara second team. I then got promoted to the first team for the game against AC Milan and came on in the latter stages of the game. I didn’t have any duels with him though as we are both strikers. However, after the game we shook hands. Ibrahimovic has always been my idol. That game I also met Gennaro Gattuso and Filippo Inzaghi who are World Cup winners and because I am Italian, it was a special moment for me.
DFB.de: After your time at HSV, you tried your luck again in Italy for third-division side Mantova FC. Why did you only play one league game?
Maggio: The coach, who wanted me to play, was fired after my first game and his successor didn’t consider me to be in his plans and after three months I left the club. I went back to Germany and joined FC Nöttingen, before I then got an offer from Belgium. I was playing quite well there but the club went bankrupt.
DFB.de: Next Wednesday, you are playing a friendly versus your ex-club HSV. This is certainly a special game for you, right?
Maggio: Of course. Unfortunately, the current team is completely different to when I was there, but I’m still really looking forward to it. I still love the club because Mirko Slomka, who was the coach when I was there, offered me the chance to play in the Bundesliga. I hope that HSV get promoted back to the Bundesliga. We will see how good they are in the friendly.
DFB.de: Today you wait for your game against MSV Duisburg in the DFB-Pokal...
Maggio: I am very excited for the cup game. We probably only have a small chance of winning, but who knows. MSV Duisburg could have a bad day. We are all looking forward to it and will give 110%.
DFB.de: Is your professional career now over or are you dreaming of a comeback?
Maggio: I haven’t completely given up on my professional career. After the last year however, based on how unhappy I was, I have decided to put this topic aside for now.