Marin scored his first goal in NB I (Photo: Attila Török)

You made your NB I debut with a fascinating goal. Was it an instinct move?
– The opportunity devoted it, said Marko Marin, the 32-year-old midfielder from Ferencváros, who scored the third goal in a 4–0 win over Kisvárda. – Ryan Mmaee backheeled the ball masterfully, and when I saw the goalkeeper step out the goal line, I chipped the ball over him.

From the motion, we can also conclude that you're in perfect shape.
– I'm a long way from my best performance.

Where are you now then?

– I arrived in Hungary this summer, everyone knows my abilities. I had to catch up with myself physically. My confidence has never been a problem, I know what I'm capable of, but to show that, I need to put in work. A lot of work. Now I'm ready to fight my way into the starting lineup.

Kisvárda was disadvantaged after the break. How much did the red card change the game?
– We had a lot more space opening up to us. But we didn't get the power play as a gift, one can't go into a duel like Matheus Leoni did. If you do, don't be surprised if you get a red card. In the match, by the way, we had a weaker period for about five minutes. After the break, the home team could have equalized, but thanks to Dénes Dibusz, we got out well from that period. 

–Was there a lot of joy in the dressing room?
– We started the clash the way that we wanted to finish on top of the table during the international break. It was important to show that we have not been in the highs and lows after a more subdued performance in recent weeks. The atmosphere wasn't seamless in the dressing room, the Europa League defeat to Celtic has affected us all. But we want to be NB I champions, and we had to win the game on Sunday. 

– You've played in several leagues, including the Bundesliga, Italy, England, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia. Where did you like to play football the most?
– There's no question that the Bundesliga is number one. I grew up in Germany, I was two and a half years old when we moved there. Germany is my home, and Serbia is only the second. My parents were born in Belgrade, they grew up there, which is why it was an honor for me to play at Crvena zvezda. I have indeed played in many places, and if I had to highlight one, it would be Spain. The teams there play a very different style than any other European country. Even England cannot hold a candle to them.

– And what was the best team you played for? Can you even choose?
– Chelsea. When I signed with the club in 2012, it was the best team in the world with Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and John Terry. Before my arrival, they won the Champions League, followed by the Europa League triumph. Werder Bremen and even Sevilla were not a bad team. I won the Europa League with the latter.

– And the 2010 World Cup in South Africa? You won bronze with the German national team.
– I'll never forget those weeks. In the bronze match, we beat Uruguay 3-2, we had a great team. It's the pinnacle of any player in their career to play in a World Cup. It's the greatest experience for me. In the semifinals, later-victorious Spain stopped us from advancing, but I say that if we met in the finals, we would be the gold medalists. And do you know what I remember to this day from that World Cup?

– What?
– The sound of the vuvuzela. At first, the monotonous sound of the distinctive instrument was annoying on site. We needed a match or two until we got used to it.

– The last time you played football was in Saudi Arabia. How did you feel there?
– Better than I expected. The standard of the league is not as low as many assume. There can be seven foreigners in each team, and they usually represent quality. I didn't go there by accident either. And Asian footballers are also very good. After arriving, unfortunately, it was possible to have fans on the stands in the first three months only due to the coronavirus. We played football in empty stadiums after that. But it was nice to learn about a new culture and get a taste of something else.

– Does your family move with you everywhere?
– It's vital to me that they're close to me. They come everywhere with me, and Saudi Arabia was no exception. My wife and I have two young children, our son is four years old, our little girl is now one. I'm not bored in everyday life either. 

– Does your son play soccer?
– For now, he only plays with me back home. But he loves football, even after this game in Kisvárda on the weekend, he couldn't wait for me to get home and tell me he saw my goal on television.

Translated by Vanda Orosz