Interview: Heiner Backhaus Published on: 27-02-2012

Interview by Andrew Grima, Statistics by Victor Spiteri, Photos - Archives.

We are happy to publish an exclusive interview with ex-Valletta F.C. midfielder Heiner Backhaus.

Heiner Backhaus was born on February 4, 1982. He started his football career in the Youth Sector of Schalke in 1988, later on he joined the Youth Sector of SV Werdeb Bremen.

In August 2001, he made his professional debut with Rot-Weiss Essenthe, making a total of 21 appearances. Later on he joined Hannover 96 and made his debut on the 61st minute of the match against SpVgg Unterhaching replacing Nebojša Krupniković.

During his career Heiner had spells with F.C. Union Berlin in 2002-03, AEK Larnaca in season 2003, Borussia Mönchengladbach in season 2004, DSC Arminia Bielefeld in season 2005. In 2006 Backhaus joined Kicker Offenbach a club based in Offenbach Germany making a total of 9 appearances for the club.

In season 2007, Heiner moved to Malta and joined Valletta F.C. He signed a one-year contract on 19th June. During that season he formed part of the City’s foreigner’s trio with striker Frank Temile and Sebastian Monesterolo.

Heiner left Valletta at the end of the season after the Lillywhites won the Championship; he joined Kitchee Sport Club, a club in Hong Kong, playing in the  First Division making a total of 8 appearances and scored three goals.

In 2009, Heiner moved back to Germany and joined FC Sachsen Leipzig. In the following season Heiner moved to Greece and joined Olympiakos Nicosia, making a total of 30 appearances. At the end of the season he moved to Cyprus and joined APOP Kinyras Peyias.

In June 2011, Heiner returned back to Malta and this time he joined Hamrun Spartans, signing a one-year contract. In August 2011, Heiner terminated his contract with Hamrun Spartans and moved to Germany, he joined SC Westfalia Herne a club based in Herne.

(Q) Name and Surname?
Heiner Backhaus

(Q) How old are you ?
  30 years old

(Q) Do you still play football ?
Yes, Turk Gucu Lefke (Turkey)

(Q) Why did you choose Malta?
Coach Paul Zammit cared a lot to bring me here, told me about his project with VFC and I wanted to be part of bringing Valletta back.

(Q) In which seasons did you play for Valletta F.C.?
I played in season 2007-08

(Q) What position did you play with Valletta F.C.?
Central midfielder

(Q) Did you win any honors while you were in Malta?
Yes, I won the Premiership in season 2007-2008

(Q) Who were the club coaches when you played with Valletta FC ?
I played under coach Paul Zammit

(Q) Can you please tell us about these coaches and technical staff?
I had top coaches everywhere I played. These wers some of the coaches: ex Ralf Rangnick of Schalke, Thomas Schaaf of Werder Bremen, Bora Milutinovic who was in 7 World cups with 7 different countries. After all I can say that Paul was my best one as a coach and as a person.

(Q) Can you describe season 2007-08?
Very emotional for all of us, we became a family in shortest time, we believed we were unbeatable, and although we knew there were maybe better squads than us. We even beat Juventus, I remember they had maximum 5 shots on target in 90 min. Valletta was more organized on the pitch than an army by that time. We had 12,13 Boys from Valletta in the squad, who were showing me as a foreigner day by day that Valetta is more than just a Club. So I felt like one of them. When u start to love something u play better, that is what I gained out of that season.

(Q) During the seasons you played with Valletta, who was your favorite team mate?
It is not diplomatic of me to say, I was friend with all of the players same strong. The only one a little bit more was Frank Temile. He was like a baby for me.

(Q) Did you enjoy playing with Valletta FC?
Soooooo much

(Q) How would you describe the Valletta fans?
Valletta fans were in every second behind us, as a player sometimes you feel pressure from supporters. But in Valletta I never felt pressure; it was as if we had 2 to 3 men more on the pitch with them behind us. I still remember the '' Come on City'' after we conceded a goal. So we turned a lot of games coz of them.

(Q) Did you regret joining Valletta?
Not even with ONE single thought

(Q) Did you score any goals during your stay with Valletta F.C.?
3 times I scored the opening goal. vs Birkirkara, Marsaxlokk and Pieta

(Q) Which were your precious moments in Malta?
When we were crowned Champions and also during the Betfair Cup against Juventus and the moment when I met my love... she is a Valetta girl and completes me.

(Q) Are you still following Valletta F.C. today?
Of course. I m still in touch with some players and many supporters keep me updated on Facebook.

(Q) What are your comments towards all Valletta fans?
Just never change !  Nothing more to say. Inhobbokom Beltin.

(Q) Do you think you and your family will come back to visit Malta and maybe watch Valletta play again?
I see my future in Malta with my partner here, about my future career I can not decide because I am still on books of Hamrun Spartans, and they have the right to ask me back in summer. We will see.