"It's nice to have roots somewhere other than Germany"

Felix Agu in our interview of the month - part II

Felix Agu looks into the sky during the warm-up ahead of a Werder home game
In part II of our big interview, Felix Agu talks about his heritage (photo: nordphoto).
Thursday, 04.03.2021 / 08:31

Finding his own way at a smaller club as a youth player was the right decision for Felix Agu, as he revealed to us in the first part of his big WERDER.DE interview. In the second part, he talks about his first Bundesliga goal, childhood memories of Nigeria and his former head coach Daniel Thioune. 

WERDER.DE: In our 2-0 win against Augsburg you set up the first goal and scored the second. How much did this game mean to you?

FELIX AGU: "It gave me confidence because I was able to show everyone and above all myself that I can compete at a Bundesliga level. That’s very important for all future challenges I might face here. But I also know that I have to work hard to keep going down this path. In the end, you shouldn’t place too much significance on good games, nor should you let bad games get you down. You need to find the right balance when assessing your own performance. After beating Augsburg 2-0 on the Saturday we travelled to Gladbach for a Tuesday night game so we had to try and prove ourselves all over again very quickly."

Agu: “I would really like to go to Nigeria again someday”

WERDER.DE: Have you ever thought about what it might have been like to score that goal against Augsburg in front of a full wohninvest WESERSTADION?

FELIX AGU: "Oof, that obviously would have made it a very different experience, running towards the stands after scoring, being in front of the fans and celebrating with them. At the moment, you look up and everything is empty. I scored that goal in front of the Ostkurve (east stand) as well. There’s an Ostkurve in Osnabrück as too – a standing section where most of the atmosphere comes from. So I know what it means. It would have been extraordinary to score that goal with supporters at the game. I hope I can experience that one day."

WERDER.DE: Your father was born in Nigeria. Why did he decide to move to Germany?

FELIX AGU: Simple: He wanted a better life, not just for himself, but for his future children that he would one day have. So that we - my sister and I - had better opportunities in life than he did in Nigeria."

WERDER.DE: How much did your father’s background influence your childhood?

FELIX AGU: "We were in Nigeria when I was four years old. My sister, who is two and a half years older than me, and I were baptised in the village where my father grew up. My father has six siblings, some of whom still live in Nigeria. As does my grandmother. So naturally we still have ties to the country. Nigeria is not doing so well unfortunately, but I like this part of my heritage, I think it’s nice to have roots somewhere other than Germany. I would really like to go to Nigeria again someday. I do remember the christening, but everything else I only know from photographs. Unfortunately I haven’t found the right opportunity yet, but it would be nice to go there with the whole family again." 

We take a lot of things for granted here that others don’t have at all.
Felix Agu on life in Germany

WERDER.DE: A few months ago, you told the Werder Podcast that you could see yourself sponsoring and supporting a child in Africa. Why is this important to you?

FELIX AGU: "Because I have a really good life here in Germany and I would really like to give something back. We take a lot of things for granted here that others don’t have at all. It’s really easy to do these things, so that children in Africa might receive an education or enjoy a hot meal once a day. I don’t know yet exactly how I will go about it. The important thing is finding an organisation I can trust, so that the support definitely reaches the children the way I intend. You can probably only know this for sure if you go there and take care of things yourself, but in the current climate nobody knows when we will be able to travel without restrictions again." 

WERDER.DE: What do your parents think about you becoming a professional footballer?

FELIX AGU: "They are very proud, but back when I was still playing in the third division my father tried to convince me to study as well. Then things took off so quickly that I told him I’d have to postpone that (laughs). I did my A-levels, so that I would always have the option of going on to do a degree."

Nordderby in front of a full house is on the bucket list

WERDER.DE: VfL Osnabrück have been 'passed down' the table after a strong start to the season. What’s going on at your former club?

FELIX AGU: "Everybody’s asking themselves that question right now. They’re obviously very unhappy. They started well and were right at the top, then it suddenly went downhill when no one expected it. Everyone at Werder knows from last season what it’s like when you go on a bad run – it’s hard to snap out of it. I think the team just needs a win after all those defeats in order to rebuild their self-confidence. I’m crossing my fingers for them anyway." 

WERDER.DE: Your former head coach Daniel Thioune also left VfL last summer and now works at HSV. Is it difficult for you as a Werder player to hope he achieves promotion?

FELIX AGU: "I’m sure I’m not the only one – I’m sure there are lots of Werder fans who would like to see HSV back in the top flight, because then we’d finally have another Nordderby. And if fans are allowed back in the ground by then it would be a massive occasion."

WERDER.DE: What kind of a coach is Daniel Thioune?

FELIX AGU: "Working closely with his assistant Merlin Polzin, who moved to HSV with him, he always prepared us really well tactically for every game. I took that for granted at the time, but since being at Werder I’ve realised that the quality of the video analyses in the third division and even with the U19s was almost as high as the analyses in the Bundesliga. That just shows standard we had and definitely went a long way to ensuring our success in the third division and our promotion. Daniel is also a great guy, very honest, always ready to listen to you and always up for having a laugh."

WERDER.DE: In October you tested positive for coronavirus.  What was the first thing you did when you found out?

FELIX AGU: "I was shocked at first and phoned my parents. I was pretty much speechless, I didn’t know what to do and I just got ready for two weeks in quarantine, which sadly turned into three."

WERDER.DE: How significant is the fear of infecting somebody else with the virus?

FELIX AGU: "I quickly thought back to who I’d been in contact with. It soon became clear that I must have contracted the virus on Monday, so Tahith Chong, who I shared the room with at Freiburg away the weekend before was allowed to leave quarantine. But the whole team having to stop playing and training because of it doesn’t bare thinking about.

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