curt: How important was it for you to leave Iceland in 2004 to play on the European continent?
Rurik Gislason: That was really important to me. I started to train more and to play football, rather than go to school, hang out with my friends and have fun. A first hard decision for me, because I have my life, just as it was, really liked it, but I have not regretted a second. I started to live my dream.
curt: Football in Iceland was more of a niche sport, when you went back then …
Rurik Gislason: Yes, it was. But since then a lot has happened. There are many more football halls with good facilities. Back then we played outdoors, was regardless of the weather and the place looked like. The kids today have much better options.
curt: For you it was important to leave in accordance with Iceland to be a professional footballer?
Rurik Gislason: I always wanted to be a professional soccer player and knew that I would eventually have to leave my home to take the next steps.
curt: Finally, you’re landed here, at 1. FCN.
Rurik Gislason: Why finally? [Laugh]
curt: What were the reasons for your move to Nuremberg?
Rurik Gislason: A good friend of mine, Per Nilsson has played here before. He influenced me to go in my decision to Nuremberg decisively. He has praised team and environment here in the highest terms. To be honest, I had not heard too much from the club and the second Bundesliga by then, then began to but to occupy myself with the association and all its tradition and am super happy to be here. Unfortunately I was injured a lot so far, but I’m working hard to be fit again and want the fans and all the people who have supported me here to get something back.
curt: What are your ambitions to the end of this season?
Rurik Gislason: I think I must not have too high claims. The coach has a great team available, which is off to a great series. I will continue to work hard to be there when the team needs me.
curt: You play well for many years in the Icelandic national team. What are the differences between the Icelandic team and the club for you?
Rurik Gislason: Both teams work very hard for what they have achieved, each player is ready to go far – for himself and for the team. In this they are very similar. Finding differences is not easy, when you let the tactics get out. The Icelandic national team have been together for a long time in their current occupation. Since we once won two matches, football fans have built a very nice print. The team has been rather driven and made the already very good team spirit even better. Iceland is a small country with a small capital, as it is closely related.
curt: What did the Icelandic national team so successful in the European Championship qualifiers?
Rurik Gislason: For me, it is a mixture of talent, team spirit and mutual trust. As just been told, we are playing a long time together. Very long. The coaches give us much confidence and help us to develop ourselves, individually and as a team. We may make mistakes and lose games. But the confidence is undiminished.
curt: What has changed in Iceland with the success of the football team?
Rurik Gislason: It has changed a lot. One could say that it has the whole society changed a bit. It was hard to imagine for us that people from Iceland traveling to one of our Games Away. Meanwhile, there are always more. When we play, that’s almost a national holiday. For the kids we are a lot more as a model than before, we can encourage them to improve themselves and to believe that everything can be possible.
curt: What purpose does the team for the European Championship?
Rurik Gislason: Probably thinking of one or the other, we have already achieved our goal with the qualification. But we want to go, as soon as possible. We go to the games to win them.
curt: What role do you want to play in this?
Rurik Gislason: Unfortunately, I was injured quite a while. That was not a good timing. But before the qualification I’ve played an important role in the team, then I want to go back. And for that I will work hard!
curt: Good luck for it!
Rurik Gislason Thank you!
curt: We read again and again that you like to hear rock and hip-hop. Have you ever been on one of these beautiful music festivals in Islands, as the Iceland Airwaves or the Sonar Reykjavik?
Rurik Gislason: That’s what I initially meant by the hard decision. So far I could never go to one of these festivals.
curt: you are listening to Icelandic music?
Rurik Gislason: Oh yes, I have been following the Icelandic music scene carefully. When I was in Iceland last December, rehabilitation, I imitated my degree, then celebrated a bit and invited other bands and artists. For example Úlfur Úlfur.
curt: I looked at last year’s Iceland Airwaves live plays, great Icelandic rap. However, I have other than “motherf ** ker, understood nothing.
Rurik Gislason: [laughs] Yeah, they’re cool. Icelandic musicians have a great instinct, a blatant creativity, and what new influences and their processing terms. I like not really a specific genre, but everything is good.
curt: We can indeed, when the interview will be online, even grab a video of Úlfur Úlfur to …
Rurik Gislason: As pleased viewed. But you must also grab one of Kaleo. They have also played at my party and are really great.
[Interview: David Lodhi, Photos: Thomas Bönig, thomasboenig.com]