- © gettyimages / Michael Hickey
- © gettyimages / Michael Hickey
Bundesliga

NFL star Werner's heart belongs to Hertha

Cologne - Björn Werner made history as the first German to become an NFL first-round draft pick, but despite having his sights on the Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Colts star still has time for his childhood love: Hertha Berlin.

bundesliga.com: You're about to start the NFL season. What are your hopes for yourself and the Indianapolis Colts?

Björn Werner: On a personal level, I'm hoping, first and foremost, to be able to stay fit and healthy so I can continue to improve. The Colts have strengthened immensely in terms of quality, especially in regard to the depth of the squad. Even though things haven't gone our way at the start of the season, I'm still hoping that we can reach the Super Bowl and end up winning the whole thing.   

bundesliga.com: You're also a big soccer fan. The Bundesliga season has only just gotten underway. How do see it going?

- © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

bundesliga.com: You're a big fan of Hertha Berlin. Who got you into supporting them?

bundesliga.com: What do you think soccer could learn from your sport? And vice versa?

Berlin dream

Werner: I think soccer players could demonstrate the ability to absorb contact more. With us, it's a completely different story. What I wonder about soccer players is their ability to hold their nerve. For instance, in really important penalty shootouts. Our kickers experience pressure situations like that where the whole stadium is looking at you, but our goal is a lot bigger and there's normally not a Manuel Neuer standing there (laughs).

bundesliga.com: How do soccer fans in Germany compare to NFL fans across the US?

Werner: You just can't compare soccer fans in Germany with football fans in the States. Here, everybody is totally emotionally invested, they create the atmosphere and really go off during the games. However, before and after the game, you party together with fans from the opposing side, have a barbecue whilst tailgating, drink one or two beers and discuss the game. Games here are much more for the entire family.

bundesliga.com: Your success has already done much to raise the profile of football in Germany, but you are actively trying to do more. We've seen NFL games played at Wembley - what would it mean to you to bring the Colts to the Olympiastadion for a regular season game?