Toni Kroos talks about the special meeting with Urs Fischer

Toni Kroos commented on the dismissal of Union coach Urs Fischer. Image: imago images / PanoramiC


Sven Fröhlich

Berlin Union President Dirk Zingler appeared at the lectern on Wednesday, visibly moved. “To be honest, I’ve always been a little afraid of this day”Zingler said during the called press conference. “Now it’s here. And sooner than we all wanted.”

Then his speech stopped and his thoughts seemed to be elsewhere. Zingler seemed not to have yet realized the decision he had made. “Now we will master this work,” he said after a short pause. “I am sure.”

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After Union Berlin slipped to last place in the table, the club decided to end the cooperation with coach Urs Fischer and assistant coach Markus Hoffmann.

Urs Fischer marked the most successful era in the club’s history

Zingler and Fischer made a “joint decision” after a personal meeting on Monday, the club said in a statement. It was a “very close and very emotional conversation,” Zingler said. “We are sad every two or three days now and probably beyond that.” Union Berlin’s channel X, formerly Twitter, is temporarily called “Thank you, Urs and Hoffi!” instead of the club name.

ARCHIVE - 31 October 2023, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart: Football: DFB Cup, VfB Stuttgart - 1. FC Union Berlin, 2nd round, MHPArena.  Urs Fischer, coach of Union Berlin, stands in the stadium before the match.  Urs Fis...

After more than five years Urs Fischer leaves Union Berlin. Image: dpa / Tom Weller

Urs Fischer was manager of Köpenick for more than five years, during which he led the club from the 2nd league to the Champions League. It was the most successful era in the club’s history until the summer. No one can really explain the sudden cancellation: none of the last 14 games were won.

“We haven’t always known exactly how we’ve won every game the last five years,” Zingler said. “Now we don’t know exactly how we lost every game.” It’s a topic that has made headlines even beyond the borders of Berlin-Köpenick. Even up to Madrid.

The Kroos brothers talk about Urs Fischer’s retirement

Less than a minute passed before Toni Kroos and his brother Felix talked about Urs Fischer in their joint podcast “Einfach mal Luppen”. Felix Kroos, who played for Union for four and a half years, two of which were under the guidance of Urs Fischer, spoke of a record that “makes me a bit sad”.

Due to the lack of closeness, Toni Kroos naturally approached the news a little more pragmatically. “It was really special that this is only happening now,” said the 2014 world champion. “So I think in the end it’s also the business.” And the business doesn’t stop at special clubs.

“Not in front of special people,” Felix added. “I think what he did is extraordinary, and now it was just an extreme situation.” Felix Kroos then said that he knows that this is indeed a joint decision and not a dismissal.

ARCHIVE - 6 July 2019, Berlin: Football, test matches: 1. FC Union Berlin - Br�ndby IF.  Berlin's Felix Kroos runs across the field with the ball.  For the former Unioner, the entry of Berliners into the Ch...

Felix Kroos played at Union Berlin for four and a half years. Image: dpa / Andreas Gora

Unlike his brother, Toni Kroos is not sad. “Compared to you, I just don’t know enough about the people involved to be sad.” He didn’t really know Urs Fischer, he only exchanged a few words with him when Union played in the Champions League against Real Madrid in September.

“I found him really, really nice,” Toni Kroos said. “I could relate a little to what everyone said about him.” But obviously this wasn’t enough to build a relationship. In general it is simply more pragmatic. “Yet Union was a bit special,” admitted the 33-year-old. “It’s always unfortunate, but it’s part of the problem.”

Serhou Guirassy is one of the guarantors of VfB Stuttgart’s success this season. The Guinea international has scored in eight of his nine Bundesliga appearances. With him the Swabians won eight times, losing only to Leipzig (1:5). Especially in the weeks he was missing due to a thigh injury, it became clear how much the team needed him.

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