Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts
The seven sins of footballer Pepijn Schlösser
- Greed. Greed is important in football. It’s a team sport, but you definitely have to think of yourself. You’re assessed on your own merits. If you want to reach the top, you have to stand out. That’s especially hard for defenders. You can’t always just pass the ball on; you have to take the initiative yourself now and then or give a long-range assist.
- Gluttony. Once every two weeks I eat some fries or pizza, but the usual menu is just pasta or potatoes with meat and vegetables. As long as we’re not too heavy, we can eat what we want. But if we gain weight the staff will put us on a diet. At the club, we get protein shakes for recovery and vitamins and caffeine pills that are approved by the doping agency. Before I go to bed I always have a nice sandwich. When it comes to training, I sometimes have greedy days. A tactical training session lasts just as long as a normal one, but is less intense. After that I’m always keen to play a few more games.
- Lust. I’ve been with my girlfriend since I was fifteen. So I’ve never had the phase of being a single guy playing the field. I don’t really have any need for that. There are guys in the team who take advantage of the attention footballers get, but not me of course. [Laughs] I have cheated before though: I always need to have a two on my jersey, that’s superstition, and just recently I played in number three.
- Envy. I’m a very jealous person; it’s just part of my character. In my relationship, but also of players who make their debut in the Eredivisie at the age of 19 or 20. I want that too. I’ve had to learn to deal with it. I used to get mad; these days I can turn it into the motivation to work harder. I’m not in the least jealous of ‘normal’ students who can go out partying and drinking. I don’t drink and I’m not into going out.
- Sloth. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to studying. I really have to set time aside for it, otherwise I don’t get around to it. As an athlete it’s important to be lazy now and then. If I go straight from training to studying, I can’t concentrate. When I get home, I’ll be lazy at first just to recharge my batteries. My room is not exactly a pigsty, but I do have a couch in there that’s covered in clothes. “Clean up that couch for once”, my mother’s always saying.
- Wrath. After a bad game or during a bad training session I can get mad. Half an hour after I’ve showered the worst of it is over, but I then have a short fuse for the rest of the day. The week after that I still think about it a lot, and ultimately I try to learn from my mistake. I rarely make the same mistake twice.
- Pride. I can get really mad at myself if I make mistakes, but I’m also really proud when I do well. That really gives me a boost. I don’t need to be a clotheshorse like Memphis Depay, but I do always want to look well turned out. I like my football kit to be quite snug. If it’s all baggy it annoys me and then I can’t concentrate on my game. And my preference is for Adidas shoes; not because they look nicer but because they fit my feet best. Other brands are often too tight.
Pepijn Schlösser, 19, second-year psychology student, born in Hoensbroek, lives in Amstenrade.
Trains ten to fifteen hours per week. Plays for Roda JC and Young Roda JC.Training for his debut in the Eredivisie.
Best recent performance: moved up to the first team Roda JC
This is a series about students who sport at the highest level