“If Atleti called me, I would return with great pride”

His recent goal at Eintracht, full of speed and power, confirmed him as one of the most exciting players in the Bundesliga. Pierre Kunde (Limbe, Cameroon, 7/26-1995) it has carved out a tough road for the elite. He left his country at the age of 16 to try his luck in Spain and start in Preferente. From there to Atlético, Extremadura, Granada quarry and now he Mainz, where it is generating interest from major clubs in Germany and abroad. From there he talks to AS about his origins, his time at Atleti, the comparison with Thomas, the movement Black Lives Matter and racism in football …

He has returned from the break with two goals and being one of the sensations of the Bundesliga with Mainz …

It is hard to start but mentally I came back wanting to play everything and give my best. Those goals have come and I feel good.

He came to Mainz transferred by Atlético, but his life has not been easy.

I am from Limbe (Cameroon). My dad was an architect, my mom was a housewife and although I have four brothers, she gave us a living. But it was not easy. He had to walk for an hour to train, alone, and sometimes, when he finished, he had neither to return nor to buy something to eat. But I had the illusion of the child, it was not hard for me. In fact sometimes I used to hang around playing and when they came back they threw me out! (laughs) The Intersoccer Academy saw me and gave me the opportunity to go to Spain when I was 16 years old. There I was with Tomás Páramo, who treated me like a son although he did not speak French.

“I came to Spain when I was very young and started playing in Preferente as a central player next to a 39-year-old teammate. I learned a lot there”

Pierre Kunde

He is a pivot but now he has let go of scoring goals. Where are you most comfortable?

On the bench surely not (laughs). I came to Spain to Alalpardo, a very small town in Madrid, and I started in Alcobendas … from headquarters in Preferente. He played next to a 39-year-old central defender! I learned a lot although sometimes I went so far up that I forgot to defend (laughs). I have strength and I like to play closer to the area, score goals. I can do it.

Pierre Kunde, with the Cameroon team.

At Cerro del Espino there was always talk of you and Thomas, it is not clear that you continue in the Metropolitan …

When I was in the quarry, I always thought that if he and others could, so could I. I was motivated to see Thomas and when I had to train with the first team I was going to full to demonstrate that it could be there.

What would you say if Atlético called you back?

Would go back. There I started my professional career. I would be delighted, I owe a lot to Atleti. If I have come here, to Mainz and to the Bundesliga, it is thanks to them. They have to call first, but if they do I would return with great pride.

There are also German clubs that follow him …

Things in Mainz are going well for me, but if a better deal comes, I don't see why not go out.

“I have not directly suffered racism in soccer, but it exists. In the world it is happening. Our brothers are treated like shit”

Pierre Kunde

The goals always attract attention and black soccer players are taking advantage of them to publicize their protests against racism. You too. Did you suffer racism in football?

It is the luck that I have had, I have not suffered directly. I have always been with people who are not racist. For example in Atleti, where all my teammates were white and they always offered to take me to train or whatever I needed. I have always felt that we treat each other as equals. But that does not mean that there is a current situation in the world that we cannot forget. There are our brothers who are treating them like shit, as if they were less. It has also happened to soccer players, such as Balotelli. It has not happened to me on a playing field, but it exists.

Without going any further, a Mainz fan went viral in Germany because he publicly announced that he stopped supporting the team because there are too many black footballers in the squad …

Yes, I was glad for the response of my club, which defended us. He replied that he did not want him as an amateur. People like that don't have to be around football. The farther the better.

Tell me about Cameroon. Do you dream of the World Cup?

It is everyone's dream. Now I am growing and I will get on the boat as necessary to get up there. I'm ambitious.

His case reminds me in so many ways of Etoo's …

I know him, I've talked to him a few times in the national team. He is someone who also went through difficulties and got to where he got without anyone giving him anything. He worked it out for himself. It was his way and I am trying to do mine. Solving the obstacles. Samuel is an idol in my country, he represents Cameroon a lot, I respect him and consider him a reference.