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1. FC Cologne: Chicago Fire – Rafael Chicos transfers Bundesliga to the United States by lightning

Cologne loses its security boss. Raphael Chicos (31) Immediately the fire in Chicago in the United States moves (BILD exclusively announced). In the big interview, Czichos talks about his football adventure and the tough farewell to FC.

>> It became clear to us immediately: now or never!

Built: Mr. Chicos, how spontaneous was this change really?

Chicos: “My adviser has had a loose relationship with the American League for a long time.

Built: Then? Big family conference under the tree?

Chicos: “Something like that … was immediately clear to us: ‘Now or never!’ It’s always been our dream to live in America.My wife Ilona and I immediately made a list of pros and cons.Above all, do not throw away your Bundesliga life at 31. But it soon became clear: ‘We will do it!’

>> I’ll go at the best of times

BILD: Who first informed you after your decision?

Chicos: “Stephen Palmcord! He showed me so much confidence and respect during my time in Cologne. The conversation was hard and emotional for me. This was very good for me in Cologne, especially when he was a coach. I go at the best of times. This is not easy for me. That is why the expectation is not right after the decision is made. Now it’s different – I’m totally happy!

Built: Did Palmcard allow you to go that easy?

Chicos: “No, he wanted me to stay. But he knew my future plans from several conversations over the weeks. So it was not surprising to him. If he had not given OK, I would not have changed. The FC gave me so much for it. The coach did not try to talk to me from my dream.

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>> Coach I wanted to stay

Built: Did you drop the colon for your dream?

Chicos: “At first glance you can see it that way. The coach and the team didn’t look like that. At least no one felt that way to me. I gave a lot for FC – the club gave me something back. I’m infinitely grateful for that.”

BILD: Does money play a major role in change?

Chicos: “No, the financial aspects have nothing to do with this. I want to continue my business like this. Ilona is also very happy and my four-year-old son Ben is growing up bilingual – which is definitely not a disadvantage for his future.

Built: Why are you leaving now, why not in the summer?

Chicos: “Because new coach Ezra Hendrickson wanted an experienced defender to lead his team back from the start.

Built: Is there less pressure in the United States? There were whistles or harsh criticism from fans after frequent mistakes in Cologne …

Chicos: “No, I did not run away from Cologne. Sure, it’s not always easy for me, but in the end I won, convincing the fans of what I could do. I don’t know if the pressure is low in Chicago. In the end, it’s about success. Of course I want it too. It should not give the impression that I want to enjoy life as an immigrant … “


Rafael Czichos had a contract with FC until the summer. He moved from Keel to Cologne in 2018Photo: Like Andreas

BILD: When did you say goodbye to your FC colleagues?

Chicos: “Before the first practice of the New Year, I was in the locker room. Many were surprised, but the mood was sweet. I think my colleagues treat me like an adventurer. “

BILD: How Many Americans are in Czichos?

Chicos (laughs): “Well, I can give interviews in English, I have been to the US four times. I like the sober lifestyle, the way people treat each other and strangers. But the league impressed me. The level is increasing year by year. “

Built: Have you ever been to Chicago?

Chicos: “Never. I’m curious what to expect there. But Keel’s former teammate Kenneth Cronholm played there until the end, and he will give me a lot of information to facilitate my start. We do not have an apartment yet, we are just starting to sort things out everyday.

BILD: When does it start?

Chicos: “We’ll be flying there in mid – January. Arrangements will begin on January 16 with two training camps for two weeks each in Orlando and Texas. We have already taken care of everything in Cologne. The furniture has been stored, the apartment has been given notice.

Built: Can you imagine living permanently in the states?

Chicos: “I can imagine everything. My family and I are open to everything.”