Markus Pink: I feel at home here

In the second round of Chinese Super League, Shanghai Port beat Shenzhen in a rollercoaster 3-2 win in its first home game of the season. Markus Pink, Port’s newly signed Austrian striker Markus scored the second goal for the team. After the game, he was interviewed by Titan.


Q: It didn’t take long for you to get on the pitch at the club, how did it feel?

A: It’s really cool, it’s really good and, today being the first home game of the season, there’s a sense of release, a great psychological release. Even though we’ve had support from all over the place, at the end of the day when we meet these fans you still want to score goals and the first goal is always special. Of course, I haven’t quite settled in with the team yet, I’m still half a step late to the team, but it’s all going to smooth out soon. The whole system at this club is a bit similar to the Klagenfurt team.


Q: Are the Chinese fans excited?

A: Yes, totally, cheering almost every time a shot is taken.


Q: But the game was played with a lot of difficulty at the end, wasn’t it?

A: Can you describe the game as very exciting? After I scored, we were 2-0 up, unfortunately, one of our players had been sent off. (Then) Shenzhen equalised in the 84th minute, but then it was Wu Lei’s winning goal that made it all clear. Winning again in the second game, I believe we can continue (this momentum).


Q: How many spectators were in the stadium for this game?

A: For special reasons, only 15,000 fans were allowed to watch the game, but they created an incredible atmosphere for 90 minutes. During the warm-up each player was introduced individually and the fans went wild already and there were no boos during the game, only cheers. When I was going around the stadium after the game thanking the crowd I spotted some pink posters which was fantastic! I think I’ve made them feel that I really feel at home when I come to Shanghai. I even met some fans in the hotel afterwards, I couldn’t communicate much but actually took quite a few photos.


Q: So what do you think of the media spread for the Chinese Super League?

A: For this game, several TV stations came, including CNN TV, and I did my first post-match interview, in German of course, but with translation in a lot of languages. Surprisingly, they were interested in learning a lot about the player, not just about football, and here interest means everything. We have the derby next Saturday (29 April), which is bound to be exciting and will supposedly be broadcast live across China.


Q: It sounds like you’re fitting in very easily. And how did you take lessons from (Marko) Arnautovic, as he also played for Shanghai Port.

A: No, I didn’t contact him. The thought had flashed through my mind, but in the end I didn’t want to be bound to any opinion and I didn’t want to change my opinion, which was quite good. Besides, I hadn’t had enough time to prepare for this adventure. In fact, I’ve instead benefited from the fact that I’m not being guided by anyone at all.


Q: When will you get your residence permit?

A: Monday (24th) or Tuesday, I think, and then I can finally sign the lease for the flat I’m staying in, and once everything is already on track, things will all be much easier.