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Q&A’s with Hadi Mortada

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What is the favorite moment of your career so far?

My favorite “moment” was playing three games for the Olympic national team. When you play for your country, you feel it’s like a love story, something very special.

Where will you be playing after your contract expires next August?

Right now, I’m still with Tadamon, but my contract expires in August. Up until now, my manager didn’t tell me anything so far, but he said something I don’t know yet to my father.

Do you want to play abroad soon?

Personally, I’d like to stay in Lebanon for a year or two. This year basically doesn’t count, we only played 3 games. I need experience, and Lebanon is better suited for me, as I can play. It’s very difficult to play as a foreigner in Germany since they prefer German goalkeepers. But if I get an offer from abroad with all the right conditions, I wouldn’t say no, of course.

What is your worst moment as a goalkeeper?

Last year I did one mistake. We scored a goal against Sahel to make it 2-1, then I don’t know what happened, the ball hit the post and entered our net, it was my first and last mistake. It was hard to digest, I was 19 and thought “the score was just 2-1 and now it’s 2-2, what happened?”.

How does a goalkeeper deal with conceding goals?

There are goals where you say that you couldn’t have done anything to stop them, and there are goals where you’re like “why didn’t I jump”, “I could’ve done that”, but after 5 minutes it settles in and you realize you can’t do anything about it, so you move on.

What do you think went wrong for the Olympic team?

There was a big mistake, we didn’t have a training camp, there was nothing. We went to Beirut twice a week to train, but it wasn’t enough, we lacked practice. I went to the Olympics knowing only 5 people from the team. We had three days in Beirut, then went to Saudi Arabia. The first game was so bad because we didn’t know each other, I didn’t know what the players would do if x happens or y happens, that was the problem.

What other coach would you like to play for?

I think there are 3 or 4 coaches, those are the best coaches in Lebanon. Ahed’s coach is very good. Nejme and Ansar change coaches every 6 months, so I can’t talk about the coaches because they’re changing them a lot. Sahel’s coach is very good, he can talk to the players and they like him a lot, Bourj’s coach is very good as well. I think these three are the best in Lebanon right now.

Why did you choose to become a goalkeeper?

My dad was a goalkeeper, and I always went to his games when he played here in Germany, and I’ve wanted to become a goalkeeper ever since, even though he didn’t want me to become one. I started relatively late, I started playing at 9 years old, but in Germany they usually start at 5 years old.  I broke my foot three months later, so I practically started at 10 years old.

My dad always trained with me. I played with a local team at first, but then went to a team in the first division (played with the players of his age-group). I never questioned why I was a goalkeeper and not a striker. Casillas once said that everybody dreams of scoring the perfect goal, but he dreamt of saving that goal, this reassured me. I was watching videos of Kahn, Casillas, Buffon and I was set on becoming like them, but I also wanted to be like my father.

Did you follow Lebanese players in Germany when you were younger

When I was young, I only knew Dodo from my father who told me that he played with Koln. I played with VFL-Bochum, both in U-12 and U-13 levels, and when we played away against Koln, I saw Dodo training but I couldn’t talk to him since he was practicing.

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