Tuesday 12 September 2017, 12:22

Arp: Nine facts and nine questions for Germany’s No9

  • As a youngster, Jann-Fiete Arp once scored 16 goals in one match

  • Tottenham’s Harry Kane is Arp’s role model

  • Dreaming of FIFA World Cup success with Germany in India

Jann-Fiete Arp is a striker – a centre forward through and through. Right now, life for the up-and-coming German revolves around scoring goals, something that became abundantly clear early in his conversation with FIFA.com.

It is a skill in which Arp is already more than proficient , as he showed at the 2017 UEFA European U-17 Championship. The FIFA U-17 World Cup in India is now just a month away, so what better time to take a closer look at Germany’s No9?

2019: Arp has a contract with Hamburg SV for the next two years

Why did you sign with HSV when other top clubs were looking to snap you up? "It simply would have made no sense to leave HSV. I’m 17 years old, which makes me one of the younger members of the A-Youth squad, and I regularly train with the pros. I’m delighted with that, and I probably have my toughest year ahead of me. I want to get my driver’s licence and my high school diploma, and my last year at school is the top priority for me. A transfer would have made no sense. And HSV is my club – pure and simple."

2000: Arp was born on 6 January 2000 in Schleswig-Holstein, in Germany.

Where and when did you start playing? Who was your mentor? "I first started playing at the age of four for SV Wahlstedt. My mentor was Thomas Nagel, who was my coach for the Segeberg representative team at the time, and he was the one who brought me to HSV when I was ten."

186: Arp’s height in centimetres.

What are the advantages of being so tall? "Height is obviously a big advantage when two of you are going for the ball in the air, but most central defenders aren’t on the small side either, so it makes it all about timing. I think I can still make progress in this respect."

61: Arp’s lucky number.

Why 61? "61 is my lucky number, because it’s my date of birth, and the figures also represent the letters of my initials: F=6 A=1."

44: Arp’s shoe size

*Your right is your stronger foot. Would you describe yourself as two-footed? And what are your strengths in front of goal? **"Saying that I’m two-footed would be going too far. I can play with my left foot and score goals with it, but I tend to prefer the outside of my right foot. I think that I score most of my goals hitting it as accurately as I can with my strongtep. One of my strengths though is having a lot of variety, particularly with my right foot, but also having a good feel for the ball. Free kicks, for example. I enjoy practising them, and now and then I manage to fire the odd one in (laughs*)."

16 in one match – one of Arp’s greatest feats to date. When did this incredible performance happen? "I scored the most goals when I was in HSV’s U-12s. There was a 22-0 win where I scored 16."

13 minutes was all that Arp needed to score a hat-trick at the European U-17 Championships – a new record.

What do you remember about this match? "It was obviously a wonderful feeling to score three goals in one match and set a new record at the same time. But it’s always the case with strikers that you can’t perform if your team isn’t performing. Even in special matches like this one."

9: Arp wears this number out of a real sense of conviction. Legend has it that as a child, you already wanted to have the iconic No9 on your back. Is that true? Did you have a hero who wore this number? "As a child I always wanted to have the No9, simply because I was the one who scored the goals, regardless of which team I was in. Scoring goals was my job. In recent years, I’ve tended to get the No10 more often, so that I can take on a more central role. I like doing that, particularly for my club.

There are plenty of good strikers that you can watch and learn a lot from. But if there’s one player that I would say is my role model, it’s Harry Kane of Tottenham. He played in Spurs’ youth set-up and made it through to the first team and as captain. He’s already been top-scorer in the Premier League on two occasions. Anyone would be proud to have a career like that."

1: One aim: being number one in the world. And Arp will be getting an opportunity to do just that in October, at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

What is so special about playing for Germany at a FIFA World Cup? "There’s a real sense of anticipation about the World Cup because we already know from the EURO how it feels and what the atmosphere will be like playing at such a big tournament. And at a World Cup, everything will obviously be that little bit bigger. It is the most important tournament that you can play in your age group. And Germany can always have legitimate title aspirations."