"RB Leipzig is still a part of my life in Marbella!"

Five years after his legendary goal against Darmstadt: An interview with RBL legend Fabio Coltorti | Life after football | Huge admiration for Péter Gulácsi | What he liked the most about his goal against Darmstadt

24th April 2015. 20:20 CEST. Red Bull Arena. It's the 93rd minute of the game between RB Leipzig and SV Darmstadt, when Fabio Coltori leaves his goal and marches towards the opposition's box. Dominik Kaiser whips in the corner, Omer Damari knocks it down towards Coltorti. A touch with his left foot, a quick turn and a shot with his right and it's in! Coltori scores the winner to make it 2-1 and the 39-year-old writes himself in RBL history!

Five years later we spoke to Fabio about life after football, his successor Péter Gulácsi and of course this memorable goal.

Der Held der Nachspielzeit! Mit seinem historischen Treffer in der Nachspielzeit gegen Darmstadt entfachte unsere damalige Nummer 1 pure Euphorie in der Red Bull Arena.

Fabio, let's start with the most important question: How are you?

We're all very well and healthy. Of course the Coronavirus is also affecting our every day lives and we have to stay almost exclusively at home. The situation in Spain is particularly bad. But, in a way it makes you appreciate everything you have in life.

I have set up a small studio for us at home to play sport in because exercise is of course still very important. I've also been helping my ten-year-old daughter with her homework, even though she is already very independent. Adriana plays tennis professionally and we're still trying to train for one to two hours every day to improve our coordination, agility and core strength. It's really good for us.

You ended your career two years ago and moved back to Marbella. How have you found life without football?

Very good and I'm not missing football. I was doing a lot of Yoga in my first year and also trained to be a Yoga teacher. I've now started to do meditation and of course still play a lot of sport. I have been actively training my daughter for a year now and, thanks to my experience as a professional football player, I can help a lot in terms of fitness training.

I have also learnt a lot of tennis drills so that I can support Adriana a bit better as a sparring partner. But it won't be long until I don't stand a chance against her anymore.

Does football still play a role in your life at all?

Barely. I almost never watch any games on TV, apart from maybe the semi final or final of the Champions League or the World Cup. Even when I was still playing I rarely watched football on TV. 

Of course I still follow the results on the internet; particularly my former clubs. I always look to see how Leipzig are doing because RBL is the club that I had the biggest emotional connection to and is the closest to me.

And are you happy with the Bundesliga table?

(laughs) Definitely! Even though the season is currently on pause, RB Leipzig have had a fantastic season so far and reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League was yet another milestone. I now look at what Leipzig are doing from a fan's point of view and I'm a very happy fan; especially because their development is still far from over.

When can we expect to see you back in Leipzig?

We'll see. I currently have no desire to travel. I have a great place to live for myself and my family; the weather is great, we can play a lot of sport and I'm really enjoying it here - so I'm not thinking about moving anywhere else.

As soon as I finished my career I packed up all my things from my apartment in Leipzig into my career, drove home for 27 hours and have lived a great life ever since. Nevertheless I will definitely come back and visit Leipzig at some point, especially because I have lots of good friends there.

Training camp in Belek (Turkey) in January 2018: Fabio with Péte Gulácsi and Benjamin Bellot.

Perhaps you will have a reunion with your successor Péter Gulácsi. What do you make of Péte's career?

Outstanding! Péte has developed unbelievably well and has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Above all his consistency over a number of years has been fantastic. I'm really happy for him because I always had a great working relationship with him; from a sporting point of view, but above all as a person.

And Péte had always impressed me from day one…

Péte came to Leipzig with ambitions of being the number one, but he wasn't playing at first. But he never let his head drop, he always pulled his socks up and worked hard every day - and was always incredibly friendly. That always meant a lot to me. 

May 2016: Fabio celebrating promotion to the Bundesliga with Rani Khedira, Stefan Ilsanker, Marcel Sabitzer, Benjamin Bellot and Davie Selke

You must be referring to the game against KSC back in May 2016 when we celebrated promotion to the Bundesliga!

Exactly! Péter was our regular goalkeeper at the time, but our coach Ralf Rangnick wanted to make a change for this game and put me back in the starting XI. When Ralf told us this, Pete didn't hesistate for a second and immediately congratulated me.

That just showed his maturity as a person and how much of a team player he was. There's nothing worse for a footballer than not being able to play, especially in such an important game.

You never would have expected to write yourself in RBL history by scoring a goal. How does it feel on the anniversary of your goal against Darmstadt?

Definitely a lot less emotional. It's funny that scoring was the most memorable moment of my 20-year career as a goalkeeper (laughs). For me, the most beautiful thing is that this goal is something that always brings me together with people. Whether it be with journalists, or people to do with RB Leipzig.

I know that it means a lot, particularly to the fans, so I don't mind that it's celebrated once a year.

Exactly five years ago today, Fabio Coltori scored a last minute winner against Darmstadt (2-1). "For me, the most beautiful thing is that this goal is something that always brings me together with people."

Did you hang up the boots from that day?

Yes, I have the boots and the kit at home. I have also kept a kit from every season at RBL, as well as the leggings I wore when we qualified for the Champions League in Berlin in 2017.

Fabio, thank you for talking to us. And thank you for the goal that will always bring us back together at least once a year!

Thank you too, stay safe and hopefully football will be back soon!

Einmal Leipzig, immer Leipzig!

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