Loris Karius: “There was an automatic connection between me and Diletta”
The shell of polite rationality breaks as soon as he talks about little Aria: “When I saw her for the first time, I didn’t understand anything anymore. It was a crazy day that I will never forget.” Loris Karius’ world turned upside down since he met Diletta Leotta in October of last year. Love, a daughter, life changing for the better. Even though he is a footballer in England and she is a journalist in Italy. He connects from Newcastle, in his second year at the Saudi-owned club. He speaks in English, weighing every word, he opens up but also protects himself a little, he is attentive. As a goalkeeper, he tries to avoid missteps: “No one can truly understand what it feels like to be between the posts, alone. If you make a mistake, you become the target of hatred, everyone takes it out on you. If instead a forward misses five chances but then scores, he is treated like a hero.”
How do you handle criticism?
“I try not to let it affect me. Making mistakes is normal, it happens to everyone. I have a strong spirit, I ignore all the noise that comes from the outside. It’s the only way, otherwise you can’t handle it.”
Your first memory with a ball?
“At seven years old, in the field near my village in Germany. My father used to do motocross as a boy and wanted me to follow in his footsteps, but I liked football, my idol was Oliver Kahn. I started with motorcycles, then I changed paths thanks to my mother. She was happy that I was doing a less dangerous sport. Then even my dad got won over.”
In an interview with “7,” Diletta said that as soon as she saw you, she thought you would be the father of her children. Did you feel the same way?
“I don’t remember (laughs, editor’s note). But that night in Paris, I understood that I was in front of a special person. I liked her at first sight. There was an automatic connection between us, a special understanding. It’s nice that she immediately thought about children.”
The first meeting?
“It was natural, we coincidentally ended up in the same place. I didn’t know who she was, she didn’t know who I was. We liked each other without labels, just as we are. It’s not common in an era where photos bounce around everywhere on the internet and social media. It happened to us.”
What do you like about Diletta?
“She is always positive, smiling. She has a sunny personality. She takes care of me: when we are together, I feel good.”
Is she a jealous partner?
“No, not at all. We are apart for days, I couldn’t have a long-distance relationship if she were jealous. We have to trust each other. Ours is a healthy relationship, there is nothing that worries me.”
Mainz, Liverpool, now back to the Premier League with Newcastle.
“A growing club, with tradition and passionate fans. Last year, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked, but I was part of the group that brought the team back to the Champions League.”
Group F, the one with Milan. The debut match is on Tuesday at San Siro.
“We have to start on the right foot. Our group is the most balanced, we can finish first or fourth. PSG is the favorite, but we can compete with Dortmund and Milan. We have difficult challenges ahead, but I’m sure our opponents weren’t happy to draw us.”
Would you like to have a prominent role again, maybe in Serie A?
“It’s a possible solution that I consider. It could happen in the future. As a child, I used to watch Inter, Milan, and Juve matches on TV. But I don’t want to make decisions based solely on Aria and Diletta. I’m waiting for a good job opportunity.”
But for now, you live in England, and they are in Milan. Are you able to be present?
“We are apart most of the time, it’s inevitable. We talk a lot on the phone, we have video calls with FaceTime. Diletta comes to visit me whenever she can, but it’s not easy.”
How has your life changed since Aria was born?
“I like to think that there is this little one who needs me. If I have a stressful day and she is at home, just holding her in my arms makes everything beautiful. It’s a gift, with her, I can give the right importance to things that used to seem important to me. I enjoy all the time we spend together.”
(Continues on Corriere della Sera)
(In the photo, Loris Karius with Diletta Leotta)
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