Acapulco (dpa) – In the beginning there was this idea: world tour. Marvin Matip and his wife Elsie had this desire long before the Corona crisis. You a little more than him, to be exact.
“Traveling around the world was a lifelong dream of my wife,” said former professional footballer Matip of the German news agency. “She infected me with the idea over the years.”
When the pandemic was still far away, Matip and his wife had already come up with a rough travel plan. The trip around the world should actually start in Argentina. But that was in a pre-lockdown period, Sars-CoV-2, and a seven-day incidence. The corona limitations require spontaneity and adaptability. So at the end of November, the Matips left for Mexico on a one-way trip, where they also have friends.
“I’m proud of both of us,” said Matip, who is in Acapulco with his wife. The couple have no children yet, so the timing of such a project is – despite Corona – not too bad. “Otherwise we will never do that again,” said Matip, whose wife has taken a sabbatical. There was virtually no alternative to the journey.
Matip (35) played for FC Ingolstadt for nine years and celebrated his sensational promotion to the Bundesliga in 2015 with Schanzern and coach Ralph Hasenhüttl. The Austrian described him as an “absolute winner who wants to win for everything in the world”. Yes the world. In the summer of 2019, Joel Matip’s older brother, who earns a living at Liverpool FC in England, ended his career.
Even then Matip dared to leave. The Ingolstadt record player with 278 performances started a working life after its existence on the field, began studying business management in sports and interned in marketing and sales at the FCI. Last summer, Matip received a jersey with all signatures from the agency as a preliminary farewell to the current third division team.
“It’s not about stamps,” Matip said now before leaving for the southern hemisphere. “I hope, even if it sounds clichéd, a change of perspective.” More appreciation for own possessions, encounters with other people and impressions of foreign cultures must be central.
After nine years, Matip and his wife left the apartment in Ingolstadt – they wanted to “draw a line” – and settled temporarily with their in-laws. With enough cloth and FFP2 masks in their backpacks, the journey began.
“Incredibly disciplined”, the Mexicans would wear the mouth and nose protection, Matip described his first impressions of the mega-metropolis of Mexico City. Fever was measured and hands and shoes were disinfected in all restaurants and shops.
The Matips want to travel a lot by bus, as is the case now in Mexico. They want to reach Belize and Guatemala by land later. And then? Let’s see, not everything can be planned in these times. The two have been invited to a wedding on May 22, and by then they want to be back in Germany.