'A lot of people are writing me off' - Hearts Christophe Berra answers critics

Hearts defender Christophe Berra has issued a defiant message to critics who claim he is too old and immobile at the age of 35.

By Barry Anderson
Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 10:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 1:53 pm

Irked by comments from some fans and media, he laughed off suggestions that his physical condition is deteriorating and said he still wants to play every week.

Tuesday night's win against Alloa Athletic was Berra’s first 90 minutes at Tynecastle Park since December 26 last year. He joined Dundee on loan in January and then missed the start of this season with an Achilles injury.

He turns 36 in January and is determined to play on with Hearts, refusing to subscribe to theories that he is finished.

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Hearts defender Christophe Berra is eager to prove he is far from finished.

“A lot of people are writing me off, I don’t know why,” said Berra. “You hear it all about getting old, he’s a veteran and he can’t run any more – but that’s a load of s***.

“You look at the stats and stuff and you know it’s not true but it’s part and parcel of it. You get it when you get a bit older and it’s not just me.

“If you make a mistake these days people say, ‘that’s because he’s getting old’, but I made mistakes when I was 16, 18, 24, 27 – when I was in my prime.

“There are other players in the league who get it. Broonie is one of them, but it’s rubbish. You just get on with it, you know there will come a time but I’m not one to hide.

“I have always been in good physical condition, I like training and I have never been one to miss it throughout my career.

“When you go onto the pitch every time your reputation is on the line, that’s just the way it is. All I do is turn up, train the best I can and hopefully get a game on a Saturday.”

Berra accepts Hearts are under pressure to win the Scottish Championship and secure promotion. The fickle nature of his chosen sport is never far away.

“It’s about getting out of this league now, that’s all we are focused on,” he stated. “Football is a strange sport sometimes, one minute you are on top of the world and the next it’s the opposite.

“Look at Celtic. They win the league last year and everything’s great but once they lose a game the next season the critics are out.

“We are no different, we beat Alloa 3-0 on Tuesday and everyone is happy but if we don’t do it again on Saturday the critics will be out again.

"That’s just the way it is. We will lose games at some point, you have to grind them out sometimes and get away with a 1-0.”

Stadiums around the country remain echo chambers without fans and Berra is eager for supporters to return.

“Coronavirus has changed the sport, it’s not the same without fans and the sooner it’s over the better,” he said.

“We want things back to normal. We want Tynecastle packed to the rafters again, the supporters of every club are desperate to get back again.

“The sooner we see them back in stadiums the better it will be for everyone.”

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