People & VIPs
„A lot of things have to fit together for a successful career!“
Currently, Nicole Billa from Austria is really taking off in Hoffenheim. The twenty-something is determined and not only talented on the ball - she is also a kickboxer. Style PASS spoke to the likeable Billa about sport and what else interests her in life.
Style PASS: Hello, dear Nicole Billa, or should we rather say "servus"? Where is it better to live and kick? In Austria or in the „Kraichgau“?
Nicole Billa: The Kraichgau has definitely become my second home, it's a great place to play soccer, that's why I've been in Hoffenheim since 2015 and extended my contract for another two years, and the quality of life here is also very high. I even notice time and again that there are some similarities between Kraichgau and Tyrol. Nevertheless, I miss my home country, of course, but that's quite normal.
Style PASS: You are currently taking off in sports. Did you expect this career?
When I came here five and a half years ago, I didn't expect it, because the jump is already very, very big. But I'm happy that things are going well. For such a successful path, many things have to fit together, for example, the right environment and the team. A lot of work goes into it and it's even nicer to be rewarded.
Style PASS: Where does your extreme sporting talent come from? You are also a kickboxer!
I come from a sporty family, so I was born into it. I was allowed to try out many different sports in my childhood, so that certainly played a role. In addition, I just have a lot of fun with sports in general. But I only get to kickboxing very rarely.
Style PASS: Your current employer is TSG Hoffenheim, who became famous for quickly establishing an extremely successful men's team. Is enough being done for women's soccer in Germany?
The current situation makes it not so easy. But for us it was a great appreciation last year that we were allowed to continue our game like the 1st and 2nd men's national league and were thus recognised as a professional league. Everyone is working very hard to expand the media attention even more, because there is certainly still room for improvement.
Style PASS: What do you watch privately? Men's or women's soccer?
Both. I watch almost all sports anyway: from skiing to handball and ice hockey. I also watched baseball recently. I find it all interesting, but I'm not really a fan of any club. It just fascinates me.
Style PASS: Did you have a female player as a role model?
No, I never had one.
Style PASS: Soccer often functions as a social burning glass: Have you had to experience discrimination within your job?
That is not rare. Women's soccer is often still ridiculed and not really accepted. That's a pity, but I personally don't get hung up on it. To put it this way: I'm just not that itchy when someone says something bad about women's soccer. It's much more important that those who are interested in it are very enthusiastic about it.
Style PASS: Sporting goals?
We don't want to give up third place in the table and thus secure Champions League qualification.
Style PASS: Soccer is a sport that demands a lot from the body. Many players build up a second leg during their active time. What do you think about that?
I think it's good to have the opportunity to secure yourself and build up something besides soccer. I trained as a nursery school teacher and now work two days a week in the nursery school. For me, it's a good balance and I really enjoy going to work. So I am very happy with that at the moment.
Style PASS: Austria qualified for the 2022 European Championship in England at the last minute. Are you looking forward to scoring goals there?
Of course I am! Behind us lies the best qualification we have ever played and we are very happy that we have secured our participation again after the 2017 European Championship. I'm really looking forward to the tasks that await us next year in England.
Thank you very much!