Bosnian Uzo is known as “the man for any job” at the Lanxess Arena in Germany

Source: N1/F.Z.

The Lanxess Arena in Germany is one of the largest and most visited in the world and, considering the numerous spectacular sporting and musical events it hosts, working there must require a great deal of dedication and a strong work ethic. Fortunately, the management there can count on Bosnian Uzeir Hadzovic - “the man for any job”.

Hadzovic spoke to N1’s Semir Mustafic, Nedim Agic and Faruk Zametica at the Lanxess Arena. The man from Gorazde is among those responsible for making everything work smoothly at the arena which was built 24 years ago. About 153 million euros were invested in the construction of the massive arena.

The N1 team met Hadzovic on the first day of Eurobasket, as they were loading their equipment into the car after reporting from the event.

Hadzovic approached the team and said:

“N1, Bosnians. I'm Uzo. How long will you be staying? I work in this arena. Please contact me if you need anything these days. I am at your disposal.”

The team continued to spend time with Hadzovic throughout the event. It soon became clear that everybody there knows him as “Uzo” and he is considered one of the symbols of the Arena.

It also became clear that Uzo is well respected and very popular among the employees, which was also confirmed by the Head of Press and Public Relations, Carsten Heling.

“Passion is the best word to describe Uzo. He is a great man. So passionate about his work. He does his work with all his heart. Not only with his mind, but with his heart and soul,” Heling said, adding that Uzo gives his “110 percent” at the job.

Uzo gave the team a tour of the arena, and the first thing he showed them was the beautiful view from the roof at a height of 45 meters.

Then, he began telling his story.

“They call me, as they say in German: ‘Mann für alle fälle’ – that is, ‘Man for any job’. There are many jobs that I do. I'm not ashamed to wear a work suit. When I put on a work suit and safety shoes, that's when I'm the safest and feel the best,” Hadzovic said.

Uzeir works long days, and sometimes nights.

He explained that he arrived in Germany in 1992 and was never unemployed. He has been working at the arena for the past 13 years.

“I think I have painted this arena at least three times so far,” he said, adding that he had help.

“My wife was also hired full-time here. She is a seriously good painter,” he said.

 

Uzo said he is always happy to see his compatriots at times when the BiH national team plays its matches and that providing tickets for Bosnian fans always represents a special honour for him.

“Thanks to the main man of the arena, Stefan Löcher, we can always take care of everything. He is always ready to help,” Uzo said, expressing great respect for his boss.

He said he was particularly moved by the reaction of a Bosnian boy whom Uzo provided with tickets for the match between BiH and Slovenia.

“A little boy came up to me, hugged me and said ‘I'll never forget this, Uzo.’ My eyes teared up a little bit, I have to admit,” he said, adding that he is not prone to shedding tears.

“But I'm sensitive to things like this,” he said emotionally.

Uzo did not spare his throat and palms during the matches and cheered for the Bosnian team with passion. Sadly, this did not last nearly as long as he wished it would, and BiH’s team was out of the competition after it was defeated by Lithuania’s team.

The Lanxess Arena is organizing more than 200 events this year, which will be visited by more than 2 million spectators. This arena hosted many major sports competitions in the past.

“We had three Ice Hockey World Championships (2001, 2010 and 2017), two World Handball Championships and the Final Four of the EHF Champions League every year starting in 2010. We also had the Final Four of the Basketball Euroleague,” Heling told N1.

The arena also hosted numerous music events.

“We had rising stars for the younger generation such as Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa. For the older generations, we had Metallica, Beyonce, U2, Sting, Phill Collins and Elton John,” he added.

Hadzovic also had the opportunity to meet many stars and told N1 about those who left a good impression on him.

“I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with the Klitschko brothers. They are humble people and not complicated at all. Then there was Heidi Klum. I was really surprised by how humble she was. When it was time for breakfast, there she was, together with everyone else. She never separated from her group. She is easy to talk to and she left a positive impression on me,” he said.

Uzo also had a message for all Bosnians who consider visiting Cologne.

“Uzo is always in the arena,” he said, adding that he is available to anyone who may need his help.

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