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FC Twente defender Mees Hilgers: ‘’I never really say faith, because I know God exists’’

The 22-year-old Mees Hilgers is one of the star players of the Dutch side FC Twente this season. The defender has been playing for the club from Enschede since the age of ten. He is a striking character with his tattoos, his iconic moustache that reminds us of football legends from the 80s and his big grin. Because Hilgers is not just enjoying playing football, but is also enjoying every moment in his life.

Mees Hilgers Twente

At the age of sixteen, Hilgers was already facing a significant challenge: leaving the warm parental nest in Amersfoort for the largest city in Overijssel. “At first, I thought living on my own would be a huge party, but it was quite tough. I had to go to school and training, and when I came home, I had to clean up, cook, do the laundry, and go to bed on time. Fortunately, my parents occasionally brought food, and I had friends and teammates who also lived in Enschede, otherwise, it would have been even tougher. On the other hand, this made me more disciplined and mature faster.”

No stress or fear

Off the field, the young defender is primarily focused on his family and his Christian faith. “I never really say faith, because I know that God exists. I discuss every moment of the day with God. Everything I see, hear, and experience. I feel like I’m not doing it alone, but that God is in control. My only task is to have fun. I enjoy every moment without experiencing stress or fear. Maybe that’s why I’m so calm.”

Hilgers now only listens to gospel music. “I used to listen a lot to urban and R&B, but not anymore. That music doesn’t help me in life. It only distracts and makes you think about the past or bad things. I have no use for that, that’s why I only play gospel in my car. That music is sacred and strengthens my bond with God.”

Mees Hilgers Twente
Mees Hilgers Twente


Family is also very important to Hilgers. His mother is from Indonesia and his father is of Dutch descent. “My father was always working, and my mom was always at home. So we only ate Indonesian dishes, and at family parties, Indonesian or Malaysian was also spoken. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up the language, but I would really like to learn it.”

The FC Twente defender is also not a huge fan of Dutch food. “I really don’t like it. Just give me soto, an Indonesian chicken soup with rice and vegetables. Luckily, as a footballer, I can keep eating this.”

Given his Indonesian roots, Hilgers has also become a well-known figure in the country. “Indonesians are very enthusiastic. If FC Twente or I post a photo, many Indonesians will react. I want to visit Indonesia as soon as possible and go on holiday there. But unfortunately because of European football and the playoffs, the holidays have been too short so far. I think there is a good chance that I will be recognized, but Indonesians also look a lot alike. Hopefully, I can blend in with the crowd and it won’t be a madhouse as soon as I step outside.”

The full interview can be read in Dutch in ISSUE 80.