Goretzka: We can turn it around just as quickly
The FC Bayern training sessions reveal that Leon Goretzka feels very much at home in Munich and at the Säbener Strasse. The player born in Bochum talked to fcbayern.com about his reasons for joining FC Bayern, his first impressions of the Bavarian state capital, the current situation at FCB and what he expects from the two duels with AEK and Dortmund.
Leon Goretzka interviewed
fcbayern.com: Your wonder goal in today's training session was yet more proof you've settled in well at FC Bayern. Have you had time to have a look around in the city?
Leon Goretzka: Not really, unfortunately, I've missed out on that a bit so far. But I deliberately stayed in Munich when we had time off. I think it's very important to identify yourself with the city and to get to know the people living there. I think the people here are incredibly friendly. There are lots of young people in the areas I've seen. It's fun.
You're a long way from home for the first time. Is there anything you're missing?
Goretzka: The word says everything. Of course you miss things when you leave "home." For example, all my friends. Up to now it really was a case of 'Home Sweet Home' for me because I lived in the house where I grew up, so I was always close to my friends, which was very good for me. But I took this step deliberately. It's important to leave home for my personal development. But all the guys have visited me here, and my family are often here.
At your unveiling you said the decision took a lot of time before your transfer. Which factors were important to you?
Goretzka: It was a long process. I really thought about many things, even the weather in a city, even if that's completely insignificant, and similar things. But I ultimately boiled down my thoughts to what really matters. (laughing)
What is really important?
Goretzka: It was important to have the feeling the club really care about me and have a clear plan with me. Besides, I already knew the league, which was an advantage for me. I didn't consider going abroad. Also, FC Bayern are a giant club with lots of honours, and a team where you can take the next step. I can learn here every day. I can take the next step in various ways. I liked the thought, and I haven't been disappointed so far.
You lived through two different periods in your first four months at FC Bayern. At first everything was top-notch, and now there's criticism.
Goretzka: It's an empty phrase but it fits best: Football is a day-to-day business. What happened in the last few weeks is completely irrelevant, it's the here and now that counts. We're not playing the best or most spectacular football at the moment, so the coverage is negative. But we can turn it around just as quickly. That'll be our task now. We'll have the opportunities to do it in the upcoming week.
What does it take to improve the atmoshere?
Goretzka: Victories! And better football. At the end of the day it's about our displays on the pitch. How we get to that level is completely irrelevant.
First the match against AEK Athens in the Champions League...
Goretzka: We must focus on taking the right step. We're playing in front of our own fans at the Arena, so we're really up for it. We want to play good football there.
Is the match against Dortmund in the back of your minds? How important would a good result against Athens be for the weekend?
Goretzka: In the back of our minds, yes, but the focus is on Wednesday. The task is difficult enough, and a good result will surely make it easier to approach the match this weekend. But even if we don't achieve a good result it's not about our motivation.
Is the match against Dortmund more special because you're an ex-Schalke player?
Goretzka: Absolutely. They were rivals even during my time at Bochum. I've grown up with this rivalry. It became even more intense at Schalke. Especially the derby of the century last year, the 4-4 draw, and then our derby victory at home. Those have always been awesome matches, so I'm really, really fired up to continue it.
What do you expect from the match?
Goretzka: A very interesting, highly attractive match with lots of emotions and an interesting situation in the table. Our task will be to turn in a good performance, to win and to cut the gap.
Let's have a look at the more distant future. How would you like to look back on your first season at FC Bayern?
Goretzka: I haven't thought about it at all. I'm satisfied with my start here. Except for the match against Augsburg, when I didn't play at left-back as I had planned, I've always seen my performances positively. I want to build on it. From now on I want to avoid the minor injuries I've had again and again. I want to establish myself further and improve, so I can help the team.