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Leon Goretzka opens up on Bayern Munich move

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Die Roten’s summer transfer prize details his upcoming transfer to Munich and why playing in the Champions League drove his decision.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

In an interview with SportBild, Schalke midfielder and soon-to-be Bayern Munich man Leon Goretzka talked through his thought process on his upcoming summer transfer.

The 23-year old will exit Schalke after five years and join Bayern with his eyes on Champions League glory.

I came to the conclusion that it’s the right step. I had the feeling that I needed to get out of my comfort zone to develop. The Champions League also played a big role in the decision. At Bayern you go into the Champions League with different expectations. At Schalke, the focus was always on getting through the group stage. I’d like to take this step to Bayern and I think that’s the only way to get where I’d like to go.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Goretzka also outlined the process he used before finally pulling the trigger in signing a deal with Bayern.

It was a long decision-making process. It’s not as if at 17 I already knew where I’d like to be at 28. But I’ve always had the next steps in mind.

The wrath of the home fans that his move provoked was also something Goretzka had prepared for:

I thought long and hard about it and was very well prepared for the situation. For some people, this decision meant a lot. But from others I found a lot of understanding. I definitely will not blame the Schalke fans.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Goretzka, who proved his mettle on the international stage on last summer’s Confederations Cup-winning German side, is currently with Die Mannschaft during this international break, no doubt becoming more familiar with some of his future Bayern teammates. With the goal of cementing a spot on the German national team for the World Cup, Goretzka won’t let his lofty personal goals get in the way of a strong finish with Schalke.

It’s important to see that we reach our goals with Schalke and that I get into good shape. Then the odds that I’ll be at the World Cup are good. And then success takes precedence over everything else.

Despite his growing anticipation to join Bayern, Goretzka feels an obligation to end his tenure with Schalke on good terms.

For me it’s incredibly important to leave Schalke with a positive experience. It would be hard to take transferring to Schalke in 2013 as a participant in Champions League and leaving the club as a participant in the Europa League. Generally speaking, I hope that some day the fans will not only remember the last half a year, but also the many goals I scored, the intense games we played.

With only a few months standing between Goretzka and his formal arrival in Munich, it would appear that he will have a great opportunity to achieve his World Cup goals and leave Schalke fans with fine memories of his time at the club.