Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka has settled back in after the team’s Audi Summer Tour for the International Champions Cup and hit on a number of topics in an interview with TZ reporter Jonas Austermann.
First and foremost, Goretzka appreciated the opportunity to get the season start in the United States against some quality competition.
I’ve been in America before, but now I’m here with my club for the first time. It’s all very big and exciting. Due to the sponsor dates I got to see a lot off the training ground; there were some very cool things there. From a sporting point of view, the test matches are especially great because the opponents are very good.
With the initial friendlies in-hand, Goretzka is now ready to start focusing on ways that he can further impact the team and wanted to establish himself as one of Niko Kovac’s choice XI:
I want to take the next step. I was able to count myself among the regular players for much of last season, and of course I want to build on that. I want to score goals, help the team, and win matches. What I missed last season is also being there in the big games. I always had minor health problems. Now, of course, I also want to be fit for the big games, for example against FC Liverpool, and stand on the pitch. I’m hoping for a bit more luck.
I’ve already taken on a lot of responsibility on the pitch for the fact that last season was my first at FC Bayern. I’m trying because it’s part of my game. With the positions in the middle I have a certain responsibility by nature. From there I can reach and coach many parts of the team. Basically, every player at FC Bayern is expected to take responsibility. For me, too, this is a point that I would like to improve.
One of the players that Goretzka will be competing with for playing time this season is Corentin Tolisso. Tolisso, who suffered a catastrophic knee injury early last season, is working his way back to full-form, but Goretzka is happy to have his teammate on the pitch rather than in the training room:
It would be bad if I wasn’t happy about it. Coco is a very good player who is very important to us. Of course we’ll have to see how far he’s gone after his long injury. We can’t expect too much from him at the beginning, even though he will use all his preparation to be in top shape.
In looking back to how things were going at this time last year, Goretzka said that the transition from Schalke 04 to Bayern Munich was not always easy, but it was a change that Goretzka knew that he needed for the betterment of his career:
Bayern Munich is of course something completely different from Schalke 04. That’s also one reason why I moved here. I want to benefit from the level and performance of my teammates already in training. I have found out for myself that this is an environment in which I can develop well.
One of the other things the things that Goretzka was dealing with last year was Germany’s failure at the 2018 World Cup. Despite that disappointment, Goretzka has been working hard to retain his position with Die Mannschaft and is looking forward to playing in the Euro 2020 Championship. Still, Goretzka knows that he must separate his club duties from his international responsibilities to maintain the proper focus:
I’m not going into the Bavarian season with the goal of being in the squad of the German national team for the European Championship. I have my own goals with the club — and the DFB selection comes all by itself if I reach these goals. As soon as the season is over and all tasks with FC Bayern have been ticked off, I can talk about how to prepare for the European Championship. One thing is clear: When I play a strong season in a club, it naturally helps me to play for the national team.
Finally, Goretzka was asked about comments made by Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler. Draxler gave Borussia Dortmund credit for bringing in Mats Hummels, Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, and Nico Schulz, but also stated he “hopes someone will stop BVB.” Goretzka gave his insight to how feels the power dynamic will shake out within the league:
With a view to the Bundesliga, the Dortmunders have made very good transfers and taken a lot of money into their hands. Nevertheless, you’ll first have to see to what extent the new players are taking effect there. I’m one hundred percent sure that we’ll have a competitive team on the pitch when the season starts. Of course, I want to fulfill all of Jule’s wishes. I want him to be happy (laughs).