Sebastian Rode was on the receiving end of a 5-0 routing from Bayern Munich over the weekend as Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their first loss of the season in the Bundesliga. Despite the result, Rode was still able to say hello to some familiar faces having spent two years of his career at Bayern, collecting two Bundesliga title and one DFB-Pokal during that period.
In an interview prior to kickoff at the Allianz Arena (via SportBild) on Saturday, Rode reflected on his stint at Bayern and said that he still has contact with some of the players at Bayern, namely Joshua Kimmich. He said that the unconditional will to win at Bayern is a huge part of what makes them so successful and it’s something he picked up on during his time there: “It was a very nice time in all. From my first day at FC Bayern, I noticed how great their third for success is, this absolute will to win. Every player works hard for that, and that is why the titles are no accident. I was able to take away a lot with me from those two years and developed enormously in athletic terms.”
When Rode was at Bayern, fellow midfielders Xabi Alonso and Bastian Schweinsteiger were still in the squad. For Rode, those were two players he said he was really able to learn a lot from watching them and training with them day in and day out. “Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xabi Alonso were still active at my position then, two different player types whom I admired. Alonso had this passing precision, he could recognize spaces for his teammates. Basti moved very cleverly through the lines and called for the ball. Those are only two out of many examples,” he said.
Additionally, most Bayern and, more importantly, BFW supporters will love the fact that Rode also had high praise for Thomas Muller. In his opinion, the Raumdeuter has never really had a significant performance dip at Bayern or the German National team, rather it was just different coaching decisions that might’ve resulted in him being less involved/effective.
Rode referred to Muller as having “unbelievably important for the team and for the club as a whole.” He continued by saying, “In my opinion, he has never had a slump in performance. Those are always just coaching decisions as to how a player is used. Thomas is very valuable with his runs. How he works at the back and pulls his teammates along with him — it’s simply phenomenal.”
Amongst the BFW community, opinions are split regarding Pep Guardiola’s time at Bayern and whether or not he may have held certain players back a bit. Still, you can’t argue with his managerial resumé and Rode said that the Spaniard is the type of coach that took him, and many other footballers to the next level: “Pep lifts a player to a new level as far as the technical comprehension of soccer is concerned. If you think you already know a good deal about soccer, then meeting Pep changes everything. And you suddenly think that you didn’t know anything before (laughs). He improved every player.”