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Joshua Zirkzee feels May 9th’s too early for the Bundesliga to return, remains eager to succeed with Bayern

Despite the coronavirus ending his personal, and Bayern’s, momentum, Zirkzee remains upbeat for what the future holds.

Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen - German DFB Pokal Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images

In a recent interview with Dutch outlet VTBL, Joshua Zirkzee discussed how he feels about a potential return of the Bundesliga in May, and what training life has been like with Bayern Munich during the coronavirus pandemic. He also spoke about what his future will look like at Bayern once football returns. Zirkzee was a player that really came to fruition under Hansi Flick and impressed in his appearances at the end of the hinrunde and beginning of the ruckrunde, tallying 3 goals and an assist in the span of just 5 matches. The coronavirus outbreak unfortunately put a halt to the positive momentum he had:

That is unfortunate, of course, but it is force majeure. This is a very unpleasant situation for everyone and we have to deal with it at the moment. It is no different.

He’s proven that Flick’s continued faith in him is well justified and that he’s always a viable option for the manager that’s just put pen to paper on a contract extension keeping him at Bayern until 2023. He’s eager to pick up where he left off when matches resume:

As soon as we start again, it is important for me to pick up the thread again and show myself in the minutes that I get. And at the moments that I don’t play, I have to take my minutes in the second, also there still enough for me to learn.

Bavaria Munich - 1899 Hoffenheim Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

The DFL has remained adamant that they plan on resuming Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches at some point next month, as long as everything is deemed safe enough by all of the appropriate health and league officials. The plan is for Geisterspiele, or “ghost games” to be played without the presence of fans, something that had already taken place before the pandemic suspended all of Europe’s top leagues indefinitely. Despite being eager to return to action, Zirkzee personally feels that the beginning of next month is still too premature:

I think May 9 is too early. I think they will really try to finish the season as soon as possible. Although that will happen without an audience anyway. I have never experienced it myself, but it seems very special to me. Other guys from the team have had it once and they say it’s really weird.

Every footballer, let alone just the Bayern Munich squad, misses football and wants to return to playing matches as soon as it’s safely possible, but playing without fans takes away a massive element of the game. Zirkzee recognizes that not all players would be 100% on board with playing at empty venues:

Opinions differ. Of course we all want to play football as soon as possible and finish the season, but the fact that you have to play without fans is really a point for many players.

photo illustration: Football Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Bayern is currently training in small groups at Sabener Strasse and is going to be bumping up to groups of 7 from 5 this week. So far, Zirkzee has been in a small group with teammates Alphonso Davies, David Alaba, and Robert Lewandowski. He said it’s “a very nice group” to be a part of for the sessions. Every training session, he said, is intricately planned downed to the last detail to ensure that all of the proper bases are covered every day:

Every day we actually follow a course that contains everything. Technology, condition, finishing, everything is discussed.

For the safety of the squad and all other personnel at Sabener Strasse and who they could potentially infect outside of the training facilities, Zirkzee revealed that everyone is tested multiple times per week. He also said that he personally doesn’t really go anywhere other than to training or his own home for his own safety and the safety of others:

We are tested three times a week and so far no one has ever had the virus with us. There is also no contact during training, we all keep a distance. And I also run little risk outside the field. I am alone at home and go to the club every day, but that’s all I do right now.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN-MUNICH-TRAINING Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Having Lewandowski to learn from is something that Zirkzee said has been highly beneficial for his development thus far and he’s enjoyed working in the small group with him in training:

I learn a lot by looking at him. How he moves, how he chooses position, we are equal in style so I learn from that. And especially now that I am in that small group with him, you learn even more And then of course you also build a somewhat better bond than before.

Zirkzee is also relishing the opportunity to be able to learn from Miroslav Klose, who’s soon to become Hansi Flick’s assistant manager, stepping up from his role with Bayern’s U-17’s:

That would be a dream. I have known him from childhood and have previously had striker training from him, you learn so much from that. At Feyenoord I have also been able to train under Roy Makaay, it remains very special to have such great old players to learn.

With where he left off, there’s a bright future ahead for Zirkzee. He has all of the right tools to go on and make a name for himself at Bayern, especially as they compete across all three fronts. Still, though, he doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself and thus, isn’t thinking about the Dutch national team at the moment:

No, I’m not really busy with that yet. I’m not a regular basic player here, so I don’t think I should think about it then. But I’ve also seen how fast things can go, so of course it’s very sneaky in mind. Orange is a dream and as a young footballer I think it makes sense to dream about it.

Winning the title with Bayern is the first thing he wants to achieve and making a strong push in the Champions League as well:

Certainly, that is the first step. But we also really want to win the Champions League, the whole club longs for that. Although we first have to see how it will all end. We all hope that we can go again soon to start.

FC Bayern Muenchen v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

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