It’s now been 4 weeks since Bayern Munich last played a football match as they left off with a 2-0 Bavarian derby win over Augsburg on March 8th before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended football indefinitely across the globe. Although Sabener Strasse, along with most other club’s training facilities, is temporarily closed, the Bayern squad have been kept busy with individual, at-home training regiments and cyber training. Bayern’s club magazine, 51, recently caught up with Benjamin Pavard to hear his thoughts on this quarantine period and how he’s handling everything (FCBayern.com).
While most of the other players in the squad are currently isolated with their significant others, family members, and/or loved ones, Pavard is by himself in his home in Munich. He admitted that the situation is difficult for him, but he’s still doing what he can to maintain high spirits:
My situation is mixed. I’m home alone here in Munich. My parents were supposed to visit at the end of March, for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt and my birthday a few days later. Fortunately, we can at least see each other on video calls these days. My family are doing well under the circumstances. I have no siblings, and being so far apart in this complicated situation is not ideal.
Training without the rest of the squad and without the physios is a big adjustment that all of the players have had to make during this difficult period. Despite having a bevvy of resources to train in his home own, Pavard admits that it’s not exactly the same as the atmosphere and feeling of togetherness of normal training sessions can’t be replicated during isolated training:
We have specific plans. After breakfast, training with the team via video is usually at 11 am for one and a half hours. I have my own gym at home and a pool, so I can do additional sessions myself. And I’m often in the garden doing something with the ball. Without the trusted guidance of our physios, the whole situation is more difficult - and not so nice, because the team spirit is missing. In a time like this, you realise just how well looked after we are at FC Bayern. The physios make things so easy for us players. So here’s a thank you to our medical staff at Säbener Straße - you are extremely important.
Cyber training has even had some surprise guests:
Behind Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich, Pavard has played the third most minutes for Bayern this season. When he joined from VfB Stuttgart, the aim was to move to a bigger club where he could continue to develop and grow into a top class player, but he didn’t think he’d be playing as much as he has as the preferred starting right back. The French international has made a total of 34 appearances across all competitions, the majority of which have been starts at the right back spot. He’s also added two goals and three assists in the Bundesliga and two assists in the Champions League. Pavard still can’t believe that he’s third in minutes played behind Neuer and Kimmich, even though his performances speak for themselves:
If someone had told me that in the summer, I’d have shaken my head in disbelief. But I’d prepared for this move to FC Bayern and I felt from day one I could fundamentally develop my play here. I’m still a long way from the end of my journey. I always aim to improve. It’s not an empty phrase. No matter how a game ends, I ask myself after the final whistle: what did I do wrong? What can I do better next time? That is my incentive. I always analyse myself after every game.
Looking forward, Pavard hopes that everyone takes care of themselves and one another. Togetherness, he feels, is what’s going to get everyone through this difficult period and get everyone back on the pitch. He wants Bayern to pick up exactly where they left off, in winning ways:
[I hope] That people take care of themselves during this unique time and listen to what the health experts advise. We can only get everything under control if we all stick together. I hope that we’ll all see each other again in the stadium soon. And for us as a team, I hope that as soon as football resumes, we’ll win, win, win. There’s no other way at FC Bayern.