In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, Leon Goretzka explained his delight if his former Schalke 04 teammate Leroy Sané would join him at Bayern Munich. The pair played together from 2013 to 2016 before Sané made the move to England and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Goretzka explains, that their friendship reaches beyond the football pitch:
“It’s no secret that I like to play together with Leroy. We understand each other very well. Our friendship goes way back, I’ve known Leroy since 5th grade. So we have a much deeper friendship than if we only knew each other from football.”
Goretzka grew up in Bochum while Sané grew up only 5 kilometers away in the suburb of Wattenscheid. Knowing each other since they were kids and playing together for both Schalke and the German national team has made the two football stars close. Goretzka mentions that he admires Sané’s character both on and off the pitch.
On the pitch, Sané is a player who makes that special difference and one that looks forward to the big games. Off it, he has matured greatly, elaborates Goretzka: “What many forget is that he is no longer the boy he was when he was 19. In some things he is even ahead of me: he has become a father and dared to go abroad.”
Goretzka also commented on the future arrival of another former-teammate, Alexander Nübel. Heading over the captaincy to Omar Mascarelli after agreeing to join Bayern Munich on a free transfer, Nübel’s last months have not been easy, something Goretzka sympathizes with. Although his last year at Schalke was not as dramatic, Goretzka tells Nübel to keep his head up:
“I would have wished that Alex, who I know very well, could have played in the Schalke team for the rest of the season, just like I did. I had the fortune to end my time at Schalke with 2nd place in the Bundesliga. I think the current tough situation at Schalke plays into Alex’s situation as well. It is important for him to know that we here in Munich are looking forward to him joining the team. I have also told him so. With him, the squad will receive additional quality.”
Candid, supportive, and positive – Leon seems like a great guy.