Leon Goretzka has been a man on a mission ever since the Bundesliga has resumed action. The midfielder packed on a decent amount of muscle during the break from team training during the coronavirus quarantine period and he’s strung together a series of solid performances for Bayern Munich. He’s started all four of Bayern’s wins since the restart and has only been subbed off once, in the opening match against Union Berlin when he was replaced after 71 minutes. In a recent interview with Bayern’s web site, he spoke about what his role in midfield has been like, and what his personal training regiment has been like since the corona crisis broke out.
Goretzka’s presence in the midfield has been a huge part of what’s made Bayern so successful during the Bundesliga’s restart, especially considering the fact that Thiago Alcantara has missed the last three matches with adductor problems. He’s occupied varying roles in the midfield, as well, which is something he said he’s always been ready for from his experiences doing so for both Schalke and VfL Bochum in the past:
“In the first game I started as an attacking midfielder in the number ten spot and then slipped back one position when Thiago got injured. I’ve now frequently played in both positions, both with Bayern and before that at Schalke or Bochum. I know what I have to do in each position so it’s no problem for me to rotate back and forth between the two. I think it’s very important for the coach and for a successful team that each position has its own task profile and as many players as possible know that profile and can implement it. For example, I know what I’d have to do if I played as a number nine, because of course we discuss all that in training.”
Since the Bundesliga has returned, social media has reveled in Goretzka’s so called transformation during the coronavirus lock down period. It’s evidently clear that he’s packed on some upper body muscle while keeping his body fat percentage incredibly low, as is often the case with professional footballers given the high amount of cardiovascular exertion. He said it’s mainly been down to having more personal time to utilize his home gym without straying too much from the fitness plans given to all of the players by Bayern’s coaching and training staff:
“I simply used the time to get to the gym more often and to do weight training. Of course everything was discussed with the fitness coaches at Bayern, because you have to be careful not to lose your sprightliness. But I think I’ve found a good mixture. I feel I’m in top form on the pitch right now. But I also think - now with the extra midweek games - it’s not actually possible to eat enough to get fat. The kilos just drop off again.”
Leon GAINSretzka, everyone: