Leon Goretzka recently did a lengthy interview with Sport1 where he reflected on Bayern Munich’s treble winning season ans spoke about how positive the team mentality was throughout their title run-ins. The midfielder has really grown into his role at Bayern and really started to hit his best run of form in a red shirt after the coronavirus break, when he had put on a considerable amount of muscle during the break. His versatility in midfield has made him a important asset for Hansi Flick and the future looks bright with Goretzka alongside Joshua Kimmich in the center of the park.
All things considered, the 2019/20 season was long and took over 12 months to complete due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Champions League finished at the end of August, and Goretzka said it’s still been difficult to fully process everything Bayern has achieved this past season: “I believe that people will only really realize this during the Christmas season. When you look back over the year, Corona and its side effects, the lockdown and the lack of fans, the triple, our donation initiative “We kick Corona”; there have already been too many extraordinary situations this year for us to have been able to properly process the year so far.”
Having to celebrate their treble success in a completely isolated environment was certainly something that was a change of pace, but Goretzka said the team and staff members still celebrated properly in Lisbon in their closed-off bubble: “What happens in Lisbon, stays in Lisbon (laughs). Of course we celebrated extensively and enjoyed the moment. To win the triple is something historical. The celebration itself was something unique because, due to Corona, it could only take place in a closer and more intimate circle than would otherwise have been the case. But I think everyone could see that we have a great atmosphere in the team and in the cabin.”
Throughout Europe’s top leagues, Bayern was the team in the best form since matches had resumed after the coronavirus break. They were always favorites to progress to the Champions League final, especially having dominated the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal in all of the matches after the break. It was after the 8-2 demolition of Barcelona, though, when Goretzka said everyone in the squad truly believed they could press on and complete the treble, beating whoever was put in front of them: “After the 8:2 victory against Barcelona, it was clear to all of us that we can achieve great things and win the triple. The double had also given us self-confidence.”
In Goretzka’s opinion, Bayern’s greatest strength this past season has been their intense mentality and willingness to work together. Team pressing, off the ball movements, commitment, and intense focus have all played a massive role in Bayern’s continued success: “What stands out most is the mentality. It is very unpleasant to play against us. And even more difficult to win against us. Our intensity in the game and our pressing against the ball have worked very well recently. Almost all the teams had a hard time with that, which often led to ball wins in the opposing half. But what really made us stand out after the re-start was the Mia-San-Mia mentality. That’s what distinguished FC Bayern in the past, and we took it to the next level. It really makes you want to play in this team. When you look at the faces in the dressing room before the game, you know It’s about to start.”
Even still, Goretzka, along with Flick and the rest of the Bayern squad, knows there is always room for improvement. Now that Bayern has secured another historic treble, everyone in Europe will definitely want to beat them: “What’s good today may not work a week later. From now on we are the hunted in all of Europe. The opponents will deal with us even more intensively and try to decipher our system. But we will do a devil and rest. We will try to make our game even more multi-faceted and to develop ourselves further.”