You have been with Dortmund for a few months now. How have you found your time with the club?
My first few months with the club have been very positive and I think also very successful. The most important thing to me is that I stayed healthy and fit so far, so I could play regularly. I try to help the team every day and during each match and I just really enjoy being with the team. It is fun to train and win together.
How special is it to play for a club you supported as a child?
It is amazing. As a child, I used to watch matches on the south stand myself and supported the team. Playing for Dortmund is like a dream came true for me. Back then I stood in the stand with all the other fans, now I know it is of course a completely different feeling to grasp the atmosphere from the pitch. It is just incredible.
You have joined a very successful team who have won the Bundesliga two years in a row. Do you feel a pressure to continue this success?
To be honest, not at all. Generally speaking, I am the kind of player that doesn’t put himself under too much pressure. I just enjoy playing football, knowing that all things don’t always work out. I am just going to keep working hard. It takes time and of course self confidence to reach goals, but I have that confidence and I will try my best to support the team moving forward.
Dortmund have done so well in the Champions League. How did it feel to play at international stadiums like the Bernabeu, or at the Etihad Stadium? Can the atmosphere be compared to the famous south stand in Dortmund?
Dortmund is really one of a kind I have to say. We have more than 25.000 supporters standing on the south stand only, which is phenomenal. But of course stadiums like the one Madrid or City or Ajax have a special atmosphere as well, especially in the Champions League. It is a great feeling when you hear the music and walk out on the pitch. I enjoyed playing at all those places.
What do you attribute Dortmund’s better performances in the Champions League to? Why has the team done better than last year?
I think the main difference to last year’s performance is that this year we actually scored goals and made the most of the opportunities we created. Last year, Dortmund played well too, but the final ball or finishing was sometimes simply missing. It sounds obvious, but in the Champions League single goals are so important to succeed in the tournament.
Is it more important for you to win the Champions League or your first Bundesliga title?
I want to win both (laughs). No, I don’t really know to be honest. I guess I will try to reach one goal after the other, let’s see how this season goes, but I couldn’t decide on the spot what is more important to me.
Could you see yourself playing for BVB for the rest of your career?
Dortmund is for sure like a dream club for me and I always wanted to play for the BVB, but you never know what happens in football and you can never tell where you stay for how long. For now I have a contract that I would like to see out, but I guess you always have to wait and see what the future brings.
You have scored a number of goals from distance this year, including freekicks. Is that a particular strength in your game?
Back in the days it wasn’t my strength at all, but I have practiced shooting from distance a lot because this can often lead to a goals. This is why I practise day in day out in training. My freekicks are also getting more successful I am pleased to say.
Do the Powercat boots help you with this?
Yes, absolutely. When I take a freekick it is of course mandatory for me to feel comfortable in the boot, which I do, so it gives me enough confidence and that supports me to score goals.
What is your biggest wish for Christmas?
For Christmas I only wish to stay healthy. Apart from that maybe a PUMA PowerCat boot in a personalised ‘Reus colourway’.
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