Created on 16-01-2008 at 00:00 AM
Summer signing José Ernesto Sosa will be hoping the new year brings a change in his fortunes at the club, after a promising settling-in period was followed by a string of injuries, preventing the much-vaunted Argentine from settling into any kind of rhythm.
By Christmas, the 22-year-old schemer had only clocked up four Bundesliga appearances, but now the man dubbed El principito (Little Prince) in his home country is keen to make a splash in the second half of the campaign, as he exclusively told fcbayern.de in Marbella.
Interview: José Ernesto Sosa
fcbayern: José, would it be fair to say your first six months in Germany didn’t go according to plan?
José Sosa: “Yes, definitely. Apart from the huge number of new things that cascaded over me at the start - a new country, a different culture, a new language, a different way of living - the injuries were definitely my biggest problem. But you have to expect this kind of thing as a footballer. I was unlucky in that I’d basically shaken off the initial ankle problem but then had trouble with my back. I was never 100 percent physically fit and never had the chance to play as much as my team-mates.“
fcbayern: Has either of the injuries reappeared?
Sosa: “No, no, I don’t have any problems at all now, I’m in good shape, fortunately. You obviously have to be on your guard, you’re always prone to hurting yourself again just after shaking off an injury. But I can handle the full training load, and I’m working out at 100 percent.“
fcbayern: Why do you believe you can make a successful new start in the second half of the season?
Sosa: “I think the most important thing is to be fit and take part in every training session. That hasn’t been the case up to now, but thank the Lord it’s gone very, very well for me so far. I’m physically at the same level as my team-mates, which is a must if you’re to play any kind of role. That’s why I’m confident it’ll work out from now on.“
fcbayern: The competition for places is fierce, especially in midfield.
Sosa: “It’s true, but a tough internal contest is part of life at a big club like Bayern. At the moment, I’m just delighted to be fighting for a place with so many first-class players. It motivates me to keep working on myself and keep improving. I’m determined to win a place in the team.“
fcbayern: With two weeks until the first competitive match, has the battle for places begun? Are the practice matches harder than normal?
Sosa: “Oh yes, definitely. Everyone’s getting 100 percent stuck in. Everyone’s fighting, everyone wants to play, and you can see from every session that getting into the team won’t be easy. You have to play at your peak in every session. But we get on very well as a group. We’ve got to know each other very well in the last six months, even though we had a number of new faces. I think we’ll feel the benefit of that from now on.“
fcbayern: What’s your best position?
Sosa: “I played on the left in recent friendlies in Franck’s absence. Back in Argentina, I was fortunate to have several very good coaches who played me all over the midfield. I’m benefiting from that now, as I can play wherever I’m needed.“
fcbayern: We’ve noticed you take all the corners and free-kicks when you’re in the team. Did the coach tell you to do that, or is it the team’s initiative?
Sosa: “No, it’s Ottmar Hitzfeld’s orders. I took the set pieces for Estudiantes, and I think it’s one of the best things I can contribute to the team.“
fcbayern: How important is having fellow countryman Martin Demichelis by your side at the club?
Sosa: “Micho was and remains very important to me, as I’ve said many times in the past. He had pretty much the same experience as I did when he arrived in Munich, so he’s kept my spirits up and told me things will work out. He’s become a good and important friend, and he’s helped me a great deal since my arrival. It’s a lot of changes to take in at once, and it’s a huge advantage to have someone there who knows what you’re going through.“
fcbayern: What are your personal goals for the rest of the campaign?
Sosa: “As I mentioned, my priority is to take part in every training session. If that happens, I’ll earn the appearances I’m looking for, and I’ll be able and ready to show want I can do.“
fcbayern: And you’re hoping that will return you to the Argentina squad?
Sosa: “Yes, that would be fantastic. It’s every player’s dream, but you have to be performing for your club. The rest follows automatically.“
fcbayern: Thanks for talking to us, and best of luck for the rest of the season.