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Zé Roberto sidelined

‘The pressure’s on us this Sunday’

Zé Roberto was a busy man at the Säbener Strasse on Thursday. Three days ahead of the Cup visit to Rot-Weiß Erfurt, the schedule included two training sessions, a team talk, and the presentation of the new formal and leisure collections by FCB Partner Hugo Boss. The Brazilian still found time for a long chat with fcbayern.de, reflecting on his last season with Munich, changes at the club, this term’s targets and naturally the squad’s new clothes.

Interview: Zé Roberto

fcbayern.de: Zé, you’re just back from Hugo Boss, do you like the new collections?
Zé Roberto: “Oh yes, I like them a lot, Hugo Boss always provide wonderful clothing. And we have a new colour too. The shirts have usually been white or light blue, but they’re dark blue like the suits this year, and I like that.“

fcbayern.de: Were you thinking about the fact it’s the last time you’ll try on a new Boss collection at Bayern?
Zé Roberto: “Not at all. I’ve been at Bayern a while and feel at home in Munich, but you don’t go around thinking this or that might be the last time you do a particular thing. I enjoy every day here, and that’s how I approach my work. I’m not thinking about my departure at all.“

fcbayern.de: Nevertheless, is there anything you’re taking particular notice of compared to previous years?
Zé Roberto: “Training has changed, it’s very intense but nearly always involves the ball, which is something I personally like very much indeed. Since I was a little boy I liked nothing more than to play with a football. It’s a while since I’ve been through a pre-season like this. It was similar with the Brazil national team.“

fcbayern.de: What do you think of the changes this term?
Zé Roberto: “I think it’s all very good, although there are things you have to get used to. The new coaching staff for example: training is much more focused and specific now. One of the daily sessions is about technique, the other about fitness. We need to be good at both for the start of the season.“

fcbayern.de: Marcelo Martins is the first Brazilian coach at the club. Is that important for you?
Zé Roberto: “It is important, especially for the overseas players like Breno and José Sosa who don’t speak German yet. It’s always good to get answers in your mother tongue. He also understands the South American mentality, and that shouldn’t be underestimated. And he’s a great guy as well.“

fcbayern.de: You’ve just turned 34 and rate as a seasoned professional. Is there still room for improvement?
Zé Roberto: “Definitely, even if it’s the so-called incidental things. For example, if you’re actually performing a particular exercise wrongly, it can hinder rather than help, so we’ve been working on running and movement styles. It’s vital in helping to avoid injury.“

fcbayern.de: What do you expect from your last season at the club?
Zé Roberto: “Success, of course. We always want to win, and we want trophies this season. It’ll be different because we’re back in the Champions League, and that’s the trophy I most desire, after the league and Cup of course. That would be no bad thing at all.“

fcbayern.de: Will it be your last chance at the Champions League?
Zé Roberto: “It could well be. You never know what might happen and where I might end up playing, but it could be the last time I have the pleasure of the Champions League.“

fcbayern.de: You’re away to third division Rot-Weiß Erfurt in the Cup, no easy task.
Zé Roberto: “Certainly not. We were very nearly knocked out by Burghausen last season. The early games are always difficult and complicated. We don’t have our rhythm because too many players are at different levels, whereas Erfurt have already played twice in the league. And there’s no pressure on the lower league team, they have nothing to lose and want to cause an upset. Erfurt will be just like Burghausen. The pressure’s on us this Sunday, but we know what to expect and we’re prepared for it.“

fcbayern.de: And what can we expect from Zé Roberto in his final season at Bayern?
Zé Roberto: “I reckon last season was already pretty good. Maybe I can repeat or even improve on it.“

fcbayern.de: Thanks for talking to us, and best of luck for the campaign.