Created on 27-11-2008 at 00:00 AM
The die-hard fans watching training at the Säbener Strasse were surprised to say the least when a man not normally associated with Bayern strolled by. A smiling Reiner Calmund, in Munich to interview Zé Roberto for Call.tv, took time out for a long chat with fcbayern.de. Naturally, the main topic of conversation was Saturday’s Bundesliga showdown between Calmund’s former club Bayer Leverkusen, and pursuers Bayern.
fcbayern: Reiner Calmund, first of all, belated congratulations on your 60th birthday - or as we say here at FCB, your birthday number 59+1. How did you celebrate?
Reiner Calmund: “My motto has always been: work hard, play hard. My friends and I really went for it, it was a wild party. I wasn’t the only one up and dancing.“
fcbayern: Third-placed Bayern are away to your former club, second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, on Saturday…
Calmund: “… and I’m sorry to say I won’t be there in person, as I’m covering the game for an Austrian TV station. I’m saying it’ll end 2-2. Bayern are favourites to win the league, it’s not up for discussion. They have the best personnel, in the team, the coaching staff and on the board. But I’ve enjoyed watching Leverkusen this season, they’re a fine attacking side. Helmes, Renato Augusto and the lad Kadlec are great additions. I actually think he’s almost better than his father. And I think the project to expand the capacity at the BayArena sends out an important signal.“
Calmund: Can we assume you’ll be supporting Leverkusen on Saturday? Do you closely follow your former club?
Calmund: “Not as much as I did before. Defeats used to affect my quality of life, I pulled down the shutters and ate out of tins. I took defeats very personally. I had no problem dealing with players, agents and associations, but I couldn’t cope with defeats. I’m a normal fan nowadays, and I’d just like to see Bayer there or thereabouts at the top.“
fcbayern.de And what do you think of Bayern this season?
Calmund: “I saw Bayern against Bucharest on Tuesday, and I sense the team’s really hitting their stride now. They’re doing things without stopping to think. They’ve not always played well, but their individual class means they’ve picked up more points than they’d otherwise have a right to expect.“
fcbayern.de Both teams are strong in attack and boast great strikers, but could it be that the relative performance in defence will be decisive?
Calmund: “Leverkusen have an outstanding goalkeeper in Adler, he’s a gem at the back. But otherwise, Bayern have Lucio, Demichelis and Van Buyten, international class centre-backs, and they’re simply better. I think it’s fair to put it as bluntly as that.“