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Interview: Jörg Butt

We have to win, that’s all there is to it

There was no mistaking where Jörg Butt had been working on Wednesday morning. The keeper’s training kit turned from black to a mud-spattered brown after he hurled himself across his rain-sodden goalmouth countless times. Butt is preparing for Sunday’s big match when Bayern entertain Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, a clash with special significance for the FCB shot-stopper.

Butt kept goal for Leverkusen from 2001 to 2007, appearing in both the Champions League and DFB Cup finals, and earning runners-up honours in the league. The 35-year-old made 191 Bundesliga appearances and famously scored seven goals for Leverkusen, although Sunday’s reunion was “not that special,” he informed in an exclusive interview. Butt is totally focused on the match, for a very good reason: “We can’t afford to drop any more points.”

Interview: Jörg Butt Bayern versus Leverkusen, the clash Uli Hoeneß is calling the “biggest game before Christmas”. However, the squad has been decimated by call-ups this week. How badly has that affected your preparations for the meeting with the league leaders?
Butt: We know the situation well. There was an international break before we faced Dortmund, and we won that one 5-1. It helps that we’re playing on Sunday this time, it gives us an extra day together. But in any case, there can be no more excuses. Leverkusen are a direct rival, we’re at home – so we have to win, that’s all there is to it!

You played for Leverkusen until 2007 and appeared for Bayer in the Champions League final. What does meeting your ex-club mean to you?
I have good memories of my time in Leverkusen, but Sunday’s game isn’t particularly special to me any more. There aren’t many players left from my time, now that Carsten Ramelow and Bernd Schneider have stopped playing.

Are you still in touch with anyone at Bayer?
Not really with the team these days. I do maintain contact with [Bayer captain] Simon Rolfes, and I went to his wedding a couple of months ago. Otherwise I do stay in touch with one or two members of the staff.”