presented by
Interview: Brazilian midfielder

Gustavo: I need to be sharper in front of goal

Luiz Gustavo has been at Bayern for 18 months. The Brazilian midfielder joined FCB from Hoffenheim in January 2011 and has now played 64 competitive games in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup for Bayern Munich. He is mainly feared for his ability to win the ball. Luiz Gustavo would be more than happy to pose a greater threat to opponents’ goals, as he explains in an interview with The 24-year-old also talks about pre-season, the forthcoming campaign and his dream of playing in the 2014 World Cup in his own country.

Interview: Luiz Gustavo Luiz, pre-season is in full swing now. Were you able to switch off on your summer holidays?
Luiz Gustavo: “Definitely. I had a lot of time to recharge my batteries and clear my head at home with my family and friends in Brazil. I didn’t do anything at all for a couple of days and I didn’t think about football. I then had a few kickabouts with my mates. Obviously, that was just for fun.”

Have you had many nightmares about losing the Champions League Final?
“It was a huge disappointment for us all. But it’s time to move on. We need to get motivated again. We’ll do it because we want to win titles again this season.”

Your new team-mate Tom Starke said the pre-season isn’t his “favourite activity”. How do you see it?
“Well, perhaps it’s not the most enjoyable time but it is the most important! We’re laying the foundations for the whole season. I’m really up for playing football again. It’s vital for us to give 100 per cent.”

So, you wouldn’t prefer to stay in bed when the alarm goes off rather than do a fitness session in training…
“No, I really like getting up after 40 days on holiday.” (laughs)

How important is a good pre-season for you? You need to cover a lot of ground in midfield …
“One thing’s certain: I can only help the team if I’m fully fit. Then I’ll have confidence in my own strengths and can bring my qualities to the fore.”

FC Bayern signs top players year after year. How do you deal with the competition?
“I know what I’m capable of. And that’s why I’m happy when new players arrive at the club to strengthen the squad. I do my work day-in, day-out. The coach decides if I play or not. I think my chances are improving year by year.”