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Interview with new signing

Rode: I didn’t need long to think about it

The first new signing has started his pre-season at FC Bayern. Sebastian Rode joined Tom Starke and Holger Badstuber on Tuesday in the first training session after the summer break. Afterwards he spoke to about his first impressions of Säbener Strasse, his targets and a phone call from Matthias Sammer.

Interview: Sebastian Rode Welcome to FC Bayern, Sebastian. What are your first impressions?
Sebastian Rode
: It’s brilliant. The training session was good, I’ve met Holger Badstuber and Tom Starke and the weather was just right. It was a good start.

Pre-season training starts officially next week. Have you had enough of being at home?
Holger, Tom and me have all been out injured for quite a while. Starting early is good for making up lost ground and putting me in a better position to start the pre-season.

First there was the knee injury and then you broke your hand a couple of weeks ago. How are you now?
The knee’s ok again and I’ve no problems at all with my hand. I play football rather than handball. I’m not a goalkeeper either. I’m looking to get fully fit in the pre-season.

How much are you looking forward to the start of pre-season training with the full squad next week?
I’m looking forward to working with Pep Guardiola and getting to know the other lads very much. Of course, I’m quite excited at the prospect. Playing for FC Bayern is something else. Everything’s a level higher here. But I feel more anticipation than excitement.

Have you had the chance to speak to Pep Guardiola?
Yes, we had a brief chat. But I think there will be an even more intensive exchange when we all meet up on 9 July.

What are your targets at FC Bayern?
I want to play as many games and win as many titles as possible. I hope to be standing on the Town Hall balcony next year.

What position do you think is your best?
I always played in holding midfield at Frankfurt. But I’ve also played in several other positions. I’m very flexible and I just want to contribute my strengths to the cause: that includes my pace enabling me to get forward quickly and the ability to win possession at the back. I’ll give my all on the pitch. We’ll have to wait and see where Pep Guardiola wants to play me.

You met up with Holger and Tom today. Have you had much contact with other FCB pros?
With Manuel Neuer as we’ve got the same agent. I know Toni Kroos from playing with Germany youth teams. I played against Diego Contento and David Alaba at U-19 level. So I’ve had contact with one or two of the lads.

Can you tell us what it was like when FC Bayern contacted you?
My agent told me Matthias Sammer was going to call me. That was quite exciting. Matthias Sammer spoke to me on the phone and more or less convinced me to make the move. I didn’t need long to think about it.

There is always a lot of competition for places at FC Bayern. How will you handle it?
Matthias Sammer told me straight away that I’d have to accept there would be competition. That’s fine by me. I know it won’t be easy. But challenges make you stronger. That’s the way forward for me.

You’ve already got the new training kit and you’ve completed your first training session. Have you found somewhere to live yet?
Yes, I’ve done that. I’ll be staying at the hotel for another week. I’ll be able to move into my new flat next week. I’m already looking forward to that.