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Mitch interviewed

Weiser reaps benefit from fresh approach

Mitchell Weiser was rated one of the most talented up and coming young players in Germany when he arrived at FC Bayern two and a half years ago as a 17-year-old. However, he has since made only a handful of brief first-team appearances and has mainly featured for the reserves – until last summer, when Pep Guardiola and FC Bayern discovered a whole new Mitchell Weiser. “We’ve seen a transformation in his case. He’s training really well and working hard on himself,” Matthias Sammer said at the training camp in Qatar, where Weiser scored twice in a friendly match. The 20-year-old admits the words of praise have done him good, as he exclusively explained to fcbayern.de.

Interview: Mitchell Weiser

fcbayern.de: Mitchell, you’ve been praised a lot in recent weeks...
Mitchell Weiser: To be honest with you, it’s done me a lot of good and it encourages me to keep it up. But just because I’ve received a few words of praise I don’t suddenly think I’ve achieved anything. No, I just want to keep working as hard and with as much focus as in the last half year.

So what was up before then?
I spent a lot of time thinking things over in the summer. Am I really giving it 100 percent in training? Does the coach know the real Mitchell Weiser? I simply wasn’t putting enough into it! That’s when I turned things around. It’s also because my dad [former Köln and Wolfsburg midfielder Patrick Weiser] said to me: 'Mitch, even now I regret not giving it absolutely everything earlier in my pro career.' That made a real impression.

Unfortunately, that’s when you picked up a bad ankle injury.
I’d worked really hard during the summer holidays to be top fit for the start of training – and then two days before we reported back, I injured myself in a kickabout. It was a tough time for me. Fortunately I’m not the sort to brood on things and I immediately set my sights on the future. And it’s paid off too.

What specific changes have you made?
I’m doing more training, and I go to the weights room before every session and sometimes afterwards. And my attitude towards training is different. Even during the warm-up I’m totally up for it. I‘ve understood how this business works. You don’t make progress if you only give 90 percent.

How’s your relationship with Pep Guardiola?
It’s good. He talks a lot with me now, and it feels good. I sense he has me on his radar now.

Can you still remember your first day at Bayern?
Of course, I’ll never forget it. Suddenly you’re among these players you admire and only get to see on TV, and they shake you by the hand. It all feels a bit surreal at the start.

So you know exactly how Gianluca Gaudino and Sinan Kurt must be feeling this season.
Yes, we talk a lot and give each other mutual support. Sinan is a very outgoing lad who laughs a lot and has a terrific left foot. Gianluca is already so, so good for his age. His poise on the ball and his skill are astounding. We’re often together in the weights room and play a bit of keepy-up. He tries to show me tricks, but he really puts me in the shade (laughs).

If you had your time over again, would you join Bayern at the age of 17?
Yes! I knew I wouldn’t be a regular straight away. I want to learn from the world-class players here and no-one can take that from me now. The experience is very, very valuable for my future.