Created on 19-07-2015 at 15:00 PM
He was laughing and generally seemed very relaxed, but there was no doubting his determination. Thiago Alcántara joined fcbayern.de in the interview room after lunch on Sunday, still in his training kit. The Spaniard with Brazilian roots has pulled on the famous red shirt for two years now, although he had to sit out almost half that time due to a knee injury. “It weighed on me,” Thiago acknowledged. He was unwilling to speak much about the past. Instead, the 24-year-old is keen to look forward: “I'm 100% fit again and plan to achieve a lot with this team.”
fcbayern.de: Thiago, have you been to China before?
Thiago: “No, I'm here for the first time. I can't say much about the country, because I haven't seen a lot apart from the hotel and the stadium in Beijing. But the people are incredibly kind and supportive. You can feel how football touches everybody's heart here.”
fcbayern.de: Both in Beijing and now in Shanghai the reception at the airport was more than incredible...
Thiago: “Yes, both were great moments. I never expected it. After the flights I was exhausted and switched off. You just kind of make your way down and suddenly thousands of celebrating fans stand in front of you. It definitely gave me goose bumps.”
fcbayern.de: Is this China trip a heavy burden while preparing for the new season?
Thiago: “Not at all. Of course it would be more relaxing to stay at home, but we’re a world-renowned club. These trips are part of that. This week might be more tiring than usual, but once we're back in Munich it will be forgotten in a couple of days. We'll manage.”
fcbayern.de: You’re about to enter your third season with FC Bayern. For the first time you can join in from the start. How does it feel?
Thiago: “Fantastic! I’ve not had an easy time here so far, the knee injury weighed on me a lot. I missed almost an entire season, so to me it feels like I'm only in my second season. I'm 100% fit again and plan to achieve a lot with this team.”
fcbayern.de: What are the main goals of training at the moment?
Thiago: “First and foremost, we’re working on fitness. I’ve been in training for more than two weeks, but others only returned a couple of days ago. They have to play catch-up now. After the China tour, we can start working on polishing our game. There isn't much time until the Supercup against Wolfsburg [on August 1].”
fcbayern.de: What are your targets for the season?
Thiago: “It's not about me, I'm only a small part of this phenomenal team. I'm here to win matches and silverware with Bayern and of course our aim is to win as much as possible. I want to support the team the best I can. My dream would be to bring the Champions League trophy back to Munich.”
fcbayern.de: Speaking about Munich, do you like living in the city?
Thiago: “Yes, my wife and I are 'in love with the city'. Munich has everything that you could ever need. On top of that you have a lot of lakes and parks nearby. We love it.”
fcbayern.de: On Saturday you played the first friendly of the China tour. Newcomer Douglas Costa made an excellent impression. You seem to be spending a lot of time with him at the hotel, so what type of player did Bayern buy?
Thiago: “A very, very good one. Douglas gives us a lot of options. He's very good with the ball, fast and extremely powerful. As a person, he fits right in with the rest of the squad. We're all doing our best to make sure he has a good start.”
fcbayern.de: In Beijing you tried your hand at being a karaoke singer with Rafinha. Who's better?
Thiago: “Others will have to decide that. I fear Rafa has a slight advantage. However, I'm the better dancer. It was definitely fun though.”