Bernat: "I'm even scoring goals now"

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Juan Bernat is having a ball – in training, in matches and in his interview with The 23-year-old Spaniard has rediscovered his groove this season after two difficult years in Munich. In his interview, he talks about that but also about his newly discovered qualities as a goal-scorer, as well as the upcoming games against Mainz and Atlético Madrid.

The Juan Bernat Interview: Juan, you were given a cake in the shape of your jersey at a fan club visit on Sunday. How did it taste?
Juan Bernat: (laughs) "Very, very good. I really liked that present – it was a nice surprise. I shared the cake with my family who were over visiting until Monday. We’ve been eating bits of the rest each day at home.” You recently gave your first ever interview completely in German. Well done, it sounds really good!
Bernat: "Thanks but I was really nervous, as I always am when I speak German. I have to be more relaxed. I think I’m getting to grips with the language now. I try to communicate more and more in German in everyday situations. Only when I get stuck do I switch into English. It’s not so easy bit I’m getting there bit by bit.” People also get the impression you’re feeling good on the pitch right now. Is that misleading?
Bernat: "No, it’s right. I haven’t played too much this season so I’m still not in top form and lacking a bit of rhythm. But every time I play I feel good on the pitch and try to help the team. I’ve been quite pleased with my performances so far.” After an impressive debut season in Munich, you didn’t quite hit those heights last year. What was that down to?
Bernat: "I just wasn’t physically as good last season as in my first year. I was injured for three months, which ruined my rhythm. Then I had to battle against muscle problems so it was difficult to rediscover that rhythm. Now I feel as fit as I did in my first year, and I’m even scoring goals (laughs).” How many Bernat goals can we then expect before the winter break?
Bernat: "I only scored one goal in my first two seasons here, and now I already have two this campaign – and I want more. But you don’t get many chances to score as a full-back. It’s also not my main job on the pitch. But I’ll keep trying.” You face Mainz on Friday night. What sort of a game do you expect there?
Bernat: "A tough one, just because we’re playing away from home. Luckily we won last weekend against Leverkusen after the defeats in Dortmund and Rostov. We didn’t play too well but the three points were crucial. We have to improve our game even more at Mainz and cut out the little errors. If we manage that, we’ll win.” Promoted side Leipzig are currently top of the table. how much does that surprise you?
Bernat: "It is a surprise but I have seen a couple of Leipzig’s games. They have a good team with a lot of quick players. We shouldn’t be too concerned with Leipzig, though, and focus more on our own work.” Atlético Madrid are the guests at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday. The game is meaningless in a sporting sense but how do you see the game?
Bernat: "Besides Atlético being a top team, it’s a special game for me because it’s a Spanish team we’re facing. They knocked us out of the Champions League last season and have won the group this year. The group has been decided but we still want to win the game. It would be good for the fans, for us, our heads and morale just before the winter break.”

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