Rode: It was a wonderful time
Sebastian Rode wore the Bayern jersey for two years, making 52 appearances. The midfielder will return to his former stomping ground for the first time as a Borussia Dortmund player for Saturday evening's top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash. The 26 year-old has been out of action since the winter break due to a groin operation but he's fit again in time for the game in Munich. In this interview, 'Seppl' looks back on his time at FCB and discusses the current situation.
Interview with Sebastian Rode:
Sebastian, you've been injured for a long time, so an easy question to start with: how are you?
Rode: "I'm very well, thanks. I've been back in full training with the team since Sunday and I can do everything without any problems. I just hope now I can stay injury-free for a long period of time and get back in the team again soon."
Is there a chance you could make your return to action on Saturday in Munich?
Rode:"It's not been decided yet but I don't want to rule it out. I'd obviously love to be able to play for Dortmund at the Allianz Arena."
You spent two years at FC Bayern: what did you take away from your time?
Rode: "A lot, in all honesty. It was a wonderful time during which I experienced a lot. I won two league titles and a German Cup and got to meet lots of interesting people. I still keep in touch with some of them like Joshua Kimmich. I wouldn't change anything about those two years, even if I didn't play as much in the second season as I did in the first."
How do you assess your move to BVB so far?
Rode:"I had a good pre-season and was getting games at the start of the season. Then in the autumn I had a brief spell out and after the winter break I suffered the groin injury. So in that respect it's obviously not been ideal but as I said, I hope now I can really get going again."
Borussia are still quite inconsistent in their performances and results -- is that a consequence of the relative inexperience in the squad?
Rode:"We're a very young squad so these types of fluctuations are quite normal. Nonetheless it's noticeable that our performances have particularly dropped straight after Champions League games, and what's more against teams who Borussia Dortmund would be expected to beat -- for example the game in Darmstadt. That's where Bayern have been clearly better than us this season."
The game on Saturday is also a dress rehearsal for the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Will Real and Monaco already be in the minds of the players?
Rode:"They're very important games for both clubs, that goes without saying. And of course there's a lot of hype about Bayern versus Real in particular. I don't think that will be a big factor on Saturday, though. There's a lot of pride at stake for both teams and for us the points are important in the battle for automatic Champions League qualification. There's probably more pressure on us given that Bayern are very unlikely to let the title slip.
In two and a half weeks you meet FC Bayern again...
Rode:"And that's a real chance for us to win a trophy if we get to the final of the cup. That match is at least equally important for us, if not more. I wouldn't complain if we met again in the Champions League, though, preferably in the final (laughs)."