Rudy: ‘I want to know how far I can go’

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Sebastian Rudy has been one of the top performers for FC Bayern from the start of the season. The new signing from Hoffenheim has certainly made his mark in his first competitive matches in an FCB shirt. The 27-year-old talked to about his first four weeks in Munich, looking forward to the Champions League and his hidden talent: dancing.

Interview with Sebastian Rudy:

Sebastian, you've completed your first four weeks in Munich. Do you feel at home yet?
"Yes. I feel really good. I didn't expect to get such a great reception. It's been brilliant from the start. The team have made it easy for me. I already knew lots of my team-mates from playing with Germany. That's why I didn't really need a lot of time to settle in."

Have you already found a house?
"Yes, in Grünwald. My wife and I prefer the quieter life. That's why we've moved out of town.

Have you had time to have a look around the surrounding area?
"We've been doing a lot with the move recently. So I haven't had much time for that. But we’ve already been to Tegernsee and the Isar. We'll definitely get to see more over the coming weeks and months."

Which of your team-mates do you spend most time with off the pitch?
"I try to have at least a bit of contact with everybody so I can I get to know them. Of course, I do spend more time with some of them, for example with Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels."

Joshua grew up in Bösingen some eleven kilometres from your home town of Dietingen.
"And he went through the youth ranks at VfB Stuttgart like me. So we obviously find it easy to talk."

Do people speak Swabian in the Bayern dressing room now?
(he laughs) "Perhaps a bit. But I spent the last seven years in Heidelberg and Joshua was in Leipzig – so you lose your dialect a bit."

You grew up with four brothers and sisters. What was that like?
"It might have been a bit of a strain for my parents. (He laughs). But I always thought it was absolutely brilliant to have lots of brothers and sisters and a big family. One brother is a year older than me, another two years younger. My sister is 18 now and my little brother is 10 years old."


Shortly before you joined us you won the Confed Cup with the national side. Did that make you feel confident coming to Munich?
"First of all, it's cool that we won the Cup. But I would have come here even if we hadn't had that win and I wouldn't have felt any less confident. You have to be confident when you play. You have to want to establish yourself."

At your presentation you said you wanted to show what you could do at Bayern. Are you happy with what you've done so far?
"I think I've settled in well. But I know there's more to do. Just the quality of the training sessions help to improve. I want to find out what my limits are and how far I can go. FC Bayern is the best place for me to find out."

A different system, different coach, different team-mates – how much has your game changed at FC Bayern?
"Not that much. I think FC Bayern brought me in because of the way I play. So I don't want to change that much. Of course, I have to fit into the team and absorb technical changes. But that doesn't affect my playing style."

You've earned a lot of praise in the first few games. There is a feeling that you were somewhat underrated before you arrived at the club.
"When you join without a transfer fee and you’re also a rather quiet person then that could be the case. But I don't think that's a bad thing. I'd rather be underrated rather than overrated. That means I can take my time settling in and show what I can do."

Do you think you are subject to more attention in the media through joining FC Bayern?
"I'd agree with that. Above all, I have more requests for interviews."

Can you go to town or to the cinema without being recognised?
"That's not been a problem so far."

In the last few weeks 2,500 fans have always attended the open training sessions. How many autographs have you signed?
"I've done quite a few. But I'm happy to do it because it gives the fans, particularly the children, a lot of pleasure."

Do you train differently when there are 2,500 fans watching?
"I wouldn't say that. I like it. We had open training sessions at my other clubs but I've never seen 2,500 spectators at a training session before."



Do you have time to dance? A few years ago you said you'd discovered dancing as a hobby.
"That's right. My wife and I started dancing before our wedding. It was so much fun that we just carried on. We've been working on dances for around ten years now: waltzes, cha-cha-cha, disco foxtrot.. We want to carry on in Munich. But due to moving we haven't had time to find a dance school yet."

What's your golf handicap?
"Still 24. But I'm working on improving my game."

And do you play tennis too?
"I did it for ten years. But it's a bit of an effort in addition to football training. That's why I only play on holiday. During the season I prefer to play table tennis."

How different does it feel to be on the pitch in a Bayern shirt?
"You're the favourites in every game with Bayern. That gives the opposition teams even more motivation. You can never underestimate an opponent and you always have to give 100 per cent. You can never ease off if you want to win titles. When it gets tight in the end you need to give your all."

The Confed Cup was your first ever title. That was followed by the Supercup with Bayern. Do you feel you've finally arrived as a footballer?
"Definitely. There's nothing better than holding a trophy in your hands. I hope there will be a few more."

Players experienced in winning titles like Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben say: When you win a title you just feel hungrier for more success.
"I can't imagine having had enough. Even when you've won lots of titles. You only have to look at Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry or Thomas Müller. They're really up for it." 

How much are you up for the Champions League? It's seven years since you last played in the tournament.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I've clocked up a few Bundesliga games by now but not so many in the Champions League. I always aimed to play in Europe. The Champions League is something special. I can hardly wait."


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