Süle looking forward to reunion with Hoffenheim

Read article contents
Increase size

Niklas Süle played for 1899 Hoffenheim for seven and a half years before signing for FC Bayern in the summer. Saturday brings the 22-year-old defender a reunion with his former club when they visit the Allianz Arena. "I have a lot to thank TSG for as they were the club that brought me through the ranks to become a professional. Of course, it's a special game for me," said Süle on Thursday after the record champions training session.

"I'm looking forward to meeting old team-mates and having a chat with them after the game," said Süle at the press conference at Säbener Straße. After seven months away from Sinsheim, the central defender is still "in contact" with several players and members of the management at TSG. That contact has diminished ahead of the match at the Allianz Arena. "I'll put all that to one side and focus on the game."

23 out of 29 games

Having played in the two matches after the winter break against Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen, Süle is obviously hoping to get a run-out against his former club on Saturday. Niklas did not feature in the 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim on matchday three. "I'll be really happy if I can play. I'm definitely ready for it."

The match at Hoffenheim is one of only six where Süle has not been involved. He has been on the pitch in 23 of the last 29 games, in the starting eleven 18 times and has played the full 90 minutes 18 times. "It's gone much better than I imagined. I'm very proud of having played so much and having the confidence of the coach and the club," said Süle who has "exceeded expectations."

High-quality training

Süle sees the main difference between his former and current employers above all in the daily work on the training ground. "The level in training sessions is incredible," reported the Germany international who has to measure himself against world-class players like Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry and Robert Lewandowski in every training session. "If you haven't slept well or you don't feel so good then you quickly get found out," said Süle.

As Süle explained, "training plays an incredible role" at FC Bayern. Further, he said, "you have to prepare for training like you do for a game." He has learned that over recent months and taken it to heart. His reward has been a large number of appearances both under Carlo Ancelotti and now under Jupp Heynckes. "The coach and club know I'm always there when needed."