Sané: I've come here to accept responsibility
Leroy Sané has big plans at FC Bayern. "I want to get the fans excited," declared the new signing. Read the full interview (in German) in the current edition of FC Bayern members' magazine '51'.
Leroy Sané: The interview
Leroy, we're sitting in the stands at the Allianz Arena for this interview. Your place is on the pitch in the future. What can the fans look forward to?
"I want to get the fans excited. My aim is always to do my best in every game for the team and the people out there. The fans should have fun when they watch us on the pitch. And, of course, I want to clock up as many wins and titles as possible. Never give up, always keep going, always stay hungry -- that's all important to me."
Your father Souleymane played in the Bundesliga, your two brothers Kim and Sidi also play football -- did you all use to play round the clock at home?
"On the street, on the recreation ground -- wherever we were, we always wanted to play football every day. Up to now, I've tried to take that feeling from the street, from the park onto the pitch. As kids, we just wanted to play football and have fun. We often played a type of short tournament with one goal and we called it a mini World Cup. Whoever scored went through to the next round. Although fun always came first, it was also serious. And too much got broken at home when we played: glasses, vases -- lots and lots (he laughs). Luckily, we only had a plastic ball in the beginning. At some point, my parents said: "Everything had to go!" They preferred to move everything away to safety."
Your father was born in Senegal, grew up in France and discovered his calling in Germany. If you compare that with your journey through life, what does happiness mean to you?
"He definitely had a harder time of it than me. In his day, it was unusual to play football in a foreign country. It was unknown territory for him, and also for the people here it was a different situation from today. He had to battle his way through, for one thing because of the language. When I think about it, these days a player basically gets everything he needs from his club such as an interpreter etc. Back then, you had to be on your toes and learn, learn, learn. These days the dressing room is really mixed -- so lots of things are easier than they used to be."
At the 1984 Olympics, your mother Regina won a bronze medal in rhythmic gymnastics, the only German athlete to do so up to now. What role does she play for you?
"That Olympic medal was a massive achievement by my mother and she was always a great role model for me. But it wasn't the case that she was always doing gymnastics with us at home. Like my father, she definitely passed on her genes to us, but both parents never put pressure on us to follow in their footsteps. I always made my own decisions. Sport was obviously a hot topic with us but that never meant: "You have to score five goals today or you have play like this or that!" It was always about having fun. I think you can only really develop if you're given the space."
What's important to you in life?
"I think it's important always to be able to look at myself in the mirror. I make my own decisions, I make them consciously without anyone influencing me from either side -- and I always stand by my decisions. Of course, I'm open to suggestions but, at the end of the day, you always have to be able to evaluate yourself. Life is always about learning. That never ends. That's the only way to make progress -- on the pitch and overall. That's also a reason why I'm now at FC Bayern. I want to get to know something new, have a new stimulus and I'm sure I can move up to the next level in my development at this great club."
What does "the next step" mean for you?
"I'd like to play a key role at one of the biggest clubs in the world. And I haven't won a trophy in Germany yet -- I think we ought to change that (smiles)."
How important were meetings with Uli Hoeneß at his Tegernsee home? The club sees itself as a family -- is that important to you, how does it feel?
"Everybody knows that Uli Hoeneß has played a huge role at FC Bayern -- and he's still important. It was an honour to visit him, and I think you can feel what's special about FC Bayern at meetings like that. When you're at somebody's home it feels different compared with being in a restaurant for example. It was important for me to feel that Uli Hoeneß backed my move to Munich -- and it was equally important with the other decision-makers, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Hasan Salihamidžić, Oliver Kahn and Herbert Hainer. The Bayern players already explained the family feeling at this club to me beforehand. I've been here a few weeks now and I can already confirm that."
What does the number 10 mean to you: Uli Hoeneß, Lothar Matthäus, Arjen Robben ... a great pedigree. Pressure or incentive?
"I can handle pressure and I'm not the type to get wound up easily. It's a number with a great history and great players have worn it before me. It's an honour to wear the shirt. But I chose the number consciously to make a statement that I've come here to accept responsibility. I have big goals with FC Bayern -- and I want to show that people can completely rely on me."