Interview with Jérôme Boateng: "I know the team is ready"

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On Thursday, Bayern have the chance to add a second UEFA Super Cup to their collection, after 2013. One of those who featured seven years ago against Chelsea was Jérôme Boateng. Speaking to fcbayern.com, the 32-year-old discusses the match against Sevilla, the goals for the new season and the story behind his new hair colour.

Interview with Jérôme Boateng


Jérôme, the first trophy of the season is up for grabs on Thursday. How much are you looking forward to the UEFA Super Cup?
“It’s a big game with the next title on the line. And we’ve come here to win it. We’re always hungry and want this title for ourselves. But Sevilla are a strong team. I think it’ll be a good game and we’re looking forward to it.”

How’s the mood within the team ahead of the game?
“The mood is good in general, also now with the new players. Of course, we had a short break, but everyone’s come back well. We had a really good first game against Schalke, have momentum and want to take that into the Super cup and other games this season.”

The team showed excellent early-season form in the 8-0 win over Schalke in the opening Bundesliga game.
“No one could’ve expected us to win that first game by such a big margin and play so well straightaway. But this final is now a completely different challenge. We start from scratch again and have to perform. As you’ve seen in the past, we’re definitely capable of doing that – and we want to prove it again.”

Boateng (2nd l.) erupted into celebration in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup after Manuel Neuer saved Romelu Lukaku’s decisive penalty in the shootout against Chelsea.

What do you expect from Sevilla?
“They’re an awkward opponent. There’s a reason they’ve won the Europa League, and the UEFA Cup before that, a number of times in recent years. Sevilla have a lot of quality in their team. As with every opponent, we have a lot of respect but also know about our own strengths. We want to play well and win the title.”

Can you call Sevilla a team who specialise in finals?
“Absolutely. They have a lot of experience from all the finals they’ve been in. It’ll be tough, but it’s exactly the sort of game we need to see how far along we are. It’s a final and we want to win it.”

You were taken all the way to penalties in the 2013 Super Cup. Could this year be just as tense?
“I hope not. But if it does come to that, I know our team is ready. We’re in good shape and can go more than 90 minutes. It’ll be an exciting game and we’ll try to settle it in normal time. But you never know what’ll happen in football. The important thing is to play well in the end, perform to our level and fulfil our requirement to ourselves. Then we’ve got a good chance.”


How important is it to have spectators back in the stadium?
“I’m very excited to see how it is. It’s something new for us to play with fans again. Even if the stadium isn’t full, we hope it can create an atmosphere. For us players, it’s the best thing for the fans to be there. The atmosphere will be especially important in a final."

The inside of the Puskás Aréna looks a little bit like the Allianz Arena.
“I found it a bit like that and was quite surprised. We’ll have to see if it’s an advantage.”

Boateng & Co. got a taste of the stadium in their final training session the day before the Super Cup.

You are one of the few people to win the treble twice, but at the start of the season some experts decided you were no longer a key member of the team. How have the past few months been for you?
“I was healthy, trained well and got another chance with the change of coach. I think I’ve paid back that trust with my performances. I’m happy and glad to be a part of this team.”

What are the goals after this wildly successful year?
“We want to attack again and defend our titles. When you’ve won everything, the toughest thing is to repeat it. Every team wants to beat us. We probably have to step it up a notch, be even better. That has to be the goal. Teams in Europe and Germany aren’t sitting back.”

Finally, what’s the story behind your new hair colour?
“It was a bet before we went to Portugal. A friend was sure we would win the Champions League, so bet me to dye my hair purple if we won. If we didn’t, he’d do it. I was so surprised and immediately agreed to it. I can live having my hair this colour when it’s for such a good reason.”

Find everything you need to know about the UEFA Super Cup in our preview:

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