Bouna Sarr: 'It's a bonus to be at Bayern now'
Bouna Sarr joined the FC Bayern squad in the late summer. He reveals his targets with Germany's record champions in an interview with our members magazine '51'.
The interview with Bouna Sarr
Salut, Bouna – you grew up right next to the Stade Gerland in Lyon in a football-mad part of town. Where you aware of FC Bayern when you were a child?
"Of course. As a kid, I knew they were one of the best and most important clubs in the world. It was always a big day for us when Olympique played against Bayern. The philosophy of this club is highly rated in France. Anybody who doesn't know FC Bayern doesn't really know much about football. Playing against Bayern, it was always clear you had to be wary of them and there was the highest respect and even fear at times – and that has grown even more in recent years."
You've played up front for most of your career: As a ten or as a winger. You were only moved to right back two years ago at Marseille. What did you have to learn?
"Mentality plays a big role in a move like that. You have to engage with it and recognise the new opportunities. I've got two strings to my bow now and I can play in attack or defence on the wing. I'm much more versatile than before and the change of roles doesn't bother me."
You had to take a step backwards when you started your career as a professional footballer. You joined second division FC Metz when you were 17. You were relegated there and then won two promotions to get to the first division – and then you got relegated again. What did you learn during that time?
"During the ups and downs, I learned it is always essential to produce your best performance. At every level and regardless of circumstances: It's about your own level and there are no excuses. I have consciously appreciated every step of my career. And I think being here at Bayern now is a bonus for never giving up. I'm strong mentally and I'm not easily put off. That's something you need to be of interest to a club like FC Bayern."
Winger, a detour via the third division, from Marseille to FC Bayern – that's reminiscent of Franck Ribéry. Have you ever thought of that?
"If you look at our clubs then it's true we've followed almost the identical route. He was at Metz, Marseille and Bayern – just like me. When I was a winger, he was my absolute role model. I probably won't win as many titles as he did. He was much younger when he came here – but it's an incentive to me to repeat as many of his successes as possible."
Did you also join FC Bayern to finally make the step up to the national team?
(He laughs) "There's a word in French that's even stronger than fighting... Perhaps you could translated as: I'm sweating blood for this big target. I hope the move will help because every single training session here makes me stronger and the club is very much the centre of attention. I was called up in the summer but had to miss out due to injury. I won't give up and I'll work for it every day."
The Euros are happening next year. France are playing Germany – in Munich. That sounds as though you should definitely be there...
"That would be top. It's down to me and my performances to make my case with our national coach Didier Deschamps so he can't ignore me. After the move to Bayern that would be the next dream to come true."
The full interview is in the January edition of our members magazine '51'.