Interview with young talent Justin Che: 'Football is in my blood'

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He's just 17 years old, a centre-back, from Richardson/Texas, and new to Munich. Justin Che has established himself in the FC Bayern II squad with his performances in recent weeks and he feels right at home at the FC Bayern Campus in Munich. The defender has made three appearances so far, including two in the starting XI. It means that FC Bayern's partnership with the MLS club FC Dallas continues to bear fruit. In the interview, Justin reveals how he came to play football, the significance of the German record champions in the United States and why he regards Chris Richards as a big brother.

Justin Che - The interview


Servus, Justin! For those who don't know you well, please introduce yourself and tell us your story.
"I'm Justin, I'm 17 years old, and I come from Dallas, Texas in the United States. My mother has a Russian and a German passport, I also have a German and an English one. My father's from Cameroon. Football is in my blood. I love this sport and I work hard for it. But school is also important to me."

How did you feel when you heard Bayern wanted to sign you?
"I'll never forget it. It was in the morning and my agent said to me: Justin, you're staying in Germany with Bayern. I was completely flabbergasted. This is a huge opportunity for me. I'll give everything I have to help the team. I can still learn a lot."

How would you describe yourself as a player on the pitch?
"I think I'm a smart and athletic player. I try to use my head. I'm quick and have good technical skills. I play a confident passing game, but I can also sprint when I need to."

Chris Richards also came to Ingolstädter Straße from the USA and is now on loan at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. What role does he play for you?
"Chris is like a big brother to me. He also comes from FC Dallas, was with Bayern and now plays in the Bundesliga. Every young player from this region tries to take the same path as him. His development gives me great hope and motivation. Maybe I can also make it to the Bundesliga if I work very hard on myself."

Besides Chris, you'll certainly have other role models who drive you on. Who has inspired you on your journey?
"Definitely my father. He always worked a lot and yet he was always there for us. At Bayern, definitely Jérôme Boateng and Alphonso Davies. Alphonso comes from Canada, also played in the MLS and is now one of the best left-backs in the world. In America, everyone looks up to him."

What emotions do you feel when you pull on the Bayern shirt?
"It's mind-blowing to wear this logo on your chest. The club won the Champions League last year so is currently the best club in the world. It's an honour to play here and wear this logo on my chest. For example, during the warm-up before my debut, when the coach said that I was going to come off the bench, my heart was totally pumping. The hard work had paid off. That was so cool."