Jérôme Boateng (30) spoke ahead of the clash between FC Bayern Munich and his former club, Hertha BSC, in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals on Wednesday (20:45 CET). In the interview with DFB.de , the German talks about Bayern’s record against Hertha, the team’s approach ahead of the match and a fond memory of VfB Stuttgart.
DFB.de: Mr Boateng, you played for a good five years with Hertha. How do you look back on your time there, both as a person and as a player?
Jérôme Boateng: I had a great time in Berlin. I was born there and that’s where I learned how to play football. I was with Tennis Borussia for four years and with Hertha for five. Those years shaped me into the person and player I am today and it’s really a dream to have been able to start my professional football career in my home city.
DFB.de: Your family lives in Berlin and you play football in Munich. What does the distance mean for your family life?
Boateng: My daughters live with me in Munich and so I have the most important members of my family here with me. My parents visit me as much as they can – it’s not too far away from Berlin – and I go to the capital at least once or twice a month to vise my family and friends.
DFB.de: What does it mean for you to be going back home for the DFB-Pokal fixture?
Boateng: It’s always a pleasure to go back home for a match. It’s not the first time of course, but for me it’s always something special. I’m really looking forward to the game in the Olympiastadion.
DFB.de: The last win in Hertha was two-and-a-half years ago now. In the 2017/18 season, Hertha and Real Madrid were the only teams that you did not manage to beat, and then in this season you received your first loss of the campaign in Berlin. How do you explain these statistics?
Boateng: Hertha have developed a lot and play very attractive and impressive football under their coach, Pal Dardai. That’s why it’s become a harder fixture in recent years. Hertha are still improving and show no signs of stopping - it won’t be an easy task for us to get to the next round.
DFB.de: What makes Bayern able to win it?
Boateng: Because Bayern will have full concentration from the first minute and give everything in the Olympiastadion in order to proceed to the next round. Our aim is to be back there on the 25th of May for the final.
DFB.de: You’ve already won the DFB-Pokal three times. Which win do you remember most fondly? And is the fourth title coming on the 25th of May 2019?
Boateng: Of course I hope we will be DFB-Pokal winners once again. Berlin is a great backdrop for such a historic footballing event so it’d be great to be there. My favourite memory of a DFB-Pokal final will always be my first one, when we beat Stuttgart 3-2 in 2013. We also won the league and Champions league that year to achieve the treble. It’s definitely something I won’t forget.