Marc Brasnic is a former teammate of Leroy Sané, having also played for the Germany U15s. Now, the striker is looking forward to facing FC Bayern München in the first round of the DFB-Pokal with 1. FC Düren on Thursday (20:45 CEST). In an interview, the 23-year-old spoke to DFB.de’s Oliver Jensen about the match against the record champions and his friendship with Sané.
DFB.de: Mr. Brasnic, do you remember how you felt when watching the results of the draw?
Marc Brasnic: Yes, all us players were watching the draw from home. As soon as Bayern’s opponents were drawn, we were all texting each other. That motivated us to go on and win the cup final.
DFB.de: Your regional cup final against Alemannia Aachen only took place after the DFB-Pokal first-round draw.
Brasnic: Exactly. Now, we’re all looking forward to being able to face Bayern at the Allianz Arena. It’s something special for us players, for the club and for the city.
DFB.de: What do you believe your team will be able to take from the game against Bayern?
Brasnic: You have to be realistic. We’re playing against the best team in the world. However, we will go into the game and give it our all. We’ll have to see how in form Bayern are on the day. Maybe they’ll underestimate us.
DFB.de: FC Schalke 04 lost 8-0 to Bayern, and the Bavarians trounced Barcelona 8-2. Is it fair to say that conceding fewer than eight goals would be a positive result?
Brasnic: (laughs) Of course. We don’t want to show up and get thrashed, and want to return home feeling good about ourselves.
DFB.de: The majority of football fans in Germany likely have never heard of 1. FC Düren. Would you like to give us a short introduction to you club?
Brasnic: FC Düren are a club with a lot of potential. We’re not your typical fifth-division side. We had several good players join us this summer from the Regionalliga. I also only joined the club this past summer. We’ve been able to grow close as a team. Several players know each other from their youth academy days already, having played at 1. FC Köln, Alemannia Aachen or Bayer Leverkusen. We’re a very attacking side and play with a lot of courage. We even have a former Bundesliga player on our team in Adam Matuschyk. The club and the board are behind us. We want to win promotion to the Regionalliga this season. Our stadium has just been renovated and should have capacity for 12,000 fans in a year, hopefully when we’ve also been promoted.
DFB.de: After the draw, it’s said that you were in touch with Bayern’s Leroy Sané…
Brasnic: That’s true. We know each other well, having played together in Bayer Leverkusen’s youth set-up. We immediately texted each other because it’s the first time in a while that we’ll be able to play against each other again. Unfortunately, he’s injured so we won’t be facing each other on the pitch after all.
DFB.de: What memories do you have from your time playing with Leroy Sané?
Brasnic: He always had a great technical ability and strong shot, was a good dribbler and pacey. He was a difference-maker already back then. He was still a bit short, but had a bit of a growth spurt when he hit 18.
DFB.de: Your careers took two different paths when Sané joined the Schalke youth academy…
Brasnic: Exactly. But, we stayed in touch. Every now and then we’d meet up and go get something to eat. Of course, when he joined Manchester City, we had less opportunity to do so. I became a father and so did he. In a bit of a funny coincidence, our daughters share a birthday. His daughter is a year older than mine, however.
DFB.de: You stayed at Bayer Leverkusen and signed a professional contract there when you were 18 years old, but never featured in the Bundesliga. What was the reason for that?
Brasnic: My last year with the U19s I was training with the first team the entire time. I was with them at training camp and played friendlies with them. But, unfortunately I was never named in a Bundesliga matchday squad. That’s why I joined SC Paderborn in Bundesliga 2. We had very topsy-turvy season that year. We had four different head coaches that term and were relegated to the third division. I then joined Fortuna Köln, but struggled with injury. I wanted to return to Leverkusen for another go, but it didn’t work out. That’s when my contract was terminated.
DFB.de: You then moved to the Regionalliga…
Brasnic: Exactly. I joined Fortuna Köln relatively late in the season, but was unfortunate enough to struggle with injuries. I then joined Rot-Weiß Erfurt, who suddenly delared bankruptcy. Once again, I didn’t know what would happen next. After a short stay at Berliner AK, I then made the move to 1. FC Düren. You could say that not much in my career has gone to plan.
DFB.de: Is it possible to be a bit jealous of someone like Leroy Sané, who appears to have had the perfect career so far?
Brasnic: Don’t be silly, that’s not how I feel at all. I’m happy for all my former teammates that have made it to the very top level of football. For example, I played with Benjamin Henrichs at Leverkusen’s academy along with several other players who now play professionally. What’s important to me is that my family, my wife and my daughter are healthy. In that regard, everything is perfect.