Whether as a player or a junior athlete, RB Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann has already tasted success in the Olympiastadion, but none of that would beat lifting the DFB-Pokal.
Lukas Klostermann has many memories in the Olympiastadion. Not only did he win both his away games there against Hertha BSC in 2018, the right back also celebrated success there as an athlete, long before his football career began. Between 2006 and 2009, Klostermann took part in a nationwide competition called “Germany’s search for a super sprinter” and won four times, in front of an impressive crowd of around 65,000 spectators. “It is a great childhood memory,” says Klostermann. “At that time, it was an unbelievable experience for me. The Olympiastadion is a very special place for anyone interested in sport and has a great history. I’m really looking forward to returning.”
Only time will tell whether the return to the Olympiastadion will end in a triumph and mark the first big title in Leipzig’s history. Klostermann knows the situation ahead of kickoff. “We are definitely the underdogs, but I think anything can happen in a cup game, especially a final. This season and also in last year’s cup game, we’ve shown that we can match FC Bayern,” said Klostermann. “We need a good day, a great performance and a little bit of luck, which you almost always need in a final. If we play as well as we can, I would back us against any team.” A cup victory would be historical for both Klostermann and the club. “We all dream of this success like this.”
The versatile defender will also try to bring his best performance. Strong in duels and a good positional player, Klostermann also has something to offer going forward. According to head coach Ralf Rangnick, “speed is one of his weapons”. Klostermann is among the fastest payers in German football and there may be good reason for it – his father was a runner. “Of course I got some natural talent from my father, and my mother was also involved with athletics for a long time,” said Klostermann. “I feel like I was always doing some form of sport since I was born. At one point, I had to make the decision between football and athletics and obviously I chose football – I have never regretted it.”
Klostermann represented Germany at several youth levels, picking up silver in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and made his full international debut under Joachim Löw two months ago. The German first team always seems so far away, but then suddenly you’re there. That was a dream come true for me,” said the right back. “Afterwards, I got lots of messages and congratulations from former teammates, coaches and even directors who had been there at points throughout my career. It makes it even nicer when you know that you’ve made others proud. So many people have helped me make it all the way to the national team.”
The 22 year old, who was born and grew up in the North Rhine Westphalia region and originally came through the youth ranks at VfL Bochum, joined RB Leipzig in the summer of 2014. Two years later, Klostermann celebrated promotion to the Bundesliga with the Roten Bullen. The progress is there to be seen – within three seasons in the top flight, the club has qualified for the Champions League twice and will now play in its first ever DFB-Pokal final. “I think you could expect a certain level of success when you look at the vision and potential of the club, but I don’t think anybody would have dared to believe that we would have been as successful as we have,” says the defender. “The philosophy of the club to go with young players with potential has definitely been a success. There are around eight first team regulars who also played for the club when we were in the second division.” Klostermann himself is one of those eight.###more###