The season will continue in the English Premier League as of Wednesday. Germany national goalkeeper Bernd Leno is looking forward to getting back underway and he spoke to our very own Ann-Sophie Kimmel about his experiences during lockdown and his goals for the remainder of the season with Arsenal.
Bernd Leno on…
…the season stoppage due to Coronavirus: Here in England it was a lot worse than in Germany. I was at home for nine weeks with my wife and my dogs and we had no contact with anyone. It really struck me how much I missed football, the atmosphere in the stadium and that boost of adrenaline you get from playing competitive football. I’m just thankful we can get going again next week.
…the opener against Manchester City: It’s a great way to start because we have to go full throttle right from the off - they’re an absolutely top team. It’ll be strange to play again after such a long time out and with such little time to prepare, but I’m optimistic about the rest of the season.
…Bundesliga games: I have ti admit I was jealous when I saw the Bundesliga get back underway before us. Of course I was cheering on my boys at Leverkusen, but I was just happy to be able to watch some football again, it’s been a lot of fun. It was strange in the beginning but I’m used to watching the games again now.
…targets for the rest of the season with Arsenal: I hope we can get into Europe. We’re not ruling out the Champions League places because we might get it with just fifth place, given Man City’s possible ban. We were in decent form before the break, I just hope we can get back to that when we return and end up in a European spot.
…childhood heroes: Iker Casillas was my biggest idol! Unfortunately I’ve never been able to play him though.
…most inspirational teammates: Andres Palop was a huge inspiration to me. He helped me a lot when he came to Leverkusen with all his experience and I’m still in touch with him to this day. He’s a really important person in my life.
…his relationship with his brother: When it comes to temperament, we’re very very different. Things can get out of control very quickly when we play each other on the Playstation, but we laugh at all the same things. He always has to plane everything in advance too, whereas I like to be a little more spontaneous. Either way, when we chill with each other, we always get on really well.
…his wife’s interest in football: My wife comes to every home game. Even though she’s not a massive football fan, she watches every single one of my games. We don’t talk about football a lot, instead we talk about other more important topics.
…the best advice he’s received from his family: My parents always told me to keep my feet on the ground. Both of them have always done a lot for me, and in doing so, have taught me to work for everything I get. Thanks to them, I knew I could turn my hobby into a profession. My parents never pressured me into anything, but they made me realise what a massive opportunity I had.
…a plan B for football: I never really thought about it, even when I wasn’t a professional. I only had football in my head from the moment I came out of high school. Fortunately, it worked out.
…talents aside from football: I’m quite good at basketball and I’m a very decent FIFA player.