Basketball Sports

Axel Witsel about his new role at Dortmund, the ‘Classics’ and the Red Devils: “I am a leader”

Red Devil Axel Witsel plays Saturday (18h30) with Borussia Dortmund are the first German “Klassiker” against Bayern Munich. Dortmund starts from a rather rare position to that topper, for the Borussen to count as a leader, four points more than Bayern.


Borussia Dortmund

10/11 18:30

FC Bayern Munich

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“I am curious what it will give in terms of atmosphere”, recalls Whitewash ahead. “Every home game is a madhouse, but against Bayern will be even something extra. I expect me to be an aggressive race, in the positive sense of the word. They are all a few weeks of not doing a good job, and it is up to us to take advantage of it. But it is also in this kind of matches that Bayern wake up and can shoot. So We have to be careful.”

About a possible national championship wants to Whitewash not yet speculate. “The goal is to get us to qualify for the Champions League. We are in an excellent position, but no one in our dressing room talking about the title.”

Leadership role

In that dressing room, the 29-year-old midfielder on a short time an important figure. “I am indeed a leader. My age let that. Our group is very young, with mainly players between 18 and 25, and it is up to the elders to guide them. I speak a lot before the game, and motivate the young people. But someone who starts to cry, I am not. I do it on my own, calm way.”

More checking at Red Devils

At Dortmund holds Whitewash a more offensive role than the Red Devils, and that is to say purely on the question of the coach. “It is the style of Lucien Favre. He has a lot of merit in the trail that we are currently taking. In the national team, I must more check, but I love both roles. Although I prefer to be here occasionally to snatch. A real number ten I’ll never be, I keep a box-to-box player.”

No regrets of China

Has Whitewash, now again he shines in Western Europe, no regrets of the choices for Russia and China? “Not at all. I would again have the same choices if I could turn back time. My transfer to Dortmund, and the route that we now travel, to prove that I not only was in China for my bags to fill and to take holidays.”

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