After PUMA announced the launch of the Borussia Dortmund kits for the 2012/13 season, Sport-locker.net grabbed a quick chat with their goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Winning the league and cup double last season was pretty special. How do you summarise last season?
It was absolutely crazy. To win the double was really an incredible feeling, one that is hard describe. There wasn’t much more we could have won, apart from the Champions League of course, but to speak about that is maybe a step too far. So all in all, we were extremely happy about the season.
Is it harder to retain the title than to win it for the first time? Do other teams have a different approach when playing you if you are Bundesliga champions?
It is definitely harder to retain the title than to win it for the first time. The first season we won the title many teams underestimated us, which was a clear advantage. That didn’t happen anymore in the 2011/12 season, and surprise effects were much more difficult to create. All teams focused directly on beating us, but still we managed to win.
A number of players in the Dortmund squad played in Euro 2012. How much does this disrupt club team’s pre-season preparations? Does this give teams such as Dortmund and Bayern a disadvantage at the beginning of the season?
These are the circumstances for all the bigger teams, I don’t think that it really causes an advantage or disadvantage for anyone. Of course it can happen that a few players only get into their peak shape after they have played a few matches , but this is a matter of fact that cannot be changed.
What does Dortmund have to do better to go past the group stage of the UEFA Champions League this season?
We learned a lot from the past Champions League campaign, and now mainly because our very young team has a lot more experience, we have a bigger chance. This is why we are quite confident to at least make it through the group stage in the upcoming Champions League season.
You have lost Kagawa but brought in Marco Reus. How do you view the strength of the squad compared with last season?
With Kagawa’s move to the Premier League we have of course lost an important member of the team, but I believe that Marco Reus has huge potential, which he already showed recently during the EUROs 2012. He is a perfect match for our team and he will be able to step into Kagawa’s shoes. We are looking forward to have him in the squad.
Do you see Bayern as your biggest challengers in Germany? Who else do you view as competing against Dortmund for the Championship?
Bayern will be, as is the case in every season in the pole position, but we will do everything we can to show again a great way to play football and to win as many matches as possible. There are also other teams in the Bundesliga that are very strong too. I am thinking about Leverkusen in this context, or Hamburger SV for example have really strengthened their squad. It will for sure be another exciting season and we will do our very best to participate again for the championship.
Signing a deal with PUMA is a key move in moving forward commercially your chairman has said. Is this important for the club to continue to develop?
To me the long-term commitment of both parties seems to be key for this partnership. And especially for Borussia Dortmund it is extremely important to not only grow our financial business, but also our brand profile. For PUMA the partnership with the German league and Cup champions is a great way to emphasise their desirability as a sports performance brand.
You are launching the new PUMA 2012/13 kit today. Do you like the design?
Both the player’s kits as well as my goalkeeper kit are very nice. The fit and the design are great. Actually I like the whole collection, the training and the walk-out wear and especially for us players it is important that we feel comfortable in the clothes, and PUMA definitely achieved this well.