Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic talked about his ascent of the past seven months in Ruhrnachrichten.
Here is the translated Interview:
Christian Pulisic, you rejoined the team two weeks ago after the Copa America and your vacation. Are accustomed to the German language again?
“I’m slowly getting used to it again. When I returned to Dortmund from the United States, I struggled to find the right words. But it’s getting better from day-to-day, the more I speak.”
Your cousin Will is in goal of Dortmund’s under 19. How much does it help in everyday life to have a caregiver by your side?
“It is great that Will is now in Dortmund, too. We always got along well, now we’re living together in an apartment in DO-City.”
How was it to play the Copa in your own country?
“It was incredible. My family and friends were in the stadiums and watched me play – an unforgettable experience.”
Can you compare the atmosphere of games in the US and Europe?
“No, it’s different — Which doesn’t mean that it isn’t loud in the States. It depends on the situation. It was a great feeling for me to play in front of so many of my fellow countrymen in the USMT-Shirt.”
You have become a public figure in Germany. How is it in the USA?
“The fact that I’m still very young caught the attention of many people. I am obviously aware of that. They put their hopes in me, but I also have high expectations. I’m not letting that get to me or get carried away. I think that’s normal when a young player suddenly plays for the national team. I simply want to stay focused and not get distracted”
Which role did US-Coach Jürgen Klinsmann play in your development
“A very big one. Klinsmann is doing a fine job in my opinion. He completely rebuilt the team in recent years.”
Yet he is criticised, because of high expectations. What do you think is possible for the USMT in coming years?
“In america we say: “The Sky is the limit”. We don’t limit ourselves, but want to continue our great development. I think we can achieve a lot, if we continue going down the path of the past months.”
Debut in the Bundesliga, first goal, first international cap, Copa, championship with BVB’s U-19. Can you realise all that?
“No, not really yet. It all happened incredibly quickly. What happened in the last seven months is completely crazy, but it makes me insanely proud.”
You missed the U-19 final due to the Copa America preparations. How hard was that for you?
“It was a tough decision, maybe the toughest so far in my career. Luckily the boys managed to win without me. Everything happened the way I wished for.”
How happy are you with your first six months as a senior professional?
“Overall, I’m very happy with my displays. I had to make great strides. But my team-mates and coaches supported me well and made it easy for me. Everyone had my back In Dortmund as well as in the national team. I gained a lot of confidence and I feel ready for the next season.”
Did you get any feedback from BVB-manager Tuchel?
“Yes, we talked briefly. He told me that I should carry on from what I did last season. Give my best in every training and in every match. Everything else would come on its own.”
What expectations do you have for your first full year as senior professional?
“I’m excited and thrilled of anticipation. I can hardly wait for the start. I’m convinced that we will have a very strong team once again. I’m looking forward to fight for my place in this team.”
It won’t be easy. The competition in the squad grew.
“That is true. But I’m looking forward to train together with Mario Götze and André Schürrle. I can learn a lot from both, who have experienced many things in their careers. And they are simply very strong players.”
What are your impressions of Emre Mor and Ousmane Dembele?
“They are absolutely fantastic. They are both insanely talented and incredibly fast.”
Is it an advantage for you that the squad is rejuvenated?
“Yes, I find that great. It is normal that young players are looking for the company of other young players. Now we have a lot of them. All the new players make a nice impression. We will get along well quickly.”
Will you act as a role model for the new signings? You already know Tuchel and the Bundesliga.
“I will surely be able to help them – even though I’m younger than Emre or Ousmane. But I can also learn a lot from both in training.”
What was the biggest difference between U-19 and senior football?
“Definitely the pace of play. You don’t have time to think of what to do next in the Bundesliga or in international games. You have to be focused at every moment and make your decisions instinctively.”
Looking back to last season, you hadn’t had much trouble to adapt.
“Yes, it went really well for me. But I can’t rest on my laurels now.”
Did you set any aims for the next season?
“No, not in the sense that I want to rack up a amount of games or be involved in a certain number of goals. The most important thing for me is that the team is successful. While I want to play as many minutes as possible.”
What is your best position?
“I don’t have any preferences. I can play on all offensive positions in midfield – like many other players in our squad.”
Makes that flexibility the team stronger?
“This can be our advantage. We never have to play with the same eleven as in the week before, because of the vast amount of options the coach has. The depth of our team has improved compared to last season. We will be even harder to predict for opponents.”
What can BVB achieve?
“Even though we didn’t win any silverware, we had a great last season. Now integral players left the team, but we still want to continue where we left off – and ideally achieve even more.”