Weigl: “The new system was internalized very quickly”
Julian Weigl broke his ankle this past May. “The first major injury”, as the player says. It took him roughly four months to get back into the BVB starting XI, which came against ‘Gladbach a few weeks ago. In this interview by Ruhr Nachrichten, the 22-year-old discusses the injury ordeal, his recovery, and the ambitions of Borussia Dortmund under the leadership of Peter Bosz.
RN: Julian Weigl, you had your first major injury this past May. How was that process and how important was it for you to have that great comeback match against ‘Gladbach, scoring your first goal in the Bundesliga?
JW: It was a brand new situation for me and, of course, difficult. I had never had an injury of that magnitude, of course, it took its toll on me. Rehabilitation gives you time to think. During that period I was able to look back at the past two years, which have gone by so fast, and simply reflect. When you are first starting the rehab process the mood can be sour, but that changes as you realize that every day you feel a little better, and before you know it, you realize you are close to getting back to practice. Then, you are going to training camp in Bad Ragaz and are able to partake in training with the team. Its an entirely different feeling once that happens. And as you referenced, I could not have imagined a better comeback for myself than scoring a goal in my first appearance back in the starting XI. All of the emotions came out because you realize how hard you have worked these past few months to get to this point, which was not always easy. To score a goal like that, for someone who does not score many goals, it’s double the pleasure.
RN: The team has collected a lot of points in the meantime in the Bundesliga. The start of the season was excellent for the squad and was not expected, especially with a new manager and a new system. As a result of this, the fans have great hope that something great can come of this season. Do you share in this hope?
JW: Of course, I hope that something great comes out of it for us, without question. I think we simply need to continue down the path we are going. As you mentioned, we had a great start to the season and were able to grasp the new system very quickly. We have played very well in the Bundesliga to this point, in the Champions League, we have not been able to show our best effort yet. This is a goal of ours, to perform better there because our group is very strong and we started with two losses. In the Bundesliga, we simply want to pick up where we left off.
RN: That being said, is there a distant goal for you at this time? Perhaps the World Cup in Russia next summer? What are your thoughts on that?
JW: For me personally, that is still a bit too far down the road. I just returned back to the club from injury. For the national team, they just played a few games with some new players, who are also very good. I just think in Germany there is a lot of competition. Of course, I want to get back into the side, but my main objective remains to consistently play in games here at Dortmund in order to reach my top-level of performance. If I can do that then I have hopes of being there next summer. The top priority is simply to stay healthy, after that, we will see what happens.