What is the main goal of Leverkusen? Many People in Iran say that Leverkusen doesn’t make much progress each season. Does the club has big thinking at all?
Every fan of Bayer dreams of becoming Deutscher Meister or winning any kind of championship at all. I think this has to be the main goal for the next few years – although it will be very hard. If you compare Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund to Leverkusen you have to be realistic. Those two teams are miles away right now. So, if Leverkusen says “We want to reach Champions League again” that’s no deep stacking or understatement, it’s just realistic. And in my opinion we did make progress already. A few days ago I’ve seen a statistic, it shows that we have been the third strongest team in Germany over the past six years. That’s quite fantastic for a club like Bayer 04 which has a smaller fan base in comparison to other big teams like Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke, Mönchengladbach and limited economic resources. But those “small” successes can’t be the limit of course. So, in my opinion Bayer has to fill up the already very good team with a few stronger players and create conditions that allow to surprise in Bundesliga if Bayern and Dortmund might have a weak season. That could be our chance.
Can Bayer-Fans be hopeful for a team like 2001?
I think we will never have a team like 2001 again. At that time we spent a lot of money and had World stars like Lucio, Ballack, Berbatov. Our philosophy has changed over the years since the triple-vice-season. Now we invested our money in young players like Brandt, Calhanoglu and Tah. As a long term fan I have to say I’m proud my club has such an large amount of talented players right now and that we try to run for a championship with this young team.
Leverkusen and Dortmund was in some kind of same level last decade. What happened to them that Dortmund is a Bayern rival and Leverkusen is not?
Yes, you are right. Dortmund really did make a big step over the last ten years. Right now it’s the only team which can keep up to Bayern Munich. I think Jürgen Klopp was an important factor for building up a championship team. I don’t know where BVB would be right now without him. In the past we did not have the same amount of luck on that position. Since Jupp Heynckes in 2011 there has been no coach who could improve the team with an outstanding philosophy. But now we have Roger Schmidt. I like his idea of playing football and you can see that the team seems to like it too. I have a good feeling having him on the bench. Maybe we can close the gap to BVB a little bit in the next few years.
Can you say how much money Bayer Factory give Bayer 04 yearly?
No, I don’t have any proofed numbers here.
Recently Bayer sold some of its Shares. How does this effect on team?
I’m sorry, but I don’t have any idea of those matters.
Do you believe that Bayern policy is making other rivals weak? As they did to Dortmund and Leverkusen recently.
I think Bayern Munich has always done everything and will always do everything to be number one in Germany. They have money to buy any player on the planet, as they did with Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund. That’s their way of staying competitive at the top of Europe. Is that something to blame them for? I don’t think so. There will always be players of Dortmund, Leverkusen, Schalke and Wolfsburg which Bayern Munich is interested in. The only way to stop that is becoming a championship team for themselves, which wins titles and earns a lot of money. But there will always be a bigger team, which offers more money and better possibilities.
About Mr Voller. How many more years does he want to be the Sport director?
I don’t know. I think Bayer 04 is an important part of his life. So it’s really difficult to say how long he will stay. But in case of a rebuild in the next years (hopefully not) he could say “Goodbye”.
About the new signings, is there any new name that you are aware of? Which positions do you think should be strengthed?
We could need a young striker talent, which earns experience in the second line behind Chicharito and Kießling. Maybe we should invest in a left defender too, as a backup for Wendell. But if you see the quality of our team, there are not many positions we have to improve.
About the next season, who will be in title challenge? Ancelotti and Tuchel, who will be better and which other team can be on title course?
The change of Guardiola to Ancelotti could be a chance for another team than Borussia Dortmund to run for a title. Maybe Bayern needs a few more games than usual to get comfortable with the new coach and his idea of playing football. That would be great. Maybe Schalke comes out stronger than expected and Wolfsburg surely doesn’t want to repeat a season like this. But actually we have good chances too – If our players stay healthy and we get more constant.
About Leipzig. What is their goal and can they become a real force? When?
A few weeks ago I’ve heard that Leipzig is interested in getting Bernd Leno for their team. That’s shows their philosophy and Self image. They will be a serious competitor for the international positions and maybe a team which can beat Bayern Munich.
About Euro 2016 and Germany. Can they become champion?
I think they can, although the last results haven’t been good. Let’ see if Schweinsteiger gets healthy in time and if no other player is getting injured in the next weeks until kickoff. It will be interesting how Löw handles those positions, which Lahm, Mertesacker and Klose filled up perfectly at the World Cup.
And the last question: Can an academy of Bayer 04 be established in iran? I mean an academy for youth players?
Puh, good question. If you have many talented players in Iran. Why not?
2016, June, 5