Reitz: “I always put my all into everything”
Rocco Reitz discusses his first full game in the Bundesliga and being trusted by coach Gerardo Seoane, and reflects on his time in Belgium.
Rocco, you played your first full 90 minutes in the Bundesliga last weekend and against Bayern to boot. How do you feel a few days afterwards, and was your phone blowing up with messages?
Rocco Reitz: It didn’t hit me straight after the game; it actually took a few days to really sink in. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, which I feel extremely grateful for and will certainly never forget. Lots of people sent me kind messages after the game, and I’ve tried my best to answer them all, but I was especially touched to hear from my family and close friends.
What role did you play in the team against Bayern? What were the coach’s expectations of you?
Reitz: We were obviously aware that we wouldn’t be able to attack that easily against them, so instead we focused on staying compact and robust in the mid- field, as Bayern are extremely strong in this area of the pitch. The coach made the decision to add another man into middle, and he chose me for the job. For the most part, we dealt with this formation change really well as a team.
You’ve featured in all three Bundesliga matches so far this season, which must be a great feeling.
Reitz: Absolutely! I feel so grateful to have made so many appearances. It’s never a given for young players like myself to get chosen for huge fixtures like Bayern and be trusted by the coach to put in a strong performance. I always dedicate my all to training and throw myself into every challenge, so it feels great to be rewarded for this with game time.
Would you say that you’ve grown as a player over your loan spell last season?
Reitz: The loan spell in Belgium helped me improve massively both on and off the pitch. I’ve matured as a person over the year and also learnt how to improve each aspect of my game. I feel as though I adapted well to the physical and tech- nical demands of the Belgian league, and I can tell that this will be advantageous for me in the Bundesliga.
What goals did you set yourself prior to the start of this season?
Reitz: I certainly would never have had being in the starting line-up for matchday 3 against Bayern on the list! (laughs) My goal was, and always will be, to put my all into everything so that I can be proud of myself. Right now, I can say that my hard work has certainly paid off.
Can you feel that the fans are backing you, especially considering the applause you received after the games against Leverkusen and Bayern?
Reitz: We feel so lucky as Borussia Mönchengladbach players to have this level of support. The fans are unbelievable, and I strongly believe that they will keep us going throughout the whole season. When the fans and the team support and motivate each other, then it can ultimately be the difference between us winning a game or not.