Neuer: I’ll need to iron my lederhosen
fcbayern.de: Manuel, you resumed training on Wednesday. After two full days off, did you need a little time to get back into the groove?
Manuel Neuer: We warm up for a little longer than normal, 30 minutes or so, but after that we’re immediately back up to speed.
You face Augsburg on Saturday, and then you’ll be celebrating your first championship.
I’m really, really looking forward to it. But first, we want to have a good game. It’ll be a much better party if we’ve won. And we want to maintain our rhythm, with an eye on the two finals. We’ll stick to the task and not ease off. Every player wants to put himself forward.
Are you ready for your first title party?
I definitely have my lederhosen at home, although I’ll need to run an iron over them (laughs). I don’t know about the rest of the costume. The problem is that I happily lend my things to friends who visit for the Oktoberfest, because most of them don’t have the traditional gear. I’ll have to rummage in the cupboard and see if I still have everything (laughs).
Have you been visualising the moment when you get to lift the shield into the sky?
No, not yet. It was an incredible feeling when we finally sealed the title after playing Frankfurt. The celebration in front of our travelling fans sent shivers down my spine. But now we’ll receive the shield. It’ll certainly be a very special moment. I’ll take it as it comes.
Will you again go easy on the celebrations due to the imminent Champions League final?
Obviously it shouldn’t be too excessive. But we’ll certainly go for it on Saturday. There are still two weeks until Wembley.
Nevertheless, it is the biggest event still to come this season. Will the players be specially cautious against Augsburg and Gladbach to reduce the risk of injury?
No, there’s a bigger risk of injury when you don’t get stuck in properly. We won’t make any concessions to the Champions League final in the last two Bundesliga games. Instead, we want to build up even more confidence.
Especially as you can still set another incredible record…
I’ve let in 15 goals so far, and the record is 21, so it’s not looking too bad. As always, we must invest plenty in defence. If we also break this record I’d be very happy.
It’s clearly a good interim target and will help maintain the positive tension before the big final in two weeks…
The plan is to remain totally focused in the league matches and also go to the limit in training. How you train is how you play – it’s an old cliché, but it’s still true.
Is there much talk of Wembley in the dressing room?
No, not at the moment. We’ve ordered a few tickets for family and friends, but otherwise the Champions League final isn’t the priority yet. We’ll get fired up for it a few days beforehand, which is when you fully appreciate what’s at stake.
Were you surprised at the ease with which you dominated Barcelona?
Not many teams go to Barcelona and win 3-0. That was certainly exceptional, and not something we’d made allowances for. But now we want to take the last step.
Did the performances against Barcelona leave an impression on Dortmund?
It made an impression on the entire footballing world, but Dortmund didn’t appear particularly overawed last weekend. This much is clear: it’s a clash between equals. Dortmund are a first-class team. But we’re confident, and we know that if we play to our potential, we’ll win the cup.
And you could potentially complete the treble the following weekend…
It’ll be my third straight cup final in Berlin, which is terrific. Unfortunately, I didn’t come away with the cup last season, so it’s my turn again now (laughs). Maybe it’ll be the crowning glory of an astonishing season.