Roman Bürki will wear a new shirt number in his fourth season at Borussia Dortmund. The shot-stopper has spoken about taking on the No. 1 jersey and being reunited with a "real friend" in new signing Marwin Hitz.

"We have top training conditions in Bad Ragaz," said the 27-year-old, who is enjoying the atmosphere in the squad. "We brought in some very good guys. The team spirit is top. Everyone's abiding by the rules. That's the foundation for us to work well together."

Bürki was equally full of praise for the new coach: "Favre's a perfectionist. He's very focused on detail, like in our build-up play. When we players think that one of us has just played a good ball and praise our team-mate, the coach says: Yes, it was good, but not top. It could still be better..."

In new signing Marwin Hitz, he has been reunited with a fellow Swiss international: "I'd say that we're friends. In the national team setup we've both not been playing, so we've always spoken to each other and discussed how we feel. We have a good relationship. Marwin will push me further – as will I him. As for who will ultimately be named the goalkeeper, that's for the coach to decide."

Hitz is more of a friend than a competitor, even if both want to play and both understand that only one of them can. "We have three very good goalkeepers," said Bürki, who includes Eric Oelschlägel in that bracket. "I'm giving it my all and want to keep my place between the posts," he added.

He will now be wearing the No. 1 jersey. Having previously worn No. 38, he considered long and hard before making the switch once Roman Weidenfeller had retired – but not before getting the green light from the man himself. "I wrote to Roman Weidenfeller and asked him if it was okay for me to have the No. 1," explained the Swiss custodian. "After all, he's worn the No. 1 jersey for 15 years. He told me: Things move on, you take the No. 1. I was very happy."
Boris Rupert