Arrive, get to know people, find your role – that has been Marcel Sabitzer's task for the last few days since becoming a BVB player on Monday. Upon his arrival in San Diego, he talked about the reasons behind his move to BVB, his main strengths, and his first time in Black and Yellow.
It has been a busy few days for Marcel Sabitzer: On Monday, he signed his contract with Borussia Dortmund. On Tuesday, he followed the team to the USA. On Wednesday, he was on the pitch with his new teammates for the first time. As he was running a little behind his teammates, he initially only completed the warm-up with the team, then completed his training work separately. Despite only spending a short time in Black and Yellow "I feel very comfortable," he said. "Of course, there are a lot of new faces, which is always exciting at the beginning. I got a good feeling from everyone. The team are very nice and welcoming. The first meeting was very good and positive."
The period before that was also exciting: after the initial contact, he had a long phone call with head coach Edin Terzic. "He explained to me how he sees me, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and what role he has for me. That makes you stop and think. It is impressive," said Sabitzer. "If a stranger knows you so well and has studied you, it shows that he was really thinking about you. I first thought about the possibility of a transfer myself, and then brought my family on board. After that, I gave the go-ahead and then it all went through very fast. It took no longer than perhaps 12 to 14 hours."
"The fans and the stadium are impressive"
Now he is a BVB player. "I was convinced by the team and the club. The fans and the stadium – they are simply impressive," said Sabitzer, who has only previously experienced SIGNAL IDUNA PARK as a player while at Leipzig and Munich. "It was not easy to come to Dortmund as an opponent. It's never really fun when 75,000 people are against you. But I want to attack, I want to have fun here and show what I can do in the league, as I have done before."
The new signing himself sees his role as follows: "On the pitch, things have to get ugly sometimes. I have done that in the past too. You need people like that, who don't shy away, even when things are tough. I stand up and face it." Sabitzer sees his strengths as a box-to-box midfielder: "I make a lot of runs from deep, but I'm not too proud to run back and do the dirty work. I am a box-to-box player."
In that role, he can rely on one of his main weapons – long-range shots: "That can help against opponents who are sitting deep." In his youth, he spent hours practising shooting with his best friend, a goalkeeper: "That certainly helped my shooting technique. I want to contribute in that way."
Sabitzer's shirt number at BVB will be 20. Admittedly, there were not a lot of numbers left to choose from, but he chose the number 20 because he had already worn it in his early days in the Austrian national team.