Neven Subotic made his first Bundesliga start for Borussia Dortmund in over one and a half years in the draw with Frankfurt. And despite the disappointment at having squandered a two-goal lead in Hesse, the centre-back's delight at making his comeback for the Black & Yellows was clear for all to see as he spoke to BVBtotal!.
Neven, how did it feel to be making your BVB comeback in the Bundesliga after one and a half years?
"To begin with I was extremely happy. Like somebody who is returning home after a long holiday. I really missed it, the Bundesliga has almost been like my home for the last ten years. With that in mind, it was initially a brilliant feeling, though right now it's naturally overshadowed by the disappointment of the result. There was more in it for us."
You were really put to the test out there today. You sustained a black eye, your nose was bleeding. Then there was the matter of playing in a new-look central defensive partnership alongside Julian Weigl. It's no mean feat to deal with all of that at once…
"Of course, but we all became footballers to face challenges like this. And that's exactly what it was. Eintracht cover a lot of ground and are very tough. They really made our lives difficult. For a central defender like me, it was like having a nice steak dinner. That's exactly what I want to facing when I'm on the pitch. If you're a sportsperson, those are the kind of challenges you want. I don't believe the personnel situation was our biggest problem today. The opponent was the challenge. The way they played, the way they made our lives difficult. That said, I still think we deserved a little bit more than we ultimately got here today."
"I want to be playing as much as possible"
You made a statement with the performance you put in today. Was that a message to say that Neven can be relied upon at any time?
"Neven Subotic is back! Although I was never really away. I might not have been playing, but I've been giving it everything I've got in training for months. I'm delighted that I had the opportunity to play in a competitive match again. When I'm needed, it's even nicer. As a footballer, you live for those moments. Watching from the sidelines is nice too, but you can do that once you've hung up your boots. I want to be playing – as much as I possibly can." (djg)