New signing Thomas Delaney has made an excellent impression in both his first two sessions training with the team and in the press room as he fielded questions from media representatives. The Dane proved to be quite the comedian on several occasions, and was refreshingly open too.
Boris Rupert reporting from Bad Ragaz
"A big club. Dortmund are one of the top clubs in Europe. Bigger than what I've experienced before," said the defensive midfielder, who joins the club from Werder Bremen. "I was happy in Bremen. But now I'm looking forward to playing at Signal Iduna Park, in front of the Yellow Wall."
The 26-year-old speaks fluent German. Only rarely does he borrow a word from English and ask for the German translation. He learnt the language at school, although he jokingly admitted: "I wasn't so good. It was only after four years that I could say: Die Sonne scheint, und ich heiße Thomas... (The sun's shining, and my name is Thomas...)."
"I'm more about running, talking, fighting"
He doesn't joke on the pitch, though. As a child, Thomas Delaney always wanted to win. He is the very embodiment of what in football speak is referred to as an aggressive leader − combative and unwilling to make compromises. "That's my style of play. I want to bring heart and passion," confirmed the 26-year-old, explaining: "I'm a little bit different from other midfielders: every one of them is technically brilliant, a perfect passer. I'm a bit more about running, talking, fighting. I hope the coach also sees that we need that."
Delaney is dreaming of a starting berth in his first home game, he is looking forward to the UEFA Champions League and he enjoys working with Lucien Favre. "We train a lot. He has his ideas, he wants to get us on the right track."
No visual problem – "great, we play in yellow"
He has had a visual impairment − whereby he struggles to distinguish between red and green − since his childhood, but that certainly won't stand in his way in Dortmund. "It's difficult to explain," he said, pointing to the carpet. "That's green. I can see that clearly." Then he turned around and pointed towards the name of a sponsor (Thorn). "And that's red, right?" The hesitation led to the next bout of laughter. Delaney said: "It can be a problem with nuances. But we play in yellow, that's great! That's why I'm here, no more green like at Werder..."