Roman Weidenfeller
16 years at BVB

„You‘re always focused on what comes next.“

“Being a professional footballer means endless days of preparation interrupted by brief periods of action. Only one thing counts on the pitch – the next 90 minutes! And after that final whistle blows, it‘s back to the grind: did you win? Stay hungry and keep up the good work! Did you lose? Something has to change! When ‚keep pushing‘ becomes your guiding principle, it’s easy to lose sight of where you are.

The many years I spent at BVB really helped me in that respect. Standing in front of the fans in the south terrace after the match instead of somewhere you‘re just passing through. The brief moments when you advance to the next round of the knock-out stage or after you successfully close out a season. Those are the moments that extend the action. But often, you simply become even more aware of how important it all is for the fans. Winning or losing, the emotions are intense, and they really take hold of you.

It can be both fascinating and horrendous. It‘s fascinating when you‘re pumped full of adrenaline standing there in the glow of the floodlights in the middle of the action. But you can also feel pretty pathetic when the lads are giving it their all during training while you‘re stuck on a stationary bike nursing some aches and pains. Will I make it back into the line-up? Am I pushing myself hard enough? Self-doubt.

It‘s certainly not all fun and games, because you‘re always nursing something. A lot of people try to block out the pressure by distracting themselves. It might seem arrogant, but it’s a self-defence mechanism. At the end of the day, professional footballers are just people, too. I‘m sure being a bit thick-headed saved me from drowning in self-doubt over the years. That, and the fun I had playing for BVB.”