Interview 9 January 2017

Bernd Dreher: I would like to prove myself in Ludogorets, because it is a great club

The new gatekeepers’ coach in Ludogorets had his first practice session with the team at the camp in Belek. Afterwards he gave an interview for the...

The new gatekeepers’ coach in Ludogorets had his first practice session with the team at the camp in Belek. Afterwards he gave an interview for the club’s website.

- Welcome to Ludogorets, Mr. Dreher. What are your first impressions?
- Since my visit to Bulgaria to sign my contract it was clear that everything in the club is on the highest professional level. I learned some details about Ludogorets from the media and I knew what I was involved in. I do not have impressions from the players yet, but I have no doubt that they also are at top level. The team plays in the European tournaments and is the domestic champion five times in a row. In order to achieve this, you have got have a strong formation.

- How did you decide to accept Ludogorets’ offer? Until now you haven’t been working in Eastern Europe.
- I was glad to get this offer. Ludogorets has made it to the group phase of the Champions League, they set high goals and they reach them. I would be happy to contribute for the future success of the team.

- You mentioned the European tournaments. What are the team’s chances against Copenhagen in the 1/16 finals of Europa League?
- Ludogorets has a lot of experience in the Champions League and has good chances against Copenhagen. It will not be easy. You need serious preparation because these matches are on a high level. I believe that Ludogorets will succeed against Copenhagen in February.

- Do you consider your new role as a challenge?
- I love challenges, but in this case my place is among high professionals, therefore this is more like a chance for me to show my skills and hopefully it will have good results. Then I will be fully satisfied.

- Are you a maximalist?
- Yes, absolutely, both in my career and personal life.

- What do you think about the gatekeepers at the club?
- I know as little as I could learn until now. I will work closely with them from now on. They have achieved a lot here.

- What do you know about Bulgarian football?
- I don’t know everything, but I know the level here. Most of what I know is because of Ludogorets’ success in the Champions League and people from all over the world are following them. I have played back in the days with Zlatko Yankov in Bayern Uerdingen. I know personally Krasimir Balakov and Georgi Donkov, who played in Germany for a long time.

- Do you know the level of the Bulgarian championship?
- I will find out very soon.

- You were an active player until 41 years of age. How did you achieve that?
- We have a saying with my ex-teammates that everyone who worked with Felix Magath can play up to 40 years of age, or even longer like me. There is another saying that says that if you haven’t worked with Felix Magath, you can give up football before you turn 30.

- As a coach you have worked with Manuel Neuer in Schalke 04 before he went to Bayern?
- Yes, I had this chance. We both were under Felix Magath’s guidance.

- Is Neuer world’s best gatekeeper?
- I think so. I do not think there is anyone better. Agility, physics, intellect – Neuer has it all.

- Are you the one who found him?
- I don’t think it is only me, but I am one of the people who found him.

- How important is the gatekeeper for the team?
- It is as important as the rest of the positions. In certain moment he can be vital, but in other the teammates must compensate the gatekeeper’s mistake.

- What would you say to the Ludogorets fans?
- They are fans of a great team with massive success, which we will strive to enlarge. 

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    Europe League, Play-offs
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League table efbet League, 6th round
1. Beroe (St. Zagora) 14
2. Ludogorets 1945 13
3. Arda (Kardzhali) 12
4. CSKA 12
5. Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) 12
6. Levski (Sofia) 10
7. Tsarsko selo 9
8. Montana 8
9. Botev (Vratsa) 7
10. CSKA 1948 6
11. Botev (Plovdiv) 5
12. Cherno more (Varna) 5
13. Slavia (Sofia) 1
14. Etar (Veliko Tarnovo) 0

 
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