Renato Steffen on pre-season, the upcoming campaign and personal goals.
VfL Wolfsburg play their first competitive match of the 2020/21 season in around two weeks’ time when they travel to FSV Union Fürstenwalde in the first round of the DFB Cup. In an interview, Renato Steffen talks about preparations for the new season, what aims he’s set for himself and which player in particular he’d like to go into the tackle with in Saturday’s friendly against 1. FC Köln.
Hello Renato! Despite the current circumstances, how great is the anticipation for the new season? Renato: “The anticipation is always there as soon as you know you can start competing with other teams again. We’re making good progress and working on being more consistent than last season. The closer it gets to the first competitive match, the more you start to get butterflies in your stomach.”
Can you give us a quick assessment of your fitness – are you at 100 per cent yet? Renato: “No, I certainly feel that I need to do more work on the conditioning side of things over the coming weeks. But I’m sure that I and the rest of the team will be fit when the time comes.”
What do you still need to work on? Renato: “Most of the time, we’re good at getting into the opposition’s penalty area but then we sometimes just lack a bit of precision. For that reason, the focus is very much on finishing off the chances that we create.”
Have you set personal goals for the new season? Renato: “It’s very simple for me this season: I want to carry on from where I left off in the second half of last season. That’s the aim for me.”
On Saturday you have a friendly against a Bundesliga rival in 1. FC Köln. What are your expectations for this match, the last one before the start of the season? Renato: “We’ll know after the game roughly where we’re at and what we still have to work on. I think the friendly will show how far the team have come overall. We’re taking the game very seriously and hope that we can produce a really good performance over the whole 90 minutes.”
Are you looking forward to seeing Elvis Rexhbecaj again, who’s currently on loan at Köln? Renato: “Of course, we got on well with each other when he was here at VfL. I hope I get to contest a couple of challenges with him and I’ll be keen to see who wins (laughs).”