Pre-season training began last Sunday, which heralded a new beginning for left-sided defender Paulo Otavio. The 24-year-old joined VfL Wolfsburg from FC Ingolstadt during the summer, and sat down for a short interview to tell us about the first training sessions, the happy-go-lucky Brazilian way of life and the number he chooses to wear on his jersey.
Hi Paulo. You’re currently in your first week of training with the Wolves. What are your initial impressions?
Paulo Otavio: "It’s great to be here. My family and I are very happy. That was one of our aims when we came here from Brazil. I hope it'll get even better soon (grins)."
You know new VfL head coach Oliver Glasner from your time at LASK. Can you tell us how intensive training has been thus far?
Paulo: "Yes, I’ve known the coach for a few years now. We’re working at a really high level and setting up a new system. It’s helping us now and also in our everyday lives – you should learn something new every day."
There is a little Brazilian contingent forming at VfL – the laughter levels are already on the rise!
Paulo: "You’ve got to have a laugh in life! If you don’t laugh, it’s a bit sad. William is a great guy, and someone that I didn’t know before. Joao Victor, on the other hand, I knew already – we’ve played against one another a lot and had a lot of contact. It's even better now that we’re playing together in the same team."
The first pre-season friendly takes place on Saturday. How much are you looking forward to facing Hansa Rostock?
Paulo: "I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t care whether there are three points up for grabs or it’s just a friendly. We want to give it our all in that first match and get the win straight away. It’s important for us."
You will be wearing the number six for VfL. Does it have a particular significance for you?
Paulo: "In Europe, number six means a central midfielder. In Brazil though, every left-back has the number six, so it’s very important for me and has a real significance in my life."