Maximilian Arnold is set to make his 300th Bundesliga appearance for VfL Wolfsburg this weekend. The Green-and-Whites captain will reach the milestone in the team’s final game of the year when they face TSG Hoffenheim away on Saturday 12 November. In this interview, Arnold discusses his current form, not being selected for Germany’s World Cup squad, and the Wolves’ recent upturn.
Maximilian Arnold, are you currently in the form of your life?
Maximilian Arnold: “You could say that, but apparently not when it comes to the national team. I’m very disappointed not to be nominated for the World Cup. I’m fit and I feel good. I’m enjoying it a lot out on the pitch and I’m increasingly growing into the role of being captain.”
What does being captain mean to you?
Maximilian: “A great deal. Wearing the armband has brought me a huge step forward in terms of my personal development. The way I conduct myself within the team and away from the pitch has changed. I’m very proud to be captain of this team.”
The match against Hoffenheim will be your 300th Bundesliga outing for VfL – that’s an impressive milestone. What does that mean for you?
Maximilian: “I joined this club when I was 15. Back then I’d never have thought that I would make 300 Bundesliga appearances here. It’s incredible, I have to say. It really is the reward for all the sacrifices I’ve had to make in my career.”
Do you know how many of the previous 299 games you have won and how many goals you have scored?
Maximilian: “I’d say around 35 goals. I probably haven’t won very many games because we went through some bad patches. Maybe a third of them?”
Good guesses. You’ve scored 37 goals and won 120 games.
Maximilian: “Oh, that’s a bit more than a third – not a bad statistic at all.”
VfL are unbeaten in their last eight games. What are the reasons behind the upturn in form?
Maximilian: “After the match at Union Berlin we made it very clear that as a team we had to change something. The coach has also made a couple of tweaks here and there. We’ve become a unit over the last couple of weeks and we all put the team’s success above individual success.”
After three consecutive wins, the Wolves are on a run. Is it a shame that the last game of the year is taking place and that there won’t be another Bundesliga fixture until the end of January?
Maximilian: “It would obviously be better if we could keep going now. But we have to take things as they come. We want to win our last game as well and we’re going to Hoffenheim with a very good feeling.”