Bernd Leno: Arsenal goalkeeper discusses football firsts with Soccer AM’s Tubes
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno took time out of the practice ground to speak regarding his initial experiences in the sport to the Tubes of Soccer AM.
It’s been a season so far for Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
The Germany has retained two clean sheets in the Gunners’ 13 Premier League games, but that moment has not been made more saves compared to 53 in by any goalkeeper.
Even the 27-year-old joined the club for a fee thought to be about #19m in June 2018 after seven years in Bayer Leverkusen but where did his love affair with the match start and who is his eponymous hero…
“The World Cup final in 1998, when France beat Brazil 3-0. There wasn’t a team I needed to win, so I recall watching a great game.
“France were unbelievable and watching Zinedine Zidane and many other very excellent players was unique. I became hooked on football.”
“I was about five or four years of age. I started to play in the neighbourhood the road along with my brother and friends.
“If I was six, I began to play my hometown, at the local soccer club and since then I’ve never ceased.
“I actually started as a midfielder – really as a playmaker! Our goalkeeper didn’t come into the match for a while, when I was about eight.
“The coach asked us that wanted to go in target and I put my hands up. I thought I would give it a try and it was excellent. I informed the coach could I stay since the goalkeeper, who was a friend, and since I’ve never wanted to leave the target.”
“My first and final footballing hero is Iker Casillas – he was amazing. I remember the Champions League final in 2002 against my former club Bayer Leverkusen. He played with was only 18 years old. He was incredible, and he rescued Real Madrid the title.
“Ever since then he had been my idol, and I have followed him during my career, watching videos. I’ve never played against him, but I am, or I will meet him.
“Perhaps he could play again for Porto if he comes back from his injury (Casillas suffered an”acute” heart attack in May this year), but hopefully 1 day I can meet him. If I just had one issue I could inquire, it would be’have you managed to be this good?’ .”
“I think it was when I met Timo Hildebrand. When I had been in the academy at Stuttgart, he had been the number one goalkeeper. I talked to him about a minute, and also for me personally it was amazing. He asked me how I had been, however it gave me so much motivation.
“He said he saw me create a great save in practice when I was around 11 or 12 years of age. It gave me a great deal of motivation he explained that.
“I was nervous and if I went home, I told my parents. He laughed and of course he couldn’t recall it, although ten decades after, I played against him in the Bundesliga. He had been a very good player.”
“My first match was in August 2011 for Bayer Leverkusen against Werder Bremen and we won 1-0. It was a game in me – for me to do but that I still made some great saves, there was not much.
“I was really nervous and after I arrived at the stadium, I was thinking that I was living my dream. This fantastic feeling still stays with me whenever I walk in the stadium on matchday.”
“I recall last summer in 2018 coming by car and never have to remember to push on the opposite side of the street! I was quite nervous not about coming to another club. They also to see the manager and had been nerves that are positive since I was enthusiastic about seeing my.
“At this a big team, I only wanted to conserve a few chunks and kick some chunks. It turned out to be a special day for me.
“I needed to sing a tune in Singapore at the training camp and it was a disaster. It was a song that is German and it was really very, very bad. Nobody should see this quality.”
“This was a final and that I was 10 years old. We lost it in a penalty shootout. I was sad because I did not save their last penalty and our final spot-kick was really missed by me.
“My parents were there and after 10 seconds I was not miserable anymore. However, I recall this championship.”
“It had been last October from Watford. Petr (Cech) was hurt following 45 minutes, so that I arrived on. I was amazed because the goalkeeper you do not expect that the first choice becomes hurt.
“However he had an injury and within a minute I needed to prepare everything really fast.
“We were able to win the match 2-0 and that I had a wonderful match, created a couple of saves. In the finish, I was very happy and since then I’ve played Premier League game.”
“It is different and it’s much harder, I believe having gained expertise in both leagues. In the Bundesliga, like in Europe, the referees shield the goalkeeper. In the Premier Leaguethey do not.
“It is very difficult and in the six-yard box there are no fouls – so you’ve got to get used to it. I feel I adapted very quickly to those players who look to block you.
“I don’t remember this ever happening in Germany, however, I really like it.”
Norwich vs Arsenal is dwell on Super Sunday from 1pm 2pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips from the game site about the Sky Sports website and program.
Highlights will be published on the Sky Sports electronic platforms along with the Sky Sports Football YouTube station shortly after the last whistle.
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