"Everyone needs to make the best out of it," said Leipzig striker Timo Werner of the current situation.
Article top media content
Through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, and within four points of top spot in the Bundesliga, Leipzig have had perhaps the best season in their history interrupted by COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdown.
Striker Timo Werner has scored a career-best 27 goals in 2019/20 but for the moment is reduced to practicing ball control on the balcony in his flat. The 24-year-old spoke to UEFA.com about how he and his team-mates have been keeping themselves busy.
How are you handling the current situation?
Timo Werner: Everything is good with me. I am healthy, all those around me are healthy. Everyone needs to make the best out of it. It’s an unusual situation for everyone, but we’re slowly getting back to normal and hopefully football can as well soon.
How did you keep yourself fit before training got going again? Did you find it difficult training on your own and staying disciplined?
In the beginning it was nice to have a bit of holiday, but then we quickly had a timetable from the club which I then went through. We were pretty quickly allowed to train again in small groups and that was much better than just running.
Do you have a garden or a terrace where you could play football?
I have a balcony. I kicked a ball against it from inside a few times, keeping the ball up. There’s space for that but not to shoot at goal in the garden or anything.
Did you use the time to sleep in or were you disciplined and got up early?
No, I definitely slept a lot because I went to bed late. I think it’s a part of this changeover to having not much to do. You get more tired and lazy during the day but then fitter in the evening, so you automatically sleep longer. Now that we are regularly training in the morning again, it’s slowly moving back to usual and we’re getting back into our rhythm.
How do you find doing video calls with family and friends? Have you also been in contact with your team-mates in this time without training sessions?
Of course. We also play Fortnite against each other, or we play the odd FIFA game against each other. Obviously you have the headset, but we’ve also done calls in our group chat, FaceTime, we made some group videos. Just a few jokes, for one or two days, but with home I think that’s normal. When you live far away from your family, you’re always calling so it wasn’t actually something new for me.
Have you communicated with the coach at all?
Yes, he’s been texting us regularly to check how we are doing and to say that we should remain positive, that we’ll be undoubtedly resuming the season, but nothing else otherwise.
What are you most looking forward to whenever football resumes?
The best thing in football is playing in front of a full house. We won’t have that when we start again, but that’s what’s special about it and what differentiates us professionals from amateur players is that we get 40,000 or 50,000 people in the stadium and they cheer us.
On the other hand, we’re all excited about playing competitive football again. The situation cannot be changed anyway and we want to resume this season because we set our goal and we’ve been making very good progress with that up to now.