Dortmund - Marco Reus has become an emblematic figure ever since returning to his hometown club of Borussia Dortmund.
After shooting to prominence as the inspiration behind the trailblazing Borussia Mönchengladbach team of 2010/11, Reus further enhanced his reputation as Dortmund clinched a second straight Bundesliga title last season. Here the German international talks about how he settled into life back at the other Borussia, what it's like working under Jürgen Klopp and what kind of a buzz the Signal Iduna Park gives the players.
Question: How difficult was it for you to fully adapt to Borussia Dortmund's style of play?
Marco Reus: I think I needed half a year to get to know how everyone else really ticks, their movement patterns, what's going through their minds and what they're going to do next. I think things started to settle into place during the first half of the season and that will hopefully show from here on in. We'll be able to keep building on the understanding we now have. Obviously we're practicing every day in training and I think we're on the same wavelength now.
Question: How important is the team camaraderie off the field?
Reus: It wasn't so easy in the first half of the season because we had a game every three days and we were just happy to get some time with our families to be able to switch off a bit. We didn't really do much together, although we did a few things like going out to eat, to the cinema, playing on the Playstation, or something similar.
Question: Coach Jürgen Klopp expects the attacking players to do plenty of defensive spadework as well. How do you find that?
Reus: It wasn't so extreme at Borussia Mönchengladbach, but even there I tracked back and helped the team out when I could. That's part of the game these days. It's obviously even more intense here because we're more compact defensively and try to press our opponents high up in their own half. That makes the route to goal even shorter. It was a bit of a change to begin with because the coach has a different philosophy and the players have a bit of a different mindset as well. It takes you a few weeks to get used to the style of play, but I think the last half year has really done us good in terms of getting to know each other and now we're ready to really take off.
Question: What’s Jürgen Klopp like?
Reus: He's a guy who just loves football and really wants to win every game. He passes that on to us every day. It's great fun - you sit in the dressing room, listen to his pre-match talk and when you get on to the pitch you're really fired up for it. When the coach pushes you like that you're even more motivated and it's twice as much fun.
Question: As a Dortmund lad who knows the terraces himself as a fan, is the stadium particularly inspiring?
Reus: There are so many people in the Südtribüne (South Terrace) and it's fantastic when you're playing towards it. It makes playing even more enjoyable and when you score a goal the whole stadium erupts in celebration. There's not much that can top playing with the yellow wall behind you.