Eintracht Frankfurt's front line is one of the hottest in Europe right now, and Ante Rebic has told bundesliga.com the secret to the success of his partnership with Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic is that, "We all put the team first."
The razor-sharp triumverate all scored in the same game for the first time in the 3-1 win over Freiburg on Matchday 18 to take their combined hand in Frankfurt's 37-goal season haul to 29, with Rebic scoring one and supplying another.
bundesliga.com caught up with the Croatian arm of Frankfurt’s free-scoring trio to discuss the fifth-placed Eagles' high-flying campaign so far, the secrets to their prolific goal-scoring form and why he chose to extend his deal with the club after inspiring his country's run to the FIFA 2018 World Cup final...
bundesliga.com: What are the reasons behind the team's success so far this season?
Ante Rebic: I don't think anyone expected us to have such a good first half of the season, especially following our poor start. We kept believing in ourselves, worked hard and that is reflected in the results. It just clicked for us as a team. We also have a good manager who understands us and that is reflected out on the pitch.
bundesliga.com: What do you expect from the rest of the season?
Rebic: Our expectations at the beginning were not that high, but now we have seen that we can do much better. We will take it game by game and hopefully at the end of the season we will finish as high in the table as possible.
Watch: Messrs Rebic, Haller and Jovic overpowered Freiburg on Matchday 18
bundesliga.com: What makes the front three of Jovic, Haller and Rebic so dangerous?
Rebic: Most likely the fact that we all play for one another. We all put the club first and nobody is simply concerned with themselves. That is the most important thing if you want to be successful as a team.
bundesliga.com: What makes Luka Jovic so good as a player?
bundesliga.com: Why is it that the three of you play so well together?
Rebic: We are all good friends off the pitch. That means that we really enjoy playing together on the pitch.
bundesliga.com: What is your opinion of Sebastien Haller?
Rebic: He is certainly an important player in our team. He is different from Luka and myself and offers us more quality.
bundesliga.com: Many experts are saying you have developed a lot recently as a player. How do you see it?
Rebic: When I am fit and do not have any problems, then you can see that out on the pitch. I always give my all.
bundesliga.com: What role has Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter played in your development?
Rebic: He has played a big and an important role, certainly. He speaks to every player one on one. I do not think anyone is unhappy in the dressing room and that is the most important thing.
bundesliga.com: What is Ante Rebic like as a person?
Rebic: On the pitch I am aggressive, you can see that for yourself. But when I am out there, I am in my own world, a different world. In terms of my personality in private, you should ask my friends. However, I would describe myself as relaxed and easygoing.
bundesliga.com Who was/is your best teammate?
Rebic: There have been many, though my favorite teammate at Eintracht – there really are many, but I would say Mijat [Gacinovic].
bundesliga.com: What is the best Bundesliga goal you have ever scored?
Rebic: My best goal in the Bundesliga was against Werder Bremen last season – to make it 1-0.
bundesliga.com: Can you describe the goal?
Rebic: I was in a somewhat difficult position in the middle of the opponent's half. I think it was [Marc] Stendera who passed the ball to me on the left. I had a lot of time, but did not want to complicate matters. I shot as soon as I received the ball and it flew into the far corner of the goal. That was my best goal.
bundesliga.com: Who is the toughest opponent you have faced and why?
Rebic: My toughest opponent in the Bundesliga was [Sokratis] Papadopoulos [ex-Borussia Dortmund]. He is quick, strong and an intelligent defender. It is difficult to play against him.
bundesliga.com: What about your toughest defeat in the Bundesliga?
Rebic: My toughest defeat was against Bayern in my first season – two seasons ago to be precise. 3-0 in Munich. I thought that we could beat them, but we ended up losing 3-0.
bundesliga.com: How happy are you at Frankfurt and in the Bundesliga?
Rebic: If I did not feel happy here, then I would not have stayed. That was one of the reasons why I stayed at the club – I feel very good here and I like it a lot.
bundesliga.com: What is your opinion on the fans?
Rebic: That is one of the reasons why I stayed here – our fans. They have never let us down, regardless of whether it was going well. They truly are some of the best fans in the Bundesliga.
bundesliga.com: What does the atmosphere in the stadium mean to you?
Rebic: It is probably my favourite moment ahead of every match – when we walk out onto the pitch, joined by 51,500 people. They stand united behind us and that gives us extra strength and motivation.
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