bundesliga

Emre Can on life at Borussia Dortmund, his Goal of the Month stunner and coping with coronavirus

Emre Can was only five Bundesliga games into his Borussia Dortmund career before the coronavirus pandemic saw play postponed, but the Germany international midfielder has made an instant impression at the Signal Iduna Park.

Can - who has previously played for Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool and Juventus - joined BVB from Italian champions Juve in January, and took just 33 minutes to open his account for the club with a stunning goal against Die Werkself.

As the Dortmund first-team squad made a cautious return to training this week, with players following strict coronavirus safety guidelines and only working in pairs, Can took the time to catch up with bundesliga.com

bundesliga.com: Emre Can, how are you?

Emre Can: "Fortunately, I'm healthy and well. Like everyone else, I'm spending most of my time at home, and my loved ones and I are doing well."

bundesliga.com: What's your daily routine? How are you training?

Can: "I'm only doing individual training. It's not easy because we love our job and we miss playing football. We need to stay fit somehow and we've received a plan from the fitness team. Everyone is following that plan and we're lucky here in Germany that we're still allowed to go outside. We train outside and work on our stability at home. We're trying to stay fit because we don't know when things will start up again and when the first league game back will be. It's difficult to deal with the uncertainty of these times."

bundesliga.com: Are you going jogging?

Can: "I'd rather play football than go jogging! I know how to run when I'm playing football, but if I go running on tarmac or in the forest, I find it very difficult. I've had it before that my calves or something else seize up and then I can't go on anymore."

bundesliga.com: Was it a nice feeling to be able to train with a ball again yesterday?

Can: "Definitely. I hadn't touched a football in two weeks, and it was great to be able to work with the ball for a little while. It's nice to have the ball at our feet, even if we can't go into any challenges and we just have to work by ourselves. But even training alone at the training pitches is better than training at home."

bundesliga.com: How difficult will it be to regain match fitness?

Can: "Nobody has experienced anything like this before and we don't know when or how things are going to progress. We just have to wait for when the day comes and try to keep as fit as possible. It's different to playing football the whole time because it's a different type of fitness, but we have to try to stay at that level. Of course, it's completely different when you train every day and have a game every third day, to when you go jogging by yourself, but we have to keep going. Every footballer is in the same situation and we just have to be ready for when things start up again."

Can is playing for his third Bundesliga club, having made seven senior appearances for Bayern Munich (2012-13) and 39 for Bayer Leverkusen (2013-14). - Inderlied/Kirchner-Media via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Kirchner-Media

bundesliga.com: How would you describe your first few weeks at Dortmund?

Can: "They were positive for me personally. I feel at home in Dortmund after a tough six months. I'm enjoying being an important part of a team again and it's a nice feeling. The boys have really taken me in, and it's been a positive few months."

bundesliga.com: As a new player, what do you make of the atmosphere at the Signal Iduna Park?

Can: "It's definitely special and it's not something you experience much around the world. I've hardly ever seen an atmosphere like it in a stadium. Fans can always turn up for the big games, but the great thing at Dortmund is that they turn up for every game, even the so-called 'small' games. That's what makes the fans in Dortmund so special. And it's extremely loud in the stadium, so it's a lot of fun to play there."

bundesliga.com: What do those in charge at Dortmund expect from you?

Can: "This is something we've discussed. They want me to bring quality, to get involved and help set the tone. I think these are some of my strengths, but I've come here to Dortmund and I think I've reminded people that I can also play football. I have the feeling they forget that about me sometimes! I try to get forward and just to be myself, rather than trying to play like anyone else. I'm looking to help the team and I think I was able to do that in the first few games."

bundesliga.com: Tell us about your wondergoal against Bayer Leverkusen...

Can: "It was an indescribable feeling to score only a few minutes into my debut, even though we went on to lose the game. It will definitely stay with me, and it wasn’t a bad goal either!"

Watch: Can opened his BVB account in style against former club Leverkusen

bundesliga.com: Anyone who saw the goal can see how well you can play football, can't they?

Can: "Thank you, it was definitely a good sign!"

bundesliga.com: Der Klassiker was supposed to take place at the weekend. You've already played in this fixture - what memories do you have of these games back when you were in a Bayern shirt?

Can: "I played in the [2012] Supercup at the Allianz Arena, and I think it was my first professional game. I also played once in Dortmund when I came on as a substitute, so I've played in Der Klassiker twice. You're always nervous ahead of your first game, even if you know exactly what's expected of you. It was nice to be able to play in front of 70,000 fans and it was exciting to make my debut in the Supercup."

bundesliga.com: Did the high quality of the game make your debut more difficult?

Can: "It was tough because games are always different to training, and you have to quickly adapt to the pace of the game. On top of that it was the Supercup, against an opponent like Dortmund. It wasn't easy, and I played at left-back in that game, which was an unfamiliar position for me. I think I got through it quite well in the end." [Bayern ran out 2-1 winners]

Dortmund's Emre Can and Bayern's Robert Lewandowski were on opposite sides of the Klassiker divide in the 2012 Supercup, which the Bavarians won 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. - imago sportfotodienst via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Schiffmann

bundesliga.com: Are you in contact with your friends in England or Italy? How are they doing?

Can: "I don't have much contact with them, and I think the situation is a bit more dramatic in Italy than it is here in Germany. It's difficult for everyone all over the world, but especially for people in Italy at the moment, because everything is closed. They're not even allowed to go outside, apart from to go shopping or see the doctor. Luckily, we can at least still go for a walk here in Germany, but it's much worse over there. We've all seen that they sadly have a high death rate in Italy, so I hope the country can recover quickly. The whole world needs to recover, but Italy seems to have been hit particularly hard by this. I hope they can recover quickly and that the number of infected goes down."