Emre Can has taken on the captaincy at Borussia Dortmund and is now looking to lead the team's resurgence. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga
Emre Can has taken on the captaincy at Borussia Dortmund and is now looking to lead the team's resurgence. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga

Emre Can interview: "It's a huge honour to captain Borussia Dortmund"


Borussia Dortmund skipper Emre Can sits down with bundesliga.com to discuss the pressure of captaincy and how the side is determined to turn their campaign around.

bundesliga.com: What are the goals as a team?

Emre Can: "That we perform better than we’ve maybe done so far. We know that as a team, and we’re not pleased with where we are in the Bundesliga table. But the good thing is we know that, know there’s lots   of room for improvement, and now we just need to prove ourselves again."

bundesliga.com: Things weren’t all bad in the first half of the season, were they?

Can: "Definitely not, we can’t forget that. It was just at the end, in the final few games, it just wasn’t good, but before that... In the Champions League, in the ‘Group of Death’, we’ve advanced. That’s no small achievement. But in the Bundesliga and in the DFB Cup, where we’re unfortunately already out, it’s not good. It doesn’t all start over now. We’re a few points behind, which we need to make up. We hopefully will make them up. We want to get off to a good start in the first games, get results – that’s very important. And maybe we can get on a run like we did last year. That’d be very nice.”

bundesliga.com: What’s your impression of things at the training camp in Marbella?

Can: "The first two training sessions were good in terms of intensity. Things weren’t all at 100 percent, but that’s normal after a 13-day break. But the start has been good. And it was here that we laid the foundation last year. We had a very good training camp, worked very well. I hope we can do the same this year as we did last year. Then that’s a good foundation and start, then we can get going."

Watch: Dortmund drew 3-3 with Standard Liège in Marbella

bundesliga.com: You have new assistant coaches in Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender. How involved are they in training?

Can: "Very active. They’ve been very loud, which I think is good in training. They were actively coaching, which is important. They’ll definitely help us more. I think a lot of both of them. They’ve already done a lot in their still young coaching careers. They also did a lot for BVB, even if in another role. I think they’ll definitely help us more."

bundesliga.com: Did you know either of them beforehand?

Can: "I know Nuri better. We never played together. It wasn’t firm contact, but we’d hear from each other every now and then. I held him in really high esteem from a young age. It’s nice to be working together after so long. I’m excited about him because I believe he can help us further as a team. I think he did an amazing job in his young coaching career at Antalyaspor. He exudes good energy. As for Sven, I don’t know him that well, but I’ve just heard he’s a great guy. That’s been confirmed in the first few days. Really loud out on the pitch, which is good. And off the pitch, just a relaxed guy who’s always good for a laugh. That’s how things should be."

bundesliga.com: Is this a big chance for head coach Edin Terzic?

Can: "Of course, you can’t do thing alone. It’s always important to have good assistants. We’ve now brought in some great assistant coaches. You also can’t forget Geppi [Sebastian Geppert], who’s also   here. It’ll definitely make Edin better as a coach. That’s how it has to be. It’s a team job. They’re all young and will all help each other. At the end of the day, Edin is the head coach. At the end of the day, he takes responsibility and makes the decisions."

bundesliga.com: How have your first months as captain been?

Can: "It’s different as captain. The level of focus is different from the media. You’re maybe criticised more than before, but I’ll stand up, take responsibility and lead from the front. I’ve always said that. I think it’s a huge honour to be captain for such a huge club. I try to enjoy it every day. It’s great fun to hold the position as captain."

Watch: Dortmund - Old Familiars Back in the Fold

bundesliga.com: How important are the other leaders in the squad?

Can: "Very important. Just because I’ve got the armband doesn’t mean I’m the big boss in the team. Others have been here a number of years, some longer than me with Mats [Hummels], Marco [Reus]. You can only do it as a team. Everyone has to bear and take responsibility on the pitch. I think we do that well within our team."

bundesliga.com: Do you all get together as a team at the camp in Marbella?

Can: "We’ve done it this season as well... I don’t know if we’ll sit down only as players. I also don’t know if it’s necessary because everyone knows what the deal is, what we need to do better. I don’t know if we’ll have a team evening here because we’ve got two matches and not a lot of time, but it’d be important and good if we could get out and do something as a team."

bundesliga.com: Is UEFA Euro 2024 a big goal this year?

Can: "Definitely, it’s a very big subject. I want to perform well here at Dortmund, and obviously my goal is to be there. I’ll do and give everything to make it not possible to not call me up. We’ll see in the end if I manage it or not."