Moussa Diaby has a good feeling about Bayer Leverkusen's chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on the final Bundesliga Matchday. - © DFL
Moussa Diaby has a good feeling about Bayer Leverkusen's chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on the final Bundesliga Matchday. - © DFL
bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby: "We're confident we can qualify for the Champions League"

With just one game left to play, Bayer Leverkusen's place in next season's UEFA Champions League relies on results elsewhere as well as their own on Matchday 34, but Moussa Diaby is confident in his side's chances.

Speaking to bundesliga.com, the 20-year-old French winger discussed his debut season in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen's mindset going into the final day of the season and facing Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup final in July.

bundesliga.com: What are your memories of your first Bundesliga start against Freiburg?

Moussa Diaby: "I remember that it wasn't a very good game and that it wasn't a good result for us. But I also remember scoring my first Bundesliga goal."

bundesliga.com: Do you remember your first Bundesliga goal?

Diaby: "I was very happy to have scored my first goal and to have helped the team. Although we didn't get the win."

bundesliga.com: Was it a special match for you?

Diaby: "I wouldn't say it was a special match. It was just an opportunity to play and show my qualities. As you said, it was a good game. We played against a side who caused us difficulties. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win but I was still satisfied with this match because it was my first start in the Bundesliga and I was able to score. That helped the team."

bundesliga.com: Do you know what 36 km/h (22.3 mph) refers to?

Diaby: "Fastest recorded speed, is that it?"

Not many defenders can match the speed of Moussa Diaby when the Bayer Leverkusen winger is in full flow. - DFL

bundesliga.com: Had you heard this number before?

Diaby: "I can see the numbers on the internet and I have also been told."

bundesliga.com: Is your speed something you have been able to work on in training over time?

Diaby: "I've always been fast. Like you say, it's also something I have practised every day in training. You must never settle for your current abilities; you need to constantly push yourself. That's why I'm always looking to improve every single day."

bundesliga.com: A spot in next season's Champions League is on the line on the final matchday. Is that your aim?

Diaby: "Yes, that's an objective. It's an objective for the club and for all the players. Although it's true we didn't get a good result last weekend at Hertha. It won't be easy. But we'll play our last match with the aim of qualifying for the Champions League. We have no way of knowing what will happen in the other games. We'll focus on ourselves, as we do every weekend. We'll see. In any case, we're confident. Our aim is still to qualify for the Champions League."

Watch: Diaby scored one of his five goals in his debut season vs. Augsburg!

bundesliga.com: Would it be a wasted season if you failed to secure Champions League football for next season?

Diaby: "No, it wouldn't be a wasted season. As you've seen, we've had a great season. We won't ignore all of that on the basis of one match or on qualification. But as I said, our objective is to secure Champions League football. We'll do everything to achieve that. We'll play our match this weekend accordingly and we'll see what the results are."

bundesliga.com: You are in the DFB Cup final. What do you know about it?

Diaby: "At the moment, I haven't heard anything about the final. As you know, it's my first season in the Bundesliga. So, it will also be my first final. We'll see what happens. But at the moment, we're concentrated on our next match against Mainz this weekend, not on the final."

bundesliga.com: Do you have a chance against Bayern Munich?

Diaby: "It's true that we're facing a very strong team in Bayern. They're champions of Germany once again. But as you saw, we got a good result from the match away to Bayern earlier this season. So, it's possible. We're also a strong team and are one of the top five teams in the Bundesliga. There's no reason for us to go into this match with any fear. We'll give 100 percent as we always do and we hope to win the final."

Moussa Diaby helped Bayer Leverkusen beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena this season. - imago

bundesliga.com: What makes Kai Havertz such a special player?

Diaby: "Kai is a very good player. He's a big part of the team, both on and off the pitch. He's helping us a great deal at the moment with his goals and assists. He's an important player for the team."

bundesliga.com: You are good friends with Amine Harit. How do you know each other?

Diaby: "It's true that we're good friends. We met when we were very young while playing for a club near Paris. We've been friends since the age of eight. We now play in the same league. We're still good friends and always in close contact."

bundesliga.com: Did you discuss the Bundesliga with him before coming here?

Diaby: "We spoke about it, I asked him how it was, the league and the club as well. He told me it was a very good league with lots of good teams. Good matches every weekend. That convinced me and today I'm in the Bundesliga and I am very happy."

bundesliga.com: You became a father in February. What does that change?

Diaby: "It changes things. I'm very happy; my wife is very happy. We were two, now we're three. It's everyone's dream to have children and to be able to share moments with them. I'm a happy man today, with a little boy. I'm very happy."