Ramy Bensebaini has been a match-winner for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayern Munich before already. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty
Ramy Bensebaini has been a match-winner for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayern Munich before already. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty

Ramy Bensebaini on facing Bayern Munich, developing under Marco Rose and more


Ramy Bensebaini knows a thing or two about beating Bayern Munich. Since joining Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2019, he has faced the record Bundesliga champions three times and come out on the winning side on two occasions.

Sitting down with bundesliga.com before facing the league leaders on Matchday 32 - with Bayern closing in on another title - Bensebaini recalls his two-goal heroics which beat Bayern last season, why he's enjoying himself so much as a Foal and what he has learned from playing under head coach Marco Rose...

bundesliga.com: You have scored two goals in your last three Bundesliga matches. Are you in the form of your life at the moment?

Ramy Bensebaini: "Yes, I'm in good form, I'm playing with confidence. In addition, we're getting the right results - we're winning matches. Even though the game against Hoffenheim was a bit complicated. But in general, I feel great, yes."

bundesliga.com: Why do you carry such a big goal threat? Is it because you started out as a midfielder?

Bensebaini: "Yes, I started in midfield as a youth player. My coach then moved me to centre-back. So I played at centre-back for a while. And then when I arrived in France at Montpellier, they played me on the left. So I ended up at left-back."

bundesliga.com: Does Marco Rose expect you to utilise your strength in the air in an attacking sense?

Bensebaini: "Yes, he expects me to defend well above all else, as I'm a defender. So that's my role in the first instance. But if I can help the team in an offensive sense too, why not? If I'm able to get up the pitch, deliver passes, score goals - that's good for everyone."

bundesliga.com: The timing has worked out well - you have hit a good run of form and Gladbach could end up qualifying for the Europa League...

Bensebaini: "Yes, we'll try to do so. Even though this year has been quite complicated. We have three matches left - we'll try to get nine points out of nine. We'll see where we end up. If we qualify, that would be great."

Watch: Bensebaini on target in big Bielefeld win

bundesliga.com: It must help having so many French speakers at the club. But in general, why is the team spirit so good at Gladbach?

Bensebaini: "Yes, it's very important to have a good atmosphere in the dressing room. There are eight or nine players who speak French at the club. So that's good for me as it has helped me to settle in. But we all get on well, we're all friends. If that translates onto the pitch, that's good for everyone."

bundesliga.com: Could this team spirit make the difference in the final three matches?

Bensebaini: "Yes, it always influences your results. If you have a cohesive group, and everyone gets on well, that will always be an advantage. I think we have a great group, I think we all enjoy working with one another. We'll see what happens. We did it last year, so why not?"

bundesliga.com: Why did you decide to join Borussia Mönchengladbach?

Bensebaini: "I had three great years at Rennes, I won a Coupe de France while I was there. But I wanted a change of scene; I wanted to try a new league. I had a few offers, the coach called me after the Africa Cup of Nations and explained the project at the club. They were able to explain it to me very well. And so I chose Borussia Mönchengladbach. I don't regret my decision at all. Everything is going well, which is great for me."

Ramy Bensebaini is feeling right at home in Borussia Mönchengladbach colours. - DFL

bundesliga.com: You are Algerian and have played in both Belgium and France. What makes the Bundesliga unique?

Bensebaini: "It's different from Ligue 1 in a physical sense, but also in terms of the pressing. All players press at the same time here. In my case for example, I'm expected to press the opposition right back - it's something you do as a team. So it's a very tactical game. The main differences are physical and tactical."

bundesliga.com: Your next opponents are Bayern Munich. How much would you enjoy spoiling the title party?

Bensebaini: "Our motivation is not to stop them; it's to get a good result for ourselves. We're in the race to qualify for a European spot. If we're able to beat Bayern, we'll increase our chances of doing so. So, in the first instance, we want to beat Bayern for our own objectives. And if we can spoil the party in the process, we take it."

bundesliga.com: What makes the Bayern fixture so special?

Bensebaini: "They're the best club in Germany, perhaps even in the world. They have lots of quality, lots of good players. Every team here in Germany enjoys playing them and trying to beat them. I've managed to beat them twice already. So, let's see what happens in the next game. All good things come in threes."

Watch: Meet Ramy Bensebaini!

bundesliga.com: What makes Robert Lewandowski so unique as a player?

Bensebaini: "He's an attacker with lots of quality. His main strength is knowing where to position himself - being in the right place at the right time and his ability to find the back of the net. He's part of a great team with lots of good players. He can only be the best in the world."

bundesliga.com: What are your memories of your first game against Bayern, when you scored twice and won the match for your team?

Bensebaini: "There was the penalty, lots of things happened - I scored two goals, the penalty, celebrating with the supporters at the end. I scored in the 92nd minute, I think. It was a great moment. It was the first brace of my career."

bundesliga.com: Were you proud?

Bensebaini: "Of course, of course. I was very proud. I had scored against Augsburg before, I think."

Watch: Bensebaini's brace to beat Bayern in 2019/20!

bundesliga.com: As you say, you bagged your first against Augsburg. You scored your second and third Bundesliga goals in your fifth appearance. And against Bayern of all teams...

Bensebaini: "Yes, those were my second and third goals. For the first one, I was left unmarked in front of goal and headed it in. It was unstoppable. For my second goal, I think [Marcus] Thuram was fouled by Javi Martinez. There were only a couple of minutes left in the game. I had to take the penalty because Lars Stindl wasn't on the pitch. I had forgotten but the goalkeeper reminded me. I took it just like I take them in training. It went in the back of the net. I was very proud."

bundesliga.com: Describe the emotions following that game - there was the penalty, the pressure, the last minute, facing Manuel Neuer, the explosion of joy...

Bensebaini: "I remember putting the ball down, looking up, and seeing Manuel Neuer. He covered almost the entire goal, he's that big. He covers everything. At the beginning, I didn't know where I was going to put it. I was still thinking about it. In the end, I decided to go for the right corner because I can generate more power that way. I had already scored a goal so it wouldn't have been the end of the world had I missed the penalty. So I went for power, and it ended up in the back of the net. He was very close to getting a finger to it. But I scored. I remember celebrating with everyone after. It was extraordinary."

bundesliga.com: You were victorious against Bayern this season too, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2. How did you manage to turn it around?

Bensebaini: "It was my first match back after recovering from Coronavirus. So it was a bit difficult for me - I remember I was only meant to play 60 minutes. In the end, I continued until the 89th minute - there was one minute left on the clock, I think. When we went 2-0 down, we told ourselves not to give up, to continue playing our football. We'd had chances at that point, even though we hadn't been able to take them. So we continued playing our football and putting them under pressure. We pressed them high and won a good number of balls up the pitch. We scored three goals in the end - not bad."

bundesliga.com: How are you so calm in those pressure moments?

Bensebaini: "There are two sides to my personality. I'm calm off the pitch but not calm on it."

bundesliga.com: How much do you like Germany?

Bensebaini: "Yes, I like it a lot. It's a bit difficult with the language. I don't understand it. I'm struggling to learn German as we always speak French in the dressing room. But I like the life here a lot, I live nearby. I'm not a huge fan of the weather, as it's not that good. But I like it a lot - I feel very comfortable here."

bundesliga.com: Why do you think Gladbach are Bayern's bogey team?

Bensebaini: "I don't remember what happened before I came to the club. But since I arrived, we have won two of the three games against them. Two out of three. It's a game of football ultimately. We'll make sure we are at 100 percent, as always. We'll see what happens at the end of the game."

Ramy Bensebaini will be looking to keep up his impressive record against Bayern Munich for Borussia Mönchengladbach. - DFL

bundesliga.com: Why will you beat Bayern on Saturday?

Bensebaini: "Because we have to win in order to stay on course for Europa League qualification."

bundesliga.com: What role has Marco Rose played in your development as a player?

Bensebaini: "Away from football, he's a great person. He's someone who knows his players well, knows how to motivate them and how to advise them. He has spoken to me a lot. He told me that I'm here because I have the quality and because the club needs my qualities. He was able to build my confidence, and bring out the more offensive side to my game. When I was at Rennes, I was offensive but I didn't score many goals or play many decisive passes. So he was able to develop that side of my game. He also helped me to develop my defensive game tactically too - when to stay and when to go. I've progressed a lot with him. It's difficult to tell you exactly where I have developed because there are so many things. But he has helped me a lot."

bundesliga.com: Putting aside injuries, do you think Gladbach are a top four, top five Bundesliga side?

Bensebaini: "Yes, because we have a good group, as we showed last year. And because we have the qualities to do so. We experienced a rough period this season where we didn't get the results we wanted. But that's football. We dropped points in games we should have won, like against Cologne, Mainz, Augsburg. Lots of matches where we should have taken the three points but didn't. Had we done that, we would be close to the top four at the moment."

Ramy Bensebaini (l.) believes he has progressed massively under Marco Rose (r.) at Borussia Mönchengladbach. - imago images

bundesliga.com: What are your dreams for the remainder of the season?

Bensebaini: "It's not really my dream, but my objective is to finish in the European places at the end of the season. We'll see about next season."

bundesliga.com: How would you describe yourself?

Bensebaini: "My personality? Do you know the Algerian personality? It's difficult. I'm very nice, very calm. I think you can see that. But you can't provoke me. I'm very calm, but if you get under my skin, I cannot control myself. That's the Algerian in me, you could say. But generally in life, I'm relaxed and nice. All good."