Having seen the first half of his 2021/22 season ruined by a muscle tear, RB Leipzig's attacking schemer Dani Olmo stormed back to fitness at the turn of the year to help Die Roten Bullen achieve DFB Cup glory and a top-four Bundesliga finish.
Now raring to go once again at the dawn of a new campaign that sees him now sporting the No.7 shirt, the 24-year-old Spain international, and fan of all things Croatia, sat down with bundesliga.com to talk Leipzig, Saturday's Supercup and season goals.
bundesliga.com: You were training at a friend's boxing gym over the summer months. What was that like?
Dani Olmo: "I'm really good friends with the MMA fighter Mirko Cro Cop and when I'm in Zagreb, he always invites me to train with him. It’s an honour for me and I really like what they do. Of course, it’s totally different to football, but I think this kind of strength training really helps. It's a little bit of fun, but when we have to work, then we really work. They do their thing and I try to follow a little bit.
"Normally I can just run the warm-up because they are like machines; it’s a bit of a workout. Mirko Cro Cop was an MMA fighter and he is a legend in Croatia and Japan and all the Asian countries."
bundesliga.com: How would you assess last season on a personal level?
Olmo: “Personally, it wasn’t the best season in terms of how it started with so many injuries. I came back from the Olympics and sustained an injury, so I wasn’t able to play more than four or five games in the first six months. It was really tough, but it was also really good to come back in the second half of the season and to be part of the team. Given how it started, the fact that the campaign ended with the [DFB] Cup [win] and Champions League qualification meant that it was a really good season in the end."
bundesliga.com: What are your thoughts on Leipzig's overall performance last term?
Olmo: “I think we have to be very satisfied with what we did and what we achieved: [winning] our first trophy with the club and achieving qualification for the Champions League, and doing so after the first six months were not so good. I think we had a really good second half of the season and we were one of the best in the league. We deserved it because we have a team that has the quality to be up there and we want to show that every year.”
Olmo: “It’s hard because Bayern are consistent every year and we know it’s difficult to compete against them. Our objective is to win every game possible and we know we can do it because we have a team capable of this. That's our goal for next season.”
bundesliga.com: What's needed to stay the course with Bayern over an entire season?
Olmo: “We have to be more consistent in games. This is what you have to do to win a league; you can’t be up and down. In the end, you have teams like Bayern, [Bayer] Leverkusen, and [Borussia] Dortmund who are competing at this level and one or two losses in a row make you drop down the table. The most important thing is to be consistent in games and in getting results. This is one of our objectives."
Watch: Leipzig out for more going into seven Bundesliga campaign
bundesliga.com: Do you think Saturday's Supercup can provide you with some key information about Bayern going into this season's Bundesliga?
Olmo: “The Supercup is a very important game, but it’s only one game. Anything can happen and we have to be ready for this. We have had a good pre-season so far, so we have to be ready.”
Five things we learned from Leipzig 2-2 Bayern
It was a game that had it all, and Bayern's spirited second-half comeback against free-scoring Leipzig has given us some valuable insights into the credentials of the two multi-talented title contenders.
Xavi, Olmo and Openda ease Szoboszlai and Nkunku departures
Xavi Simons and Lois Openda have hit the ground running at RB Leipzig while Dani Olmo continues to shine, ensuring fans of Marco Rose's side haven't missed Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku for long.
Dani Olmo: Primed to lead RB Leipzig to glory
Having stolen the show from Harry Kane, El Mago now looks ready to take on the mantle as Leipzig's attacking talisman.