Union Berlin's Sebastian Andersson is top-scoring for his side with 11 goals in his and the club's debut season in the Bundesliga.
Speaking to bundesliga.com, Andersson discusses this being his best-ever campaign so far, the return of the Bundesliga and the prospect of facing league leaders Bayern Munich in his side's first game back.
bundesliga.com: Sebastian, first of all: how is your knee doing, you had slight problems, are you fully fit again?
Sebastian Andersson: "Yes. The last two weeks have been much better, so good progress, so right now it feels good. That's not any problem anymore like that."
bundesliga.com: Aside from injury, how's life at home at the moment in the current situation?
Andersson: "Oh yeah, my kids have no school so they're at home as well like me so it's a lot of work, a lot of power in the kids so things to do all day. Of course, you have to enjoy a little bit when you can spend time with your family. It's not possible when you train and play football like normal. You're away a lot but now the last months have been good with family."
bundesliga.com: How do you explain this situation to your children, do they already understand what's going on in the world?
Andersson: "I guess that they don't understand the whole picture but I guess that they understand there is a virus in the world that is all over the world. They say 'Yeah, we understand it's Corona', so yeah I think they understand a little bit but not the whole picture of course – how dangerous it can be for some people."
bundesliga.com: Does all of this perhaps even strengthen relationships with friends, families and teammates?
Andersson: "It's hard to say. With teammates, I don't think so because you don't need them so much during these times but, of course, with family and friends you maybe appreciate some of the things more I think, especially with the family and then you call your Grandma and Grandpa a little bit more than you normally do, so yes in the perspective of family, I think it's strengthened it a little bit."
bundesliga.com: What did you miss the most during the long break?
Andersson: "Of course, everything to do things like normal, to go to the store like normal, to go to training like normal, to train with the team – not so many rules everywhere and it's a lot of things that change in your normal daily life. Everything is very strange, so much restriction and rules that I understand of course but it's very strange. Strange times."
bundesliga.com: How much anticipation are you feeling to know you can finally play again after such a long break and against the record champions and league leaders Bayern Munich?
Andersson: "Yeah, of course, everything can happen. You never know what form Bayern Munich are in after this rest and we don't even know which form we have after the rest because we've not trained more than one week together with the whole team. It's been many weeks since the last game but I think everything can happen. We're playing on our pitch – without supporters – but still on our pitch. Then, yeah I think everyone will be motivated to come back and play. Everyone is looking forward to it I think. So I think we have the chance to take points."
bundesliga.com: In the reverse fixture it ended in a narrow 1-2 loss. Is this new start after the break maybe even an advantage for you?
Andersson: "We never know about that right now. We lost the last game but we're still in a good position in the league and our goal is to stay in the league and I think we're in a good position to do that. Yeah, nine games left and I hope we play the rest of the games to show that we belong in the first league this year."
bundesliga.com: How will you tackle this game? The preparation and training was and is fundamentally different from before the corona break?
Andersson: "Yes, I never thought it was going to be so quick from the decision to one-and-a-half weeks later we're going to play the game, I thought two maybe two-and-a-half weeks, but you have to accept it and you have to do everything you can to be prepared. It's the same for everyone so it's no advantage for anyone. I think the team who can change as quickly as possible to accept this, they're going to perform the best in the first games."
bundesliga.com: You surely also need great mental strength, because after Bayern you're going to Hertha in the Olympiastadion. The prestigious city duel. Which game do you consider more important, the game against Bayern or Hertha?
Andersson: "For me, I think many of the people around me will say the same – the Hertha game! It's the same city so it's a lot of feelings in this game so I say the Hertha game."
bundesliga.com: What do you think about your chances against Bayern?
Andersson: "Everyone has a chance in every game. I think it's the toughest game you can play in the league and Bayern have been very, very good the last… I don't know how many games they have since they lost but many, many games so it's… You know it from before they're a very strong team, even in Europe, so it's going to be very tough of course, but you always have a small chance to make things in these games."
Watch: Highlights of Union's narrow 2-1 defeat at the Allianz Arena
bundesliga.com: At the moment you are in 11th place with 30 points. What is the season goal, just to prevent relegation or even more?
Andersson: "Our goal is to stay in the league if it's after the relegation play-off or not. Of course, we want to come as high as possible in the league too but the goal before the season was to stay in the league and we stick to that. I hope we don't have to play relegation as well. It would be nice to not play relegation this year as well, even if it was a nice atmosphere, a nice feeling last year. When we won and it was amazing but we want to choose that we don't play relegation this year. I hope so."
bundesliga.com: You are a Sweden international, 28 years old, playing very successfully in one of the best leagues in Europe. Is this the best Sebastian Andersson ever?
Andersson: "Right now, I don't know! But, this season, of course, it's been a good season for me so I have to say it's been my best season so far but right now we'll see after the break. I hope I'm still at the same level. I'll come back otherwise."
bundesliga.com: You have scored 11 goals and added three assists in 25 games in your first Bundesliga season and are currently among the league's top scorers. Did you ever believe that things could go so well in the Bundesliga?
Andersson: "After 25 games, I didn't think I was going to have 14 scoring points, but at the same point, I didn't think about how many goals I'd make. You always have a number of goals in your head that you want to reach. No, to be honest, to do that many goals after 25 games I didn't think about that, no."
bundesliga.com: For Union, you scored 12 goals in the promotion season last year. How many goals did you set for your first Bundesliga season?
Andersson: "I wanted to reach 10 and now I'm over that I have to reconsider the number. We'll see, but it feels good and 11 is a good number this far, of course."
bundesliga.com: What was your most beautiful, emotional moment in the Bundesliga so far?
Andersson: "I have to choose the relegation play-off win. After the relegation game, that was without exception the best feeling, when we go up in the league when the game is finished. It was amazing really. Nothing beats that."
bundesliga.com: Which was your most beautiful goal in the Bundesliga and why?
Andersson: "I don't score so many beautiful goals! It's more clinical goals. That's a hard question, I don't even remember the goals. I have to choose the first goal because it's the best feeling I think, when I scored the first goal. That was my best feeling."
Watch: Andersson's first Bundesliga goal - in a 1-1 draw with Augsburg!
bundesliga.com: Please describe the goal!
Andersson: "Augsburg lose the ball, we played directly over the top and [Sebastian] Polter had the ball and it's me and him against one defender and he played between the legs and I put the ball in, so it was two strikers who co-operate. So yeah, it was a very nice feeling."
bundesliga.com: What are your special wishes for the future, both on and off the pitch?
Andersson: "Privately that my family can be healthy and that the whole earth is going to be the same as it was before. On the pitch, I think the same. Come back and be as strong as it was before. Those are my wishes."