Timo Werner is looking to fire RB Leipzig past Bayerrn Munich to Supercup glory on Saturday. - © Bongarts/Getty Images
Timo Werner is looking to fire RB Leipzig past Bayerrn Munich to Supercup glory on Saturday. - © Bongarts/Getty Images

Timo Werner: "RB Leipzig always want to achieve more"


Timo Werner wants to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet, starting with the Supercup against Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Werner lifted the DFB Cup with Leipzig in June, scoring five goals in five games on the way to beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the final, with Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai finding the target that day.

Nkunku and Szoboszlai have since left for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, but Werner is excited to play alongside some of the players signed to replace them, such as Benjamin Sesko, Lois Openda and Xavi Simons.

Can they fire Leipzig to Supercup glory? bundesliga.com sat down with the Germany striker to find out… 

Timo Werner on…

…what Leipzig took from last season

Werner: “There was more up for grabs than we ended up achieving. I think overall for the season, we would've wanted to get off to a better start, which would've given us a bit more momentum, but then also halfway through the Rückrunde we dropped points in some easy games, which meant we didn’t have enough to challenge at the top of the table.”

…his goals for the new season

Werner: “You always want to achieve more, even in terms of just scoring goals. You always want to improve, you want things to get going, obviously last year with my first bigger injury, that was something new for me after 10 years without one, it was strange finding my way back into things. But now it’s a new season, I’m fit again, and the preseason I had this year is something I’ve not had in the last two years because of injuries or other things. So I want to do more this year.” 

Watch: A century of Werner goals in the Bundesliga

…his goalscoring tally last season           

Werner: “What changed? I think things changed a bit from when I was here before. So the four years I was at Leipzig before, our game changed every year because we had different coaches, and different players. I think last year was definitely down to coming into a new team and having to adapt, even if I’d been there before. The team was almost half new too, but despite that I’ve personally had better years and you can always improve, and the main reason definitely isn’t because the system had changed a lot or because there were a lot of new players.”

…how he improves

Werner: “My first goal was to go into the season as physically fit as possible, and also mentally, and then of course you also have to think about getting in front of goal, how you finish off your chances, what can I improve there, how I get in those positions in the first place to get those chances. Those are the kind of things you think about and you take them into preseason.”

…on his favourite Bundesliga moment

Werner: “As a young kid in 2007, Stuttgart won the Bundesliga. As a young Stuttgart fan, that was really special to experience. I think I was 10 or 11 years old, it was really cool to see… yeah, Mario [Gomez]. At the age I was, he was a great role model, and then they won the title so they were the best team in Germany. It’s tough to top that! I was actually playing for Stuttgart’s academy at the time, I think we were at a tournament and there was a big screen there for the last game of the season, because it was quite tight with Schalke and Stuttgart at the top of the table, so it was great to celebrate with my teammates. Super!”

Mario Gomez fired VfB Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title in 2007 with 14 goals in 25 games. - Bongarts/Getty Images

…how departures have affected the team    

Werner: “I think you have to take that into account, but I think it’s something Leipzig have had over the last three or four years. I think after I left you had Marcel Sabitzer or [Dayot] Upamecano leaving, and it happened before with Naby Keita, I think there have always been parts of the team who have left. I think we have another very good squad this year, we’ve bought some great talents but also mature players, but at the same time you can’t expect that they’ll come in and replace those who have left perfectly from the first game. They all need time. I think [Christopher Nkunku] needed a couple of years to get to the level where he ended up. [Dominik Szoboszlai] needed a year to play the football he was playing. [Konrad Laimer] played at a great level here for six years, but he also had a year or two at the start to get used to things, so you can’t demand that the players who have come in play to their best level immediately. However, they’re players who definitely can get to that level in future and help keep the team where we currently are.”

…how the changes affect him personally

Werner: “It’s hard to say. You have to look first at who’s going to be playing, and which formation we’ll be using, I think that was something that kept changing last year throughout because of injuries, and you have to keep getting used to playing with different players who have different styles. I was playing as No.10 for a while, then when Christo was injured I was playing up top with André [Silva], then Dani Olmo got injured and suddenly someone else was playing behind us, so there was always a lot of rotation going on because of injuries, I think we’ll just have to see what happens, who can play where. Maybe not so much [Benjamin] Sesko, but Loïs [Openda] can play across multiple positions in the forward line, [Christoph Baumgartner] can play a lot of positions, Emil [Forsberg] is still here. So we’ll be very flexible like we have been in the last few years.”

…what song he would sing for his initiation

Werner: “Ha, good question. A pop song or something. Last year, even though I’d already sung, I had to do another one and I did ‘Tequila’, which was a bit unimaginative of me, but it was funny, the others liked it. But yeah, I wouldn’t know what I’d sing this time.”

…what Bayern will learn from last season 

Werner: “Good question. I think you’ll likely see Bayern react to last season, perhaps they won’t take things so lightly and make the same mistakes of thinking they’ll always end up on top because they saw that if Dortmund hadn’t made quite so many mistakes, they would have easily won the title, and we were the same. I think Bayern will notice the fact there are teams who can keep up with them and push them over long periods of the season, so I don’t think they’ll make the same mistake . I think they’ve realised they have some real challengers in the Bundesliga - and obviously on the other hand that’s not great for us, because if Bayern play every game with the level of concentration that they usually have, then they’re very tough to beat.” 

Watch: Get ready for Bayern vs. Leipzig in the Supercup!

…on the Supercup

Werner: “What does ‘full of confidence’ really mean? I think the Supercup is a trophy that you want to win, but also for us it’s a very good first test for us to see how it’s going with the new side. I think it’s good for us to feel how far along we are, in a game at a high level, to see how we can compete with a really good team, yeah.”

…on Leipzig’s recent trophies

Werner: “I think the club definitely knows now how much fun it is to win trophies. I think everyone wants to stay in that place and build on it. I don’t think anyone sees it as a formality that we’re going to win a trophy every year, even if that would be nice, but you can tell now that we’re a club that has the potential to win trophies. Even just knowing that helps a lot to get the best out of the whole club, and out of the team itself.”

…on Leipzig's Bundesliga opener against Bayer Leverkusen

Werner: “I don’t think the fixture list gave us many favours with Bayern in the Supercup and then Leverkusen away in the first game! They’re two very tough games, but when you’re just thinking about Leverkusen, the fact is we want to finish high up in the table, we want to qualify for the Champions League, we want to continue the good runs we had in recent years by winning the DFB Cup and always improving in the league, and if you want to do that then you have to go into games like Leverkusen away wanting to win, and knowing you can win. That’s how we’ll go into the game. They definitely haven’t got worse over the summer, they’ve improved, and so it’ll be a good game right at the start of the season.”