Wolfsburg - “Only once” had Luiz Gustavo trained with his new teammates before being thrown in at the deep end on Matchday 2, VfL Wolfsburg assistant coach Andries Jonker told bundesliga.com. “He’s a strong player and a good lad,” said the Dutchman, who knew Gustavo all too well from their time together at FC Bayern Munich.
After just one training session, Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking asked his new recruit if he felt up to facing Schalke 04. “I said 'yes',” revealed Gustavo to reporters waiting to catch a glimpse of the latest Wolf in the pack. The Confederations Cup player, who did not feature regularly under Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, was clearly delighted to be playing football again.
Question: Herr Gustavo, how do you feel after your first game for Wolfsburg?
Luiz Gustavo:(Smiles) Very good. I’ve played football!
Question: How do you rate your new team?
Gustavo: They're a very good team
Question: You gave the impression that you’ve been playing with them for ages...
Gustavo: I’m a simple guy and I know what I can do. My teammates also made it easy for me, though. Wolfsburg are a top club after all.
Question: Wolfsburg have beaten a Champions League participant 4-0. Is that a sign?
Gustavo: Stop, no. It’s not so easy. Bayern and Dortmund are both leading the way. Behind them, there are many sides who want to play in Europe and also have the quality for it. But we also have very good players and we want to keep together and play good football. And of course we want to be challenging up there.
Question: How helpful was it to have two compatriots in the team in Diego and Naldo?
Gustavo: I’ve only just got here and hardly had any time to talk at length with anybody, but I’m sure it will be helpful when settling in and getting used to a new city.
Question: And on the field, you have a Brazilian spine...
Gustavo: No, it doesn’t matter if there are Brazilians are not. We’ve got many good players and we want to form a unit. Without the team, I cannot do anything by myself.
Question: When did the coach decide that you’d play?
Gustavo: He asked me whether I felt up to it and I said 'yes'.
Question: You were replaced with 15 minutes to go. Did you not have enough energy for the full 90 minutes.
Gustavo: That was perfectly fine. Because of the Confederations Cup, I’d missed part of pre-season. I think I still need one or two weeks before I’m fully fit.
Question: The fans have already taken you to their hearts. What else can they expect from you?
Gustavo: This was just the beginning. My teammates and I still have to get used to one another. Also, I don’t have a home here in Wolfsburg yet. Once all that is sorted out, and then when I have my girlfriend here, I will feel a lot better.
Jürgen Blöhs reporting from Wolfsburg