Dortmund - Greek defender Sokratis made his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund in their 2-1 victory against Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday. The centre-half showed the composure in his passing and tackling which have brought him 41 Greece caps and persuaded the Yellow-Blacks to open the chequebook and sign him this summer from Werder Bremen.
After his unflappable start, far sterner tests await the 25-year-old Greek, in particular his side's next Bundesliga match away in Bremen where he will face his former employers. Under Robin Dutt, Werder have won their first two games of the season, and will prove an important gauge of Klopp's side's progression from last season. In the following interview, Sokratis discusses the victory over Braunschweig and Friday's visit to pastures old.
Question: How did you find your home debut?
Sokratis: It went well in the end, we had plenty of chances to score. It started off in a difficult fashion, because now teams know how good Dortmund are, they play very deep and make it tough if you don't score early. They get more and more confident the more they repel you.
Question: Was it a bit of a surprise to be selected today?
Sokratis: No, I spoke to the Coach [Jürgen Klopp] two days ago and he told me I'd be playing. As soon as I knew I was going to play, I made sure I prepared well and was ready to give 100% for the team. Obviously, I try to ensure that I help the team win every game I play.
Question:On Friday you return to Werder Bremen to play your old team. What are your feelings on your first appearance in Dortmund colours at your former club?
Sokratis: It'll be quite special, I spent two fantastic years there. Now though, I'm a Dortmund player, and I'm going there to take three points and win. We're taking this season game-by-game and it happens that we're in Bremen on Friday.
Question: Do you remain in contact with any Bremen players?
Sokratis: Yes, like I said, I spent two great years there, and I'm still in touch with a few of them.
Question: Will that change on Friday?
Sokratis: Yes, Friday is different, there's no friendship on Friday - we want to bring the points back to Dortmund.
Dortmund - Greeks bearing gifts are often to be feared. Sokratis, Borussia Dortmund's Greek centre-half is blessed with gifts in abundance. For his Dortmund team-mates, his gifts are more admired than feared. They come in the form of composure and a tough-tackling on-field presence.
The centre-half has arrived in Dortmund after a hitherto peripatetic career, crossing the Adriatic from his home nation of Greece over to Italy, before heading north into Germany.