Frankfurt - He may be travelling the world on the Formula 1 circuit for much of the year, but wherever he goes, four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel makes sure he keeps close ties with the club that lies closest to his heart, Eintracht Frankfurt.
In an exclusive interview, the 26-year-old Red Bull driver explains to bundesliga.com how he became a fan of the Eagles and reveals his hopes for the second half of the season.
bundesliga.com: Sebastian Vettel, which is more likely: that you win the next three Formula 1 World Championships or that FC Bayern München win the next three Bundesliga titles?
Sebastian Vettel: FC Bayern are extremely strong at the moment and they're definitely the best side in the Bundesliga. Their prospects look great right now. They probably have the strongest squad as well, but to be successful it's just as important to gel and work together, which they seem to do too. It's not all that different to Formula 1. I believe I'm surrounded by quality staff, and we have to make sure the atmosphere is right.
bundesliga.com: Is there any particular Bundesliga club that you to tip to end the season on a high?
Vettel: I really want Eintracht Frankfurt to do well after their topsy-turvy first half of the campaign, so we don't have to worry about relegation right until the end. I can also see [FC] Schalke 04 and [VfL] Wolfsburg finishing strongly.
bundesliga.com: How do you follow the Bundesliga while travelling the world for most of the year? Do you ever get the chance to go to games?
Vettel: Obviously, I'd love to go every weekend, but when I'm not there I do what everyone else does: I watch the Bundesliga on television and try to stay up to date with all the latest results online.
bundesliga.com: How did you come to be such an avid fan of Eintracht Frankfurt?
Vettel: I grew up in Heppenheim, which is less than half an hour's drive from Frankfurt. Eintracht were the only big club in that area at the time and they were the first professional team I saw at the Waldstadion [now the Commerzbank Arena]. Once you fall for a club, you stick with it forever.
bundesliga.com: Now that they have only two competitions to focus on having in the DFB Cup, how do you think Frankfurt will fare in the Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League this season?
Vettel: I hope we can get as far as we can in the Europa League, especially after having played such great football in the group stages. The Bundesliga is the priority, though, and I'm sure we can do well and avoid relegation.
Interview by Alexander Dionisius