Dortmund - There is one man for whom Borussia Dortmund's Supercup date with FC Bayern München on Wednesday cannot come soon enough. Neven Subotic is hoping to make his first competitive appearance since 10 November 2013 and a 2-1 loss away to VfL Wolfsburg.
The Serbian damaged cruciate knee ligaments in the defeat and has been unable to play since, but is clearly enjoying pre-season, where he has even managed to notch a goal in BVB's 5-1 win over Rot-Weiß Essen. The centre-half, and veteran of two previous Supercups against Bayern, took some time away from the training pitch to discuss a variety of subjects with local newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten, and specifically, answered the questions their readers had posed...
Question: How are you doing, Neven? Are you still suffering any problems with your knee?
Subotic: I’m doing well. Sometimes it doesn’t respond quite as I’d like, but I can train without any pain. I don’t think about it anymore and I can commit 100 per cent, which is the most important thing. So, generally, it’s all looking up.
Question: How do you rate your chances of getting a starting place back in your central defensive position?
Subotic: It’s going to be really difficult! This season, we’ve got four excellent centre-backs [Subotic, Mats Hummels, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Matthias Ginter] – and the other three have played a lot more than me in the last year. Two won the FIFA World Cup, one got to the last 16, and I wasn’t even playing. Having said that, though, there are opportunities for everyone, and the coach [Jürgen Klopp] will definitely give us all a fair chance. We’ll have to wait and see.
Question: Tell us about the four new signings [Ciro Immobile, Adrian Ramos, Matthias Ginter, Dong-Won Ji] off the field. Have they fitted into the squad’s atmosphere?
Subotic: Yeah, completely. They’ve made a good start. They’re good lads; some are quieter, some are a bit more extroverted, after all, everyone’s different. The most positive thing is that they’ve all bought into the BVB philosophy, and more important than off the field is what they do on the field. They’ll show their best performances and that they belong to this club, that’s for sure.
Question: With whom in the BVB set-up do you get on best?
Subotic: I get on really well with Mitchell Langerak. I was brought up in the USA, and try to speak to him in English as much as possible, so it’s good having him around. I also get on really well with Milos Jojic. He comes from Serbia like me, so we’re always chatting away.
Question: The UEFA Champions League draw is just around the corner; is there anyone you’d really like to face?
Subotic: Not really. Everyone at this level deserves to be there, and so you can’t be too careful. There are no bad teams. I’ll be happy whatever happens.
Question: On Sunday, as your final warm-up before the Supercup against Bayern, you’re playing Liverpool FC at Anfield...
Subotic: Well, the thing is, I usually can’t remember my dreams! I’ve certainly always dreamed of playing at Anfied; it’s part of such a rich footballing culture, and I’ve heard that, just like in Dortmund, the fans are quite special. You don’t often find a stadium which can come close to the Signal Iduna Park for atmosphere.