World Cup winner Christoph Kramer enjoyed an afternoon for the scrapbook on Matchday 1
World Cup winner Christoph Kramer enjoyed an afternoon for the scrapbook on Matchday 1

Kramer: 'I was really up for it'

Mönchengladbach - Trailing 1-0 to VfB Stuttgart with time fast running out on the Matchday 1 clock, Borussia Mönchengladbach head coach Lucien Favre delved into his pocket to reveal the ultimate trump card in Christoph Kramer.

The celebrated FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder had only been on the pitch for 17 minutes before serving up the equalising goal, and was only too happy to discuss his heroic cameo with the assembled media after the game...

Question: Congratulations on that fine finish. Is that something new we're seeing or is it something you've always had in the locker? Did you intend to hit it like that?

Christoph Kramer: I wanted to find the bottom left-hand corner. It looked like I'd picked out the spot perfectly, but that wasn’t the case. It isn’t my thing to shoot first-time, so I had to control the ball to give myself a proper sight of goal.

Question: How did you feel when you joined the action?

Kramer: I was really up for it. I was full of adrenalin and delighted to get a run-out. I settled into the game well. You do things you're not used to sometimes.

Question: You made an immediate impact with a delightful chipped pass to Thorgan Hazard, who hit the post.

Kramer: That one really stands out (laughs). It was good to see.

Question:Andre Hahn said that's the sort of thing World Champions are all about...

Kramer: I'd love it if he was right.

Question: He also said you told him before the game that you wanted to keep your run going. You scored in back-to-back games at the end of last season...

Kramer: That was meant more as a joke rather than anything serious, but it's great if it can continue.

Question: You watched over 70 minutes of the game from the bench. Why wouldn't the ball go in the net? What did you make of the game overall?

Kramer: Before they went 1-0 up, we really ought to have scored. In that respect, it feels even better to finally get the breakthrough so late on. The fans were getting desperate. Then the ball went in and we avoided starting the season with a defeat. The draw feels like a win. It's OK after playing earlier in the week. If they'd have been league games, we'd have collected seven points. That's decent enough.

Question: You were honoured before the game and your name was shouted from the rooftops. Was it a bit disappointing to then start on the bench?

Kramer: No - I'd already spoken about it with the coach. My game's about fitness. I still don't have 90 minutes in me, so it wasn't a problem. I'm not the sort of player who can play with only 50 per cent fitness and make one telling contribution. At the moment, I've got one half or 60 minutes in me. I want to build it up bit by bit. I'll be back to 100 per cent in two weeks tops.