Cologne – In just four and a half years, Lucien Favre has lifted Borussia Mönchengladbach from the nether regions of the Bundesliga into the UEFA Champions League.
'I'm very happy, but things move on now'
The Swiss tactician has earned acclaim from all quarters for his achievements with the Foals, playing some enterprsing football and bringing something of the glory days of the 1970s back to the club. During pre-season, bundesliga.com caught up with the former Hertha Berlin boss to find out how happy he is with the side's 2015/16 season preparations and his long-term ambitions.
bundesliga.com: Lucien Favre, your work is regularly commended by your fans, players, coaches and pundits. How much pride does that give you?
Lucien Favre: I think it's a great honour if it's what other coaches, players and the fans think. Looking at all the other big leagues, you have Jose Mourinho in England and Luis Enrique in Spain who both won trophies last year, whereas I didn't, so that makes it even more of an honour. But of course I'm not solely responsible for Borussia's success. It was only possible through teamwork.
bundesliga.com: Last season was Borussia's best in decades. How highly does qualifying for the Champions League rank among all your other achievements, such as winning the Swiss title twice with FC Zürich?
Favre: [Sporting director] Max Eberl said that qualifying for the Champions League was as good as winning a title and I see it the very same way, but I also don't want to overlook the fact we reached the Europa League twice in recent years. All of this is pretty incredible for a team who, just four years ago, were at rock bottom. In that time you won't find any side who have gone through anywhere near as big a transformation as Borussia. So yes, I'm very happy, but things move on now.
bundesliga.com: And Borussia?
Favre: Last season, we benefitted from Dortmund's weak first half of the season, and then profited from Schalke's poor second half of the campaign. But let me say something more general about the Bundesliga: the Bundesliga is probably the most attractive league in the world today. The proof is that every Saturday so many English people come across the Channel to watch the Bundesliga. That may be down to the extremely high ticket prices in the Premier League, but first and foremost it shows how attractive the Bundesliga is and what quality it offers in every aspect. Whether it’s the games or the atmosphere in the stadiums, or even the infrastructure – it’s all top notch. A great job has been done by everybody involved here in recent years.
Interview by Andreas Kötter