You could not have written the script for Holger Badstuber. After joining FC Schalke 04 on a six-month loan deal from FC Bayern München in January, the 27-year-old defender made his Bundesliga debut in a royal-blue jersey against none other than his parent club.
Lasting almost an hour, Badstuber epitomised his temporary employer's robust efforts in the 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena - his first Bundesliga start since 6 February 2016 no less.
Following four injury-ravaged years at Bayern, attentions have now turned to re-establishing himself on the Bundesliga scene with Schalke.
Question: How did the game play out in your mind beforehand?
Holger Badstuber: It was special and an unfamiliar situation for me. I tried not to think about it too much so that I could focus on myself and the team, and deliver a good performance. I think it went really well for us. At the end of the day, it's only a football match. I want to play and always be in a position to do so. It's step-by-step for me after that.
Question: How did you react when the coach told you you'd be making your first Bundesliga appearance for Schalke against Bayern?
Badstuber: These things can go belly-up, but it went pretty well. In the end, though, I'm not happy with the draw because we could have won.
Question: Why were you replaced in the 59th minute?
Badstuber: It was my first game, and against Bayern at that so you really have to run hard and get stuck in. We've got a lot of games coming up and I don't want to take any risks. I felt something, but it was nothing. I'm good to go again in the coming days.
Question: Did the applause you received from the 75,000 fans when you went off give you goosebumps?
Badstuber: Obviously the love the fans have shown me in the past and today is nice. I don't expect it. I was very happy. It was a nice result for all concerned.
Question: You patted your chest in response…
Badstuber: The Bayern fans applauded me, and I know all about the rivalry. It was really special for me. It wasn't about the clubs, but rather the gesture made by the fans. I wanted to reciprocate.