Not many players looking to play world-class football will turn their heads away from RB Leipzig. After a second-place finish in their maiden Bundesliga campaign and Champions League football to come, Leipzig is back on the football map. During a summer of strengthening, Bruma is one player who has joined one of Europe’s hottest teams ahead of the 2017/18 season. But despite Leipzig’s success last season, the Portuguese winger's decision was helped after speaking with a certain Bundesliga legend at his former club.
The winger was presented to the media in Leipzig with the club’s integration office Raquel Rosa by his side acting as interpreter, and the Portugal U21 international is keen to learn German and do away with the need for an interpreter as quickly as possible to aid his integration into the Bundesliga and squad life.
There is, however, one word of German that certainly caused Bruma’s ears to prick up: “Podolski.” Currently at opposite ends of their careers, the 22-year-old was a teammate of the former Cologne and Bayern Munich star whilst at Galatasaray in Turkey.
Although Bruma names compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo as his footballing idol on and off the pitch, it was his former teammate at Galatasary and legend of both Bundesliga and Germany football as a whole, whose wisdom he sought out when considering his move to Germany.
“Lukas told me that it was a move I had to make, that the Bundesliga is one of the greatest leagues in the world and that RB Leipzig is a top club.” Bruma listened intently to those words from World Cup winner “Poldi” and made the move. No doubt a logical move for a 22-year-old, with the Bundesliga a renowned breeding ground for young talent to develop, including new teammate Timo Werner.
Finally with his new team
Fresh from securing the bronze boot at the European U21 Championship in Poland, Bruma has finally joined up with his new Leipzig teammates ahead of their training camp in Seefeld, Austria. The 22-year-old, whose full name is Armindo Tue Na Nangna, wants to use the pre-season to lay claim to a position in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s starting XI when the Bulls commence their second Bundesliga campaign at Schalke on 19 August.
“I’m really pleased to be here,” said the Guinea-Bissau native. “I want to do everything I can to help the team be successful this season. That means playing as much as possible, preferably on the left, but that’s the coach’s decision at the end of the day.”
It’s a statement that throws down a challenge to both himself and the current incumbent on the Leipzig left wing: Emil Forsberg, the Bundesliga’s assist king from 2016/17 with 19. It would seemingly take some monumental pre-season performances for Bruma to displace Forsberg in the team come the start of the 2017/18, but the Portuguese is doing everything he can, both on and off the pitch, to make an impression.
Watch: Leipzig's magic triangle of Forsberg, Keita and Werner