Cologne – The wait is very nearly over! This weekend, the 53rd Bundesliga season kicks off with an absolute highlight.
On Saturday evening, all the world's eyes will be on Borussia Dortmund's clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach – the clash of the Borussias; two pretenders to FC Bayern München's throne. Ahead of what promises to be an intriguing opening battle, bundesliga.com caught up with two of the game's likely protagonists Nuri Sahin and Yann Sommer at the Gamescom fair in Cologne, where they simulated the game on EA Sports' FIFA 16 as a prelude to the main event.
bundesliga.com: The battle of the Borussias is the top game of the opening weekend. Nuri Sahin, why do you think BVB will come out on top?
Nuri Sahin: Because we're at home. I think we've gained new impetus with the new coach and it's important to start off with a win at home. That's definitely how we'll be approaching the game.
'It doesn't get any better'
bundesliga.com: And how do you see the game going, Yann Sommer?
Yann Sommer: It's always interesting to see how the season starts, for both teams. We've had a long pre-season and a lot of new players have arrived, so it's going to be exciting. We're playing in Dortmund and the atmosphere's going to be great, and that's a clear advantage for BVB. But let's wait and see who gets into the game best. I'm eager to find out!
bundesliga.com: Why are you so excited about the Bundesliga starting again?
Sommer: We've worked really hard and every footballer loves it when the season gets underway again. We've had a great pre-season and are now really looking forward to a great game against Borussia Dortmund in a great atmosphere. It doesn't get any better.
bundesliga.com: How excited are you, Nuri?
Sahin: It's definitely been a long break – a long time without football. I think every single one of us needs a dose of Bundesliga, so we're delighted that it's starting again.
bundesliga.com: It's ten years since you made your Bundesliga debut. How do you remember being the Bundesliga's all-time youngest debutant?
Sahin: It was the day on which my dreams came true! It was the beginning of everything. It's something I'm never going to forget.
bundesliga.com: Yann, Dortmund are yet to decide who will be their number one goalkeeper at the weekend. Would you expect to be walking out alongside Roman Weidenfeller, or your compatriot Roman Bürki?
Sommer: That's a good question. I can only say good things about Bürki. I know him well from the national team and I know that he's a great goalkeeper and a great guy who certainly has the potential to play for Dortmund.
'It's always important that you make a good impression'
bundesliga.com: There are four Swiss players in the Gladbach squad now. Do you speak Swiss German there now?
Sommer: Definitely you do hear a lot of Swiss German being spoken! It just goes to show what a great job has been done in Switzerland. I always like it when another Swiss player arrives in the Bundesliga. It's a great league and of course we try to help the players when they arrive in the team.
bundesliga.com: And you have just been voted by fans on your club's homepage as their Player of the Season – does that honour you?
Sommer: Of course, it's a great honour! It's very important for a player as it shows that the fans like it when you play. It's also important that the fans like you as a person. Particularly when you arrive in a new league and at a new club, it's always important that you make a good impression.
bundesliga.com: Do you also play FIFA 16 at home?
Sommer: I like to have a game with my mates – a game of FIFA with the boys is always great fun.
Interview by Patrick Eckholt / Translation by Ben Gladwell