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'Our rivalry is limited to the football pitch'

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'Our rivalry is limited to the football pitch'

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:45 pm

Whenever Hans Jörg Butt took possession of the ball on Thursday morning, it was dangerous - especially for the watching public, as the FCB number two keeper's shooting was a trifle wayward to say the least. However, the only victim was a window blind on the outside of the ServiceCenter, and the shot-stopper personally repaired the minor damage after the training session.

Following a doping control, a shower and lunch, Butt himself became a target when he sat down to face questions from The 34-year-old, a summer arrival at the club from Benfica, reviewed his first six months at Bayern, discussed his approach to the number two job, and explained his relationship with Michael Rensing.

Interview: Hans Jörg Butt Jörg, you're halfway through winter training. How's it going?
Butt: "Very well. We've worked hard and I feel fit, although most of the training methods here are new to me." In what way?
Butt: "We've done far fewer long stamina-building runs than I'm used to, working much harder on footballing aspects. After all, you're always changing pace during a match. I saw this trend when I was with Leverkusen and Lisbon, but it's been optimised here at Bayern. I used to do practically all the runs with the squad, but the exercises here are much more focused on specific goalkeeper needs. For example, we've worked intensively on our reactions. I think it's really, really good. Now I can't wait for the action to restart. It'll be exciting and demanding for all of us." How would you assess your first six months in Munich?
Butt: "I've settled very fast. The family found a house nice and quickly, and we're extremely happy here in Munich. In sporting terms, the team's developed well after a tough start. So it's very positive, although obviously I'd have liked more games." You've only played in friendlies so far. How much are you looking forward to your first competitive outing?
Butt: "More and more with every passing week. It's not easy, as I've always been the number one before, but this is different and a challenge. You have to be ready at all times, without knowing when the day might come." How do you stay motivated?
Butt: "I'm at the very best club in Germany, so every training session is a challenge, the quality is incredibly high, and I've never seen such a balanced squad. I think we could be very successful in the near future. And I'm certain my time will come." How do you get on with Michael Rensing?
Butt: We have a great relationship. Obviously we're rivals, obviously I want to play - but that need never be personal. Our rivalry is limited to the football pitch. I do my best in training, which helps everyone: Michael, me and the team. It's important the squad players work hard, to keep the standard high in training and be ready for when you're needed." As Oliver Kahn's successor, Michael Rensing was under close scrutiny at the start, and it wasn't always easy for him. Did you discuss the situation with him?
Butt: "I'm not into handing out advice, that's what training is for. That's where we speak about certain match situations, and where we urge each other on. But there's no need to discuss the situation in general. Every player has to go his own way." You broke into the Bundesliga at the expense of Richard Golz, Hamburg keeper at the time. Was that a tough situation?
Butt: "It was definitely tough. Richard was number one in Hamburg for years - and then along comes a young lad who's determined to play. But our rivalry was always restricted to sport. Richard was always fair, we had a very cooperative relationship. That's why I've always said you shouldn't overrate rivalry between keepers. At the end of the day, you have a common goal, and everything else is secondary to that." Your career record features a lot of runners-up spots: in the Bundesliga, the Cup, the Champions League, the World Cup...
Butt: "With my first club Oldenburg I won the third division. Most of those second place finishes date to one particular season in Leverkusen." How much were you affected by that infamous 2001-2 campaign with Leverkusen?
Butt: "Not in the slightest. We had an exceptionally good team, but lacked depth in the squad. We simply ran out of steam at the end, and two vital players - Jens Nowotny and Zoltan Sebescen - were sidelined with injury in the run-in. Obviously, it was bad luck at the end, but we played some of the best football in Europe that season. I've come to Bayern to make sure I win trophies." What would you most like to win?
Butt: "The Champions League would definitely be terrific for the club, but winning the Bundesliga is very important to me personally."
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