heinnews’s David Hein this week caught up Jörg Butt, goalkeeper for German football/soccer club Bayern Munich. They discussed his playing for the first time for Bayern Munich in the Champions League, preparing as a backup, his struggles abroad with Benfica Lisbon and scoring penalty kicks.
heinnews: Jörg Butt, you played your first game of the season for Bayern Munich and helped Bayern to a 7-1 victory in the Champions League over Sporting Lisbon. Your last game dates back to February 2008 with Portuguese club Benfica. How does it feel to be back in the starting lineup after so long serving as a backup?
Butt: It’s certainly something special that my first game for FC Bayern is in the Champions League. And in that kind of game, things went really well for us.
heinnews: How nice was it for you that there wasn’t really a lot of pressure going into the game after Bayern won the first leg 5-0 at Sporting?
Butt: Well, not just for me, but for the whole team, it was important that we started really concentrated and show the opponent that we didn’t want to give up anything today. Before the game it was pretty clear we would advance. But sometimes that can be dangerous. Bayern experienced that last season when they beat Anderlecht comfortably in the first leg and then didn’t take the return leg that seriously. So you really have to give the team a compliment that they really played highly concentrated for 90 minutes. And we have to play like that in the coming games as well.
heinnews: How difficult is it for you to practice every day knowing that you are just a backup keeper?
Butt: Before I came to FC Bayern, I said that I wanted to play. And I just kept myself focused on getting prepared for the day when I could play. And I know from my own experience that that can go pretty quick.
heinnews: What kind of feelings were going through your head when Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann said you would be starting the game?
Butt: I was pretty excited when he told me. And making your debut with FC Bayern in the Champions League is something special.
heinnews: And then also having reporters and journalists being interested in you again and being a critical part of the team again.
Butt: I’ve always been a part of the team. Yeah, you’re right that it’s new again to be talking to journalists again. But that’s okay too.
heinnews: You rarely played in your one season in Portugal with Benfica Lisbon. What kind of experiences did you take from your time at Benfica?
Butt: It was a very important time even though things did not go quite as good for me on the pitch as I had hoped. But personally, it taught me a lot of things and I had new experiences in the game as well …
heinnews: … for example?
Butt: That it is really tough to establish yourself abroad. In the Bundesliga you have a certain name and reputation. But when you go abroad you have to prove yourself all over again, and it is really tough to fight through that period. At the beginning there are language problems as well and you have to adjust to a different country and culture. But it was really, really important for me.
heinnews: Have you talked to the coach at all about the next few weeks?
Butt: We just need to win the next few games in the Bundesliga. That’s the main point now. We have to keep going. Our main goal is the German championship. Hertha (Berlin) are a few points out ahead of us and everyone knows we cannot afford any more slip-ups. So we need to keep getting three points.
heinnews: What about your dream of returning to the German national team?
Butt: It’s still a big dream. But really I’m not thinking too much about that. I just need to have some success with FC Bayern.
heinnews: Okay, last question. The referee awarded the penalty late in the game and many of the fans started chanting your name, hoping you would come up to the spot for the penalty kick like back in your days at Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg, when you scored 26 goals. What did you think about that moment?
Butt: Of course, I would have liked to have taken the shot. But it was important for us and for Miro (Miroslav Klose) that he get on the scoring sheet and get some more confidence. So, I’m happy for Miro.