“It is a great honor for me to be captain of such a big club, where the fans are amazing, and the club has a huge name. This is one of the accomplishments,” Friedel said before the start of the season on Saturday (3:30 pm) with a guest appearance at Wolfsburg in an interview with APA. He’s been with Werder since the beginning of 2018. After 11th, 8th and 16th, including relegation in 2020, he followed relegation in 2021 and is now progressing again.
Almost after the relegation period, after the Europa League, relegation, relegation, promotion – I watched it all,” Friedel said. This is one of the reasons why he chose his captain. “But also what I am as a person.” Even in moments of success, there is no trace of him taking off from him, and his ear is open to all fears. “My place is probably a little higher now. But I’m trying to be who I am, the way I’ve been in previous years, I’m not going to do anything differently now,” Friedel said.
“There is a sense of optimism at the club again”
The defender had already taken on a lot of responsibility in the last second division season. “I will now try harder, but also off the field,” said the 24-year-old. He is not alone in this, the players council also plays an important role. “If there are decisions to be made in the team, we do it together, and I am not alone there,” Tyrol emphasized. He is also not the only Austrian captain in the Bundesliga, with Christopher Tremmel holding the position at Union Berlin.
In Bremen, Tyrolean followed in the footsteps of ÖFB record player Andreas Herzog and Zlatko Junozowicz, who were also captains at the club. “It’s good to be reminded at the same time as you,” Friedel says. He extended his long-term contract on July 1, so he preferred the tried and tested environment over the transfer. “There’s a sense of optimism in the club again, the whole city is behind the club, it’s a pleasure to be here,” Friedel says. The euphoria and impetus must be transferred to the House of Lords after ‘extensive preparation’.
Staying in the league is a top priority
“For me, the Bundesliga is one of the three best leagues in the world, I am excited about every duel,” Friedel said. What role can the Bremen team play? “Obviously our goal is to stay afloat, and we have as little to do in the relegation battle as possible,” Friedel said, setting out the route. The omens for his team are completely different now. “Last year we were the favorites in almost every game and had a lot of ball. Now we will definitely have many games where we have less ball,” the ÖFB player doubted.
A good defense should be the key to success. “Our focus should be to be compact, to allow few goals and not to unnecessarily receive any goals.” It will also be endearing to coach Uli Werner, who was able to put the right levers in motion after taking over at the end of November 2021. “It fits us perfectly,” says Friedel. He didn’t want to describe himself as the coach’s “outstretched arm” on the field. “But we’re already having some conversations, and it’s not just about football,” Friedel said.
Defensive man with a nose for goals
In 2021/202 he not only excelled in defense, but there were also four goals and three assists at the end. My main focus is on defense. If I had the chance to hit one, that would be great,” said the new Bremen captain. His 77th Bundesliga match on Saturday in Wolfsburg.
He also wants to continue to recommend himself to ÖFB, who will compete in the Nations League group finals in France and against Croatia at the end of September. “There are great matches ahead of us, it’s always good to be competing against the best player in the world,” the five-time player said.
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