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Lucas Hernandez: “I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone.”

Speaking in an extended interview with France Football this week, French international and Bayern Munich left-sided defender Lucas Hernandez reflected on his decision to move to the Bavarian side.

On life in Germany:

It’s fine, but it is very different. I am used to Madrid, I have lived there since forever. Now, I am discovering a country and a different culture. I am getting used to it little by little. And I still haven’t faced the German winter yet! I’ve been told that it is going to be very cold (laughs). The hardest thing? The eating times! I am not used to eating at midday. In Spain, we eat around 14:30, 15:00. The same in the evening. When we are with the club, we dine at 19:00. For the moment, it is hard. At 23:00, I am starving. I have discussed it with the fitness coach. I eat something small at 19:00 and he brings me another plate at 22:30 in my room for dinner. Otherwise I am starving and can’t sleep. But I will get used to it. I will adapt to all that, this new culture. No problem.

On his decision to join Bayern:

There were other interested clubs and I had everything I needed in Madrid. I felt very good there. I put everything on the table, I thought about it, I spoke with my family. In the end, it was the right moment for me to change life, city, culture, country, to see something else. Bayern corresponds with who I am, my mentality, my ambitions. The club representatives and the players told me that I was going to be joining a family. That is the truth.

And then Bayern is a historic club. It represents so many things in the world. I have already had a nice little experience and a list of achievements, but I am a big competitor and I want to win even more titles. Bayern is a winning machine. That was perfect for me. This is a real step forward in joining Bayern… I wanted to go to the next level. By joining Bayern, I have arrived in one of the best clubs in the world. I wanted to put myself under a bit of pressure, join a different club, where the language and culture is different, to put myself in danger, not stay in my comfort zone in Madrid. In fact, that’s it, to put myself in danger a bit.

On his 1st impressions of Bayern:

There is already the club’s own dimension, everything that it represents and its history. When they show you everything that they’ve won, it is impressive. Then there is the dressing room. In your head, you say to yourself: “Wow, this is going to be incredible!” You have stratospheric players like Lewandowski and Müller, who have played it all, won it all. And then you quickly realise that it is a normal dressing room, where everyone is relaxed. It is not a dressing room with a clan mentality. Everyone speaks with everyone. The guys are really simple. I also met with Franck Ribéry very recently. He is super nice with me, spoke with me a lot, gave me advice. He is a top guy. You cannot even understand the extent to which people love him over here. He is a legend.

On taking up the #21 shirt, formerly of Philipp Lahm:

During our discussions, I was asked which number I wanted. I told them I wanted #21. I became world champion with #21. At Atletico, when I arrived, I took the #21, then we won the European Super Cup. I told them that it was a number that I liked a lot and that if they could give it to me, that would be good. They told me that this was the shirt of Philipp Lahm and that nobody had had it since his retirement. I said to them: “Ok, can you give it to me or not?”

Then they said to me that they would give it to me if I came to play for them. Once again, it was proof of the belief that they have in me. That’s when you realise just how interested they are in you and that they are ready to do anything to get you. They already proved that when they took me despite my knee being in a bad condition. 90% of clubs don’t buy an injured player. But Bayern were confident. They knew that my injury was not inconsiderable, but that if I recovered well and I did everything right, it would be fine.

 

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