Borussia Dortmund are still undefeated and after beating Werder Bremen and have confirmed the top spot in the Bundesliga for the rest of the first half of the season. For Axel Witsel, though, there’s a long way to go.DW: Axel, football is a real joy for you here in Dortmund, even if it's really cold.
Axel Witsel: Yes today was really cold, but I enjoying being here every day in training and in games.
Herbstmeister (champion of the first half of the season) — What does that mean to you?
For me, this is nothing. In the end you are not really champion. We still have to work hard, like we do. We have a hard week, because we play Tuesday and Friday so we have two more finals. We just have to think about that.
Michael Zorc talked about getting better at taking chances. Do you agree?
I think he's right. We could have killed the game. Sometimes when you get opportunities to score more goals I think we should be more focused. We had the chance today with [Jadon] Sancho, for example. But in the end we won the game 2-1 and we are happy so we keep going.
How are your energy levels at the end of the first half of the season?
We are good. We've played a lot of really good games and now our objective is to finish that way in the last two games.
You are a leader of a very young team. What is your task in guiding this team towards victory?
I'm one of the leaders of the team because of my age, because we have a really young group of players, but I'm not the only one. Marco [Reus], Mario [Götze], Piszczu (Lukas Piszczek) also. I think we have a good mix between young talent and experience, and it's why we're doing so well now. We'll do our best to keep going like this until the end of the season.
What do you think of your chances of being German champions at the end of the season?
It's not the time to speak about that. The second half of the season will be long. We have to keep going as we are now, taking it game-by-game. That's it, and in the end we will see the result.
Axel Witsel joined Borussia Dortmund before the start of the season from Tianjin Quanjian, a club in the Chinese Super League. Witsel began his career at Belgian side Standard Liege and has played for five different clubs in five different countries, including Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal and Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia. He has 101 caps with the Belgium national team and helped them finish third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He has played a total of 22 games for Dortmund in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League this season.
The interview was conducted by Joscha Weber.