You trained for the last time in Garmisch-Partenkirchen this morning. What's your take on the days you've had here?
"The whole week of training was very tough. On Wednesday we had probably the most intense session to date, then trained again in the afternoon. But that's how it goes in pre-season. We're now all a little bit tired, it's obviously a big challenge to find your rhythm again after having almost seven weeks' holiday. But that's how it has to be and it's not like it's my first pre-season either."
Despite the exertions, the atmosphere's good. Are you still looking forward to the friendly against Unterhaching on Friday?
"After such a long time without a ball at your feet, it's obviously good fun. And thankfully, we don't do too many runs (laughs). Now we're absolutely looking forward to the match. After all the training sessions, you obviously want to see how things will come together in a match situation. And it's a friendly match with shirts, referees and spectators, so it's something different compared to a match at the end of training."
"We got our reward for an excellent season"
During your holiday, did you sometimes think back to your final game of the season − the 3-1 win over Dortmund − that sealed your Champions League place and the celebrations that followed?
"There were many moments when I suddenly pictured those scenes in my mind. I was on holiday with Adam Szalai and Ermin Bicakcic. Sometimes we would sit together to eat in the evenings and talk about the match. It was an incredible game. During those 90 minutes, we got our reward for an excellent season and qualifying for the Champions League is a really extraordinary achievement for us. It's not the kind of thing you forget too quickly."
Andrej Kramaric is currently experiencing some more unforgettable moments. What did you think of Croatia's semi-final win over England?
"We watched the match here at our hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It was an intense match and we were absolutely delighted when Croatia equalised and Andrej came on from the bench. What he's doing at the moment is impressive. Seeing Andrej play in a World Cup final will be cool. And obviously it's nice for us that we have him to cheer on at the World Cup, given that Germany were knocked out so early on. I hope that he wins the title. Then I'll be playing alongside a world champion next season (laughs)."