On Sunday, a familiar face will be coming back to Bremen; Jannik Vestergaard. The defensive giant, who played at Werder from January 2015 until the summer of 2016, returns to the Weserstadion for the second time since becoming a Borussia Mönchengladbach player. Ahead of the match against Gladbach on Sunday, WERDER.DE spoke to the 25-year-old about his Werder days, the international break and the meeting of old friends.
WERDER.DE: Hello Jannik! On Sunday, you’re returning to the Weserstadion. Is that still a special occasion for you?
Jannik Vestergaard: “Definitely. I have lots of fond memories of home games there and experienced some great moments – there were also a few not so great moments there too (laughs).”
WERDER.DE: Werder have a traditionally strong home backing. Can you tell us, how much do you take in the atmosphere in the Weserstadion, as the visiting team?
Jannik Vestergaard: “Yeah, you definitely sense the atmosphere there. I have played a few games with the away team when there has been an amazing mood around the Weserstadion. I remember a game from when I was at Hoffenheim. There was a fan initiative – “AllGreen”. The Hoffenheim team bus was blocked in a peaceful manner by the Werder fans. All the fans were singing and celebrating. That was really cool. The atmosphere that the Werder fans create can be quite daunting for an opponent; it is a really special backdrop to the game. And it gave me a lot of pleasure to be able to play some home games there as well.”
WERDER.DE: Are you looking forward to seeing a few of your old teammates and who do you still keep in contact with?
Jannik Vestergaard: “Of course I’m looking forward to it. I made some great friends there. And I’ve known Thomas Delaney for a long time, since I was a child. We played together at Copenhagen for eight years. I always got on really well with Theo Gebre Selassie and Zlatko Junuzovic and Aron Johannsson lives in my old flat now. There a still few guys there that I keep in touch with.”
I made some great friends there.Jannik Vestergaard
WERDER.DE: You have been with Thomas Delaney for the last week on international duty for Denmark. Did you guys talk about Werder or the upcoming game?
Jannik Vestergaard: “Yes, of course we mentioned it in passing that we’ll be facing each other on Sunday but the focus was on the international games. There was a more important topic on the table and that was qualifying for the World Cup or more specifically, reaching the play-offs. So we didn’t really talk too much about the game coming up.”
WERDER.DE: Freimarkt begins in Bremen on Friday. What do you remember about Bremen’s fifth season of the year?
Jannik Vestergaard: I didn’t spend too much time there. I only went there once with the team. Those sorts of events are always a bit more fun when you’ve had a beer or two and we obviously couldn’t have a beer. So I don’t have too many memories of Freimarkt, I’m afraid.”
WERDER.DE: Werder are still waiting for their first win of the season, whilst your team have had a decent start. What sort of game are you expecting?
Jannik Vestergaard: “I’m anticipating a tight, tough game. Werder have been much better than their points tally shows. They are a very solid team who are hard to play against. Of course it is hard for them that they have to do without Max Kruse. He’s a quality player. His absence will help us but it will still be a really difficult game. Despite this, we want to come back from Bremen with a win.”