Schalke's 20-year-old World Cup winner has returned with a new attittude. Julian Draxler is determined to make his mark on the Bundesliga again; after a poor showing last term, with just two goals in twenty-six league games, he is keen to show everyone that he's worth the multi-million buy-out clause. The Royal Blue's number 10 spoke to BILD and Schalke's own website to discuss: the World Cup, last season's woes and his aspirations for the coming campaign.
Julian Draxler on; has winning the World Cup sunk in?
"Actually, I’ve still not really got my head around what happened. It keeps on hitting me. I tried to switch off during my holiday and not think about it. I spent a lot of time with my family and friends and I really enjoyed it."
Julian Draxler on; making his World Cup debut against Brazil.
"Absolutely! It was good for me that we were in front so quickly. That gave me the chance to showcase myself at a World Cup. I reckon that we wouldn’t have won the World Cup without me [laughs]. But I’m unbelievably proud that I got to be a part of it and make my first appearance. Hopefully I will be able to win one or two other titles during my career and that I’ll be able to play my part in winning them too."
Julian Draxler on; his costless time after the World Cup.
"First I went to Ibiza with my friends. After that I went to the USA with my girlfriend. I tried to recuperate as well as I possibly could. I think I managed that. I feels good to be back at Schalke though. It was great to see the team again. There’s a few new faces here too. Absolutely no one recognised me in the USA [laughs]."
"Football isn’t really top of the list there. There are always a few Germans in Ibiza though. It was nice that they were all so happy about it. I have been congratulated a lot, which is normal. But I was able to get some rest out there too. I had a good time there, but now I’m happy to be back here at Schalke to show what I can do."
Julian Draxler on; returning early.
"I just wanted to lay down a marker and show that I have big intentions this season. I was important for me to prove that I’m ready and highly motivated. I want to send out of positive message that I'm back to my old self."
Julian Draxler on; last season.
"Now I know what it's meant to be the bogeyman. After the derby loss to Dortmund, it felt like I was the only one who was blamed for it. I did not do enough last summer, it will not happen to me again."
Julian Draxler on; the new season and his aims.
"I can’t wait. I tried to switch off while I was on holiday, but ended up thinking about football a lot. I’m itching for the new season to get underway and I want to show that I have more in me than I showed in the last campaign. This season, 10 goals should be possible for me. If our squad stays together, we can fight for the top three places. We can compete with Dortmund, but no-one can compete with Bayern on paper."
I think we’re well equipped and think we’ve got a good team that can really achieve something this season. I’m happy with our buying policy. We have strengthened really well and have good strength in depth in the squad for this campaign. However, the many injuries worry me, for me that is a big issue. We all have to question whether we live professional, feed us properly, get enough sleep. We need to get a grip. "
Julian Draxler on; where he wants to play.
"I want to play at the number 10! But so do Maxi Meyer and Kevin-Prince Boateng. But of course I can lso play on the left or right."
Julian Draxler on; his buy-out clause.
"The [buy-out clause] stayed with me. I did not play like 20 clubs were ready to pay this sum for me last season. I have to become attractive to big clubs again."
Julian Draxler on; if he'll be fit for the first game.
"It’s difficult to say. I have already taken my first fitness tests and the results are actually very good. So I don’t have any concerns about my condition. You’re bound to have a bit of muscle ache after the first few days, but that’s part of pre-season. It will take some time for me to get back to 100 percent though. Three weeks of holiday isn’t actually that long so I didn’t lose much of my fitness. But you still need a little while to get into peak physical condition and I will work on doing that as quickly as possible. I think that I could be an option to help the team at the start of the season. I should be back to form within the first few matchdays."
Interviews on BILD and Schalke's official website.