Having been at RB Leipzig for over seven years, Lukas Klostermann has played more than 200 competitive games for the club. The defender has so far experienced promotion, finished second in the Bundesliga, reached the DFB-Pokal final and a Champions League semi-final too. On Saturday, Klosti face his former club for the first time in the Bundesliga. VfL Bochum won the 2. Bundesliga last season, meaning they will travel to the Red Bull Arena for a top-flight fixture for the first time. Before joining RBL, Klosti was at Bochum, having come through their academy.
Ahead of our match on Saturday night, the 25-year-old speaks about our current situation and his ex-club.
Klosti, we were narrowly beaten by Club Brugge on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League. How has the team dealt with this loss?
We are obviously still disappointed about the result. Even though we were slightly better in the second half, we weren’t able to carve out any clear-cut chances.
How much does a defeat affect you afterwards?
It was really frustrating, so I couldn’t get over the result quickly. However, it’s important to put it behind you at some point. We’ve got lots of midweek fixtures right now, which means we have to switch our focus to the next game as quickly as possible.
We’ve now got an important Bundesliga game ahead of us. We need to be fully focused and confident for it.
What do we need to do better against Bochum?
Things were really hectic especially at the end of the first half against Club Brugge – we can’t let that happen again. We were better after the break, so we want to build on that and play even better.
Bochum’s main strengths are their fighting spirit and passion they play with. How will we approach the game?
Promoted sides are always hard to predict. Bochum are desperate to stay in the league and they’ll throw all they’ve got at teams.
Nonetheless, we want to play our own game and utilise our strengths. I’m confident that we’ll win the game.
You’ve been at RB Leipzig for over seven years now, with a number of young defenders joining at the start of this season. Do you feel like you’ve become a leader?
I have definitely noticed that I can help the new guys and slightly younger defenders with my experience, especially in the dressing room and during training. It’s not as easy to do that on the pitch anymore since the fans have returned – it’s a lot harder to communicate again!
We’ve written some real footballing history over the years here.
You’ve played over 200 times in all competitions for the club. How much has your journey here together with RB Leipzig meant to you?
It has to be said that we’ve written some real footballing history over the years here, especially because of the number of players that are still here from our days in the second division. The fact that we’ve all grown up and developed here at RB Leipzig is something special. The club’s development is particularly unique and so is the number of players who are still here having experienced so many great moments in such a short space of time. Those moments include reaching the semi-final of the Champions League, making the DFB-Pokal final and finishing runners-up in the Bundesliga. We’re all really proud of those achievements, and I think all fans and staff at the club can be too.
At the end of the day, lots of things need to work for a club to enjoy a journey like this – and in my opinion, this has been the case, otherwise RB’s development would never have been possible.