Watzke: “Real is what Juve was in 1997, the strongest. Certain challenges excite us”

In the long interview given to Asin which he revealed that Real Madrid paid well over 103 million to sign Jude Bellinghamthe CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke he also addressed other topics in view of the final between his Borussia Dortmund and Blancos.

What does May 28, 1997 remind you of?
“We won the first and last Champions League. It was a typical Borussia Dortmund match: we get excited when we face strong opponents, it’s in our DNA. Then Juve was what Madrid is today, it had a great team. We had a bit of luck, but it’s part of the game. I experienced it in the stands like any other fan, because I started working for the club later.”

More than a quarter of a century has passed. What have you and Borussia Dortmund done in this time?
“Many things. We have experienced countless ups and downs, but the main difference compared to the final one is that we will face this one having achieved a total balance between sporting and economic success. Here we no longer build castles in the air, everything is built on very solid foundations and “Despite our financial limitations, we are once again in the Champions League final. We are the ones who spent the least among those who played in the Champions League quarter-finals. It is a great satisfaction for us.”

How do you buy low and sell high?
“At the beginning, buying cheap was the only thing we could do. Then little by little we started selling well, but without asking anyone to bid for our players. They took them away from us without us being able to do anything , we certainly didn’t want to get rid of Lewandowski, Götze, Haaland or Bellingham. On the other hand, all these transfers are proof of the great work we have done on a sporting level in all these years.”

Would Real Madrid also want Haaland?
“If I knew I wouldn’t say it. But the situation was very different given that Erling had a clause in his contract. We simply had to exercise it, without stopping to talk too much. I think Real Madrid already had a clear idea of ​​what their objective would be in attack “.

Have you also considered Xabi Alonso for the bench?
“No, for the simple fact that our bench was occupied. But I recently told Fernando Carro that Xabi’s signing reminded me of when we signed Klopp.”

Is Real Madrid favourites?
“Yes but let’s look at what just happened in Dublin. Out of ten games against Atalanta, I’m pretty sure Leverkusen would win eight. But Atalanta played as if it were the last game in their history and that’s what we will have to We have beaten PSG twice; we will be able to play the same way, we will also be able to win a final, it is a historical truth: they have never lost a Champions League final ‘It’s always a first time.”