Santiago, first of all, congratulations on your birthday. You broke your leg just over three months ago. How are you today?
Thank you. Yes, the three months without football have felt very long for me. I suffered an injury that nobody would wish on anybody else. But things like that happen in football. The important thing is to take positives from any situation. I’ve had a lot of support – from my family, people from Colombia and the management at Leverkusen and Atlético Madrid. The really helps me on way back.
You flew to Madrid a few days after the injury for your operation. How is the healing process going and what training can you do at the moment?
Both the operation and the first part of rehab have gone well. I’m very happy with my recovery so far. We are on track. I’m now at the point where I can put my whole weight on the injured leg. I definitely feel much better and can hardly wait to get back on the pitch and be able to play the sport I love so much.
When will you return to Leverkusen?
I hope to be back in Leverkusen soon. At the moment, I have to wait to have two screws removed. That could happen at the weekend. Then I will have to rest for a week before I can travel to Leverkusen to rejoin the team.
What’s life like for you in the Spanish capital?
It was and is difficult for me not being able to train or play with my team. But I’m happy to spend so much time with my family – my children and my wife. I’ve been able to appreciate a lot of sporting and personal things much more.
How do follow the Werkself games and what’s your impression of the team?
I’ve seen them all, mostly on television, and the ones I couldn’t watch live I’ve watched later online. You get the impression that all the good work the team’s done is paying off now. In spite of players leaving and the injuries, the team has managed to remain solid and always set out to win games. The course of the season so far has shown that we can achieve big targets this season.
How are you spending your birthday and what are your hopes for the next twelve months?
I’m spending the day with my family. We’re eating cake and enjoy the time together. In terms of hopes: Primarily, I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced up to now. And I hope my family and me remain well. That we all stay healthy, value each other and are happy. For my club, I hope we have the chance to win a title this year.
The Werkself host Paderborn in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 today, Wednesday 6 December (18:00 CET) at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the cup clash with the Bundesliga 2 club.Show more
Next year marks Bayer 04’s 120th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, we would like to take the opportunity, today and in the next few months, to regularly look at football under the Cross on bayer04.de and primarily delve into the question of: How have we become the club we are today? Part two of our series looks at our fans. Werkself supporters are enjoying this season like never before, providing incredible support both home and away.Show more
The Bundesliga has named the three nominees for November’s Rookie of the Month award. Werkself striker Victor Boniface, who has won the trophy in August, September and October, is once again up for the award. Fans have the chance to pick the winner by casting their votes online.Show more
Following the weekend’s draw against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, the Werkself are again at home on Wednesday for the visit of Paderborn to the BayArena in the DFB-Pokal last 16 (kick-off: 18:00 CET). Ahead of the game, head coach Xavi Alonso made it abundantly clear that his team will in no way underestimate their Bundesliga 2 opponents.Show more