Sandro, your two favourite clubs met for the first time in a competitive match last Thursday. Bern narrowly won 4-3. How did you follow the game?
From my time at YB, a lot of my colleagues knew that I was a big Leverkusen fan. The club was so kind as to invite me and allow me to watch the game live at the stadium. I know I have to be very grateful for that. Ahead of kick-off, I gave a short interview to the Bern fan radio station and then watched the game alone in the stands.
At which point in this goal fest did your heart beat fastest?
Definitely with the goal to make it 4-3. And the first goal from Christian Fassnacht was a shock for me – in a positive sense. Because I didn't really think that would happen. I think the narrow victory for YB was fair enough in the end. But the fight back from Leverkusen was also very impressive.
You grew up close to Bern. Do you automatically become a fan of BSC Young Boys in that region?
During my childhood, the ice hockey team SC Bern (16-time champions of Switzerland, ed.) were the most successful team in the city. YB were not really "cool" and they didn't have as many fans as they do today. That only developed in recent years. My attachment to the club during my childhood primarily came from my father. He'd always been a YB fan. So I got a touch of the Yellow and Black at an early age.
You worked in Fan liaison at YB 2012 to 2017. How did that come about?
I was allowed to do my alternative service at the Bern fan project. After two and a half years, a job in fan liaison became available at YB. The club wanted me – and they were able to get me. The chance of working for your favourite club does not come along every day.
In spite of your love for Bern, you still have a place in your football heart for a second club: Bayer 04. How did the connection with the Werkself come about?
It was a tradition with my father to go and watch football every Saturday night. In addition to YB, he was also an 1860 Munich fan. But they never really appealed to me. When I saw Carsten Ramelow in a Leverkusen shirt from 1996, a relationship with Bayer 04 gradually developed. He had a blonde bowl cut – just like me. (He laughs) From that moment I supported Leverkusen every weekend.
Despite being so far away from Leverkusen, were you able to watch one or two Werkself games live at the stadium?
Yes, lots. Over the years, I had enough money to regularly travel to Leverkusen. I usually set off early in the morning on the train from Bern and returned the same way after the game. It was often the train at 18.44, I remember that. (He laughs) That meant I got back to Bern at midnight. The YB matches were often on the next day.
Thursday's game at the BayArena between Bern and Leverkusen is all about qualifying for the Europa League Round of 16. Where will you be watching the game?
In Switzerland, you can currently meet in groups of up to five people. So I'll watch the game with friends who I'm already in contact with and who I know are adhering to the current coronavirus regulations.
To finish with, the crucial question: Who will come out on top?
Before the first leg, I predicted there would be two home wins. So, from a Bern perspective it's only possible to say that Bayer will go through in the end after the 4-3 scoreline. To be honest, that was my gut feeling after the first match.
On Sandro Reinhard:
The Swiss Sandro Reinhard grew up a few kilometres away from the legendary Wankdorf Stadium in Bern where Germany were the surprise winners of the World Cup in 1954. After leaving school, Reinhard did his alternative to military service at the Bern fan project. He then worked for Young Boys Bern in fan liaison from 2012 to 2017. Today the 33-year-old is self-employed. With his company he provides advice to clubs and associations. Reinhard played football in his childhood and has also been a referee in the amateur game.
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