Congratulations on the contract extension, Sylwia. We are happy you're staying at Leverkusen beyond the summer. What convinced you to extend your stay at Bayer 04?
Sylwia Matysik: Bayer 04 are a big club and the facilities here are simply brilliant. I can see there are good conditions for my personal development as well as that of the team. I just feel at home here, I like the city and the quiet area where I live. I'm very much looking forward to the next two years. I'd like to thank the management and the coaching staff for the confidence they've shown in me.
You moved from Poland to Leverkusen in the summer of 2019 – what was the first year like for you?
Matysik: This is my first club abroad – taking that step was a huge experience. Everything was new to me. But I received a lot of help and the players and the coaches have been very good to me. As a team, we've had a very good season on the pitch so far. It's a pity that I was sidelined with injury for a couple of weeks (back problem, ed.) and I wasn't able to help the team. Now I'm happy to be fit again and able to play a full part in the last few games.
You said it – it's the end of season run-in. What's your assessment of this season as it stands?
Matysik: We're in fifth place with three games to play and we've got a chance of finishing fourth – and that's what we're fighting for. The team has developed very well from the start. We’ve worked a lot on technique, fitness and tactics. Each individual has made progress. There's a lot of potential in this team.
You've struggled with back problems in recent weeks; you made your comeback in the last game against Essen. How are you now and how do you deal with such long-term injuries?
Matysik: Everything is okay again with my back. I don't have any pain any more and I can do full training and play again. Injuries are never easy for players. I'm always hungry and I want to play instead of "just" having to be a fan in the stands. I'm happy when I can be on the pitch.
Your coach Achim Feifel has recently highlighted your strength in challenges and aggression on the pitch – are those your characteristics in games?
Matysik: I agree with the coach, those are my main strengths. I like to be aggressive in defence and to get stuck into one-on-one situations.
When you came here you didn't speak or understand a word of German – how are you getting on with communication now?
Matysik: I'm doing a German language course and have lessons twice a week. First I learned all the football terminology and I picked that up quickly. I can speak and understand German more and more but I'm still continuing to learn to be able to communicate better.
Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.Show more
Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.Show more
Bayer 04 have little time to recover from their 2-0 win away at Häcken in the UEFA Europe League, ensuring progress to the round of 16, before their next challenge up against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, head coach Xabi Alonso spoke about BVB and gave a warning about not losing focus.Show more
Spirits are high at Borussia Dortmund following their impressive display and result away at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. On Sunday (17:30 CET), they want to keep an impressive week going with another scalp in Leverkusen. Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents.Show more