Atletico Madrid lost many big names this past summer. They have six of the first eleven players replaced, but Diego Simeone believes that Lucas Hernandez’s was the hardest to take, even more so than Antoine Griezmann’s.
Lucas left for Bayern Munich, having come through at Los Rojiblancos, while Griezmann finally got his move to Barcelona after a drawn-out transfer saga. “The exit that hurt us the most was Lucas, who was a boy from the academy,” Simeone told. “[It hurt] More than Griezmann.”
After eighteen years spent in Spain, including twelve at Atlético Madrid, the French defender decided to change country, club, life. It was not an easy decision for Lucas Hernandez to make a move to Bayern.
How’s Life in Germany
“It’s okay, but it’s very different. I was used to Madrid; I lived there forever. There, I discover a different country and culture. I get used to it little by little. And I have not faced the German winter yet! I was told it was going to be cold (laugh). The hardest? The meal times! I am not used to eating at noon. In Spain, I ate at 2:30 pm, at 3 pm. Same evening. When you are with the club, you dine at 7 pm. For now, it’s hard. At 11 pm, I have the slab of phew. I discussed it with the physical trainer. I eat something at 7 pm, and he brings me another dish at 10.30 pm in my room for dinner. Otherwise, I burst the slab, and I sleep badly. But it will come. I will adapt to all this, to this new culture. No problem.”
Why he chose Bayern
“There were other clubs interested, and I had everything I needed in Madrid. I was perfect there. I put everything on the table, I thought, I talked with my family. In the end, it was the right moment for me to change my life, my city, my culture, my country, to go and see something else. Bayern is my profile, my mentality, my ambitions. The leaders and the players told me that I was going to integrate a family. It’s the truth. And then Bayern is a historic club. It represents so many things in the world. I already have a pleasant little experience and a good track record, but I’m a big competitor, and I want to win more titles. Bayern is a winning machine. It was perfect for me. There is a real progression coming to Bayern.”
“I also wanted to pass a course. Going to Bayern, I join one of the best clubs in the world. I tried to put a little pressure on myself, to arrive in a different club, where the language and the culture are different, to put me in danger, not to stay in my little comfort of Madrid. That’s it; I wanted to put myself in danger. ”
First impressions of Bayern
“You soon realize that this is a normal cloakroom, where everyone is quiet. This is not a cloakroom where there are clans. Everyone is talking to everyone. People are straightforward. ”
“There is already the dimension of this club, all that it represents and its history. When they show you everything they’ve won, it’s impressive. And then there is the cloakroom. In your head, you say to yourself: “Wow, it must be huge!” You have stratospheric players like Lewandowski or Müller, who played everything, won everything. And in fact, you quickly realize that this is a normal cloakroom, where everyone is quiet. This is not a cloakroom where there are clans. Everyone is talking to everyone. People are very simple. I also met Franck Ribery, very shortly. He was super helpful to me, spoke to me a lot, gave me advice. He’s a great guy. You can not imagine how many people love it there. It’s a legend.”
The Number 21
“During our discussions, they asked me what number I wanted. I told them on the 21. I am a world champion with 21. At Atlético, I arrive, I take the 21, we win the European Supercup. I tell them it’s a number I like and that if they could give it to me, that would be good. They said it was Philipp Lahm’s, and nobody had taken it since his retirement. I tell them, “Okay, can you give it to me or not?” There, they tell me that they give it to me if I come home. Again, it’s proof of the trust they put in me. There, you realize that they are interested and that they are ready for anything for you. They had already proved by taking me while my knee was in bad shape. 90% of the clubs would not have bought an injured player. Bayern was confident. They knew that my injury was critical, but if I recovered well and did everything right, it would be fine. ”