Exclusive Interview – Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bamba Anderson “The Champions League is a Realistic Goal”

Eintracht Frankfurt have been one of the surprise packages of the Bundesliga this season.  After securing promotion to the top flight last year, Armin Veh’s team have set the league alight with some of the most exciting attacking football in the league.  So impressive has been the club that a European spot is not out of question by season’s end which would make for a truly remarkable 12 months for the club.

Part of Frankfurt’s success this season has been Brazilian defender Bamba Anderson. After a successful loan spell with Eintracht last year, the club decided to make the move for the Brazilian permanent and he has been a regular fixture in the team ever since. Next to runaway leaders Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt have the league’s best defensive record in the second half of the season and Anderson has been a big part in stabilizing their back line, including another strong performance against Hannover at the weekend.

“Bamba” talked to the Bundesliga Fanatic about Eintracht’s fairytale season, the nick name given to him by the supporters, the team’s style, its chances of qualifying for the Champions League and his own ambitions as a player.

 

Bundesliga Fanatic: The Frankfurt fans have taken to you very quickly. Do you know about your nickname, “Bembel”, with Eintracht supporters?  It refers to a local jug for a Frankfurt style cider.

Anderson: Yes I know….my nickname in Brazil was Bamba, therefore, they have tried to adapt to the local flair.

BF: You have played at several clubs in Germany since moving from Brazil five years ago and admitted to struggling with the language initially and in your time with Borussia Mönchengladbach for example. Do you feel more settled now and have you finally found a comfort zone in Frankfurt?

Anderson: For sure. I am very comfortable here in Frankfurt, and this has shown on the pitch in the last two seasons.

BF: Eintracht have had the best start to a Bundesliga season in 20 years.  What would you say accounts for the team’s strong performances and the great transition from the 2. Bundesliga into the top flight?

Anderson: Armin Veh is a great coach and he allows us to play our game, relaxed. This has allowed the team to be more loose and not worry about making mistakes. So far it has worked. We play modern football, very attacking sometimes, and we were able to surprise a lot of teams. However, for us, this is no surprise. The team has very good players that were able to learn how to play with each other and the results are there to be shown.

Anderson celebrating his goal against Borussia Dortmund earlier this season. Photo: Reuters
Anderson celebrating his goal against Borussia Dortmund earlier this season. Photo: Reuters

BF: Armin Veh has praised the team’s spirit on the field this season.  Is the team’s chemistry just as good off the field?

Anderson: Exactly. The team has been able to gel on the pitch and outside as well. This kind of interaction that we have is important for the success of the team in general.

BF: The team has been praise for its attacking football and Armin Veh also admittedly prefers an offensive style. As a defender, do you have to adjust to that style to make sure it doesn’t have consequences defensively?

Anderson: Of course I had to adjust to this style of play. However, we are not afraid to attack and this is important.

BF: With the team doing so well, is a Champions League spot a realistic goal by the end of the season?

Anderson: There are 9 games still left to play. A lot can happen until the end but to reach the Champions League is a realistic goal. Having said that, we have 9 finals in front of us. It won’t be easy, but we will be working hard and fight for a spot in Europe, which is very important for the club.

BF: Speaking of goals, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is fast approaching. Is it a personal goal to make the team and play in the world’s biggest tournament in your home country?

Anderson: Every player’s dream is to play for the National Team and with me it is no different. Brazil has great defenders and all I have to do is to keep working hard at my club and I am sure the national team coach will see the job that is being done here in Frankfurt.

Header courtesy of SID

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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