How do you feel after your first few games for TSG?
''Everything's going really well. We had a tough opening match against Bayern Munich and we didn't get the result we wanted. It just didn't quite work out for us, but it was great to celebrate a deserved win in the the home match against Freiburg. When you look at the table and see good teams with zero points after two matches, it goes to show how important it was for us to come back after the initial set-back. It's just a shame that a few players have picked up injuries. I hope they're back in action soon because after the international break we have a lot of important matches ahead of us.''
How is your fitness at the moment?
''I played the full 90 minutes in both matches. I'm happy to be on the right track. I feel good and I'm looking forward to the upcoming matches in the next few weeks.''
You've been shifted into the middle of the park for TSG? Are you happy playing this position?
''There are a lot of new routines that I've had to get used to given that I'd mainly played on the wing over the last few years. I had plenty of time to adapt during preseason though. Plus in the past I've occasionally played more centrally for all my former teams, so I have experience of building up play from the middle of the park. It requires a bit of time, but I'm confident that I've taken everything on board really quickly and I think I'll get better with every game I play.''
Did the international break come at just the right time after a demanding preseason?
''The arrival of the international break was definitely good for everyone. With the injured players we have it's always good to have a break so that a couple of players can get back in action. For all the lads who played in both games it was really important to have some time to recuperate before we get started with the really busy weeks ahead. Getting a breather in more or less always does some good.''
On 19 September the group phase of the UEFA Champions League gets underway with a trip to Kharkiv to play Shakhtar Donetsk. Are you happy with the draw for the Champions League?
''There are two teams there that I've already played against. My first ever European match was against Manchester City and I also played against Donetsk back when I was at BVB. I'm already familiar with both stadiums and I'm looking forward to it. With a bit of luck on our side there's a chance we could make it through that group: round of 16 or Europa League - either would be great.''
A comprehensive interview with Leonardo Bittencourt is included in this Friday's edition (14 September) of our club magazine SPIELFELD. SPIELFELD is the official club magazine of TSG Hoffenheim: it's full of important stuff - what's happening at TSG, around the club and in the region. SPIELFELD is published eleven times each year and is available for free in the Fanshop - or alternatively by post with a subscription. The fee for postage is €18.99.