FIRST TEAM
04.10.2019

Otto: "Now we want the Youth League title"

2019 has been a good year for TSG Hoffenheim's David Otto. The 20-year-old has enjoyed success at many different levels, having featured in the Bundesliga, the UEFA Youth League and for the DFB juniors. In an interview, the Pforzheim native spoke to achtzehn99.de about his state of mind, the 4-2 victory over Real Madrid and reaching the Youth League semi-finals.

The Bundesliga, a Youth League win over Real Madrid, a goal for the Germany U20 team – things are going very well for you at present.

"That's true, I can't have any complaints and I hope that it continues that way. It's a lot of fun right now."

You really stood out in pre-season but then you had to wait until 2019 to make your Bundesliga debut. Are you noticing that you're getting more and more used to the difference between junior level and the senior squad?

"The last three-quarters of a year has certainly furthered my development and it has by no means been a waste of time. The matches in the Youth League were important, I continued my development and that time is helping me a lot now. Of course, I would've liked to be able to play in the Bundesliga earlier on. But all in good time – if it works out well now, then everything was absolutely worth it."

You've recently featured in the Bundesliga on several occasions, but was the 4-2 victory against Real Madrid in the Youth League a standout moment for you in what is still a fledgling career?

"It was definitely a highlight. The whole season in the Youth League has already been very exciting. The fact that Real Madrid came to Hoffenheim to play us and we beat them in the manner that we did was something quite special: especially in this little village that the Spaniards had probably never even heard of. But they probably soon realised what Hoffenheim are all about."

Were you nervous before the match?

"I was simply really looking forward to the tie. I knew that a lot of people would be coming and it can get really atmospheric in this tiny and rather cramped stadium. Better to be there than in the big stadium when it's only half full – which would have been the case for the U19s. When everyone's really cheering you on, there's a special atmosphere that can carry a player. You could see the effect it had on us."

"We believe in ourselves"

The final four teams play their semi-finals on 26 April. You'll be taking on Porto, while the other match will be between Barcelona and Chelsea. You're competing with some big names.

You can see a big name doesn't matter much in the Youth League. We know it depends on what's inside the jersey. Porto deserve to be there, but we've beaten Real Madrid and Manchester City and we're certainly capable of competing. We'll give it our all like in every game and we believe in ourselves."

So winning the title is your aim?

"Definitely. If you look at how far we've come and the kind of teams that we've beaten along the way, then you have to set this as your objective. There are only two matches left and everything is possible. We want to win both and bring the Youth League title back to Hoffenheim."

Can you rank the Youth League, the national team and the Bundesliga in terms of their significance?

"They all have very different appeals. The national team gives you the opportunity to represent your country, which is something special. The Youth League gives you the chance to test yourself on the international stage too – but in the colours of your hometown club. And the Champions League format makes it very appealing. And the Bundesliga is everyday business, but a special kind of everyday business because it was always my dream to play there. And I hope I continue to do so."

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