He's always there when you need him! Péter Gulácsi once again showed this season why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He kept ten clean sheets and played more minutes in the Bundesliga this season than any other Leipzig player. He also impressed in the Champions League with some great saves. Pete has been at the club since 2014 and has been a part of the club's development since promotion from Bundesliga 2.
Péter! Nice to see you. How are you?
Thanks. I'm great. I'm happy to have a break after a long and successful season, before we resume again in a few weeks time.
Let's talk about the successful season. We qualified for the Champions League for the third time in our fourth Bundesliga season. We were also top at the winter break and won our Champions League group. During the winter, it looked like we could have achieved more. Are you happy or a bit disappointed that we didn't achieve more?
A bit of both. After going into the winter break top of the league, we obviously started to dream a little bit. It was obviously our fault that we lost our lead at the top, even though Bayern were amazing in the second half of the season. We dropped too many points unfortunately. I'm still encouraged by this season though. We still took over 60 points. That shows how much potential this team has and that we have it in us to win a title!
We managed to finish top of our Champions League group though. We then faced Tottenham in the knockouts - were you happy with the draw?
We were all happy. I wanted to play against either an English or a Spanish team. That came about and the game is one of my career highlights. The stadium in London is really impressive. To play a last-16 Champions League game there and win 1-0 was simply amazing. It's always special when you play against big sides. We wanted to win these games and we're pleased that we are still in Europe. We're not done yet!
The euphoria surrounding our Champions League win was quickly halted by the enforced break. A few games will now be played. How was that time for you personally?
It was obviously a tough period. As a professional athlete, you need the adrenaline and a certain routine. Suddenly, we were just spending a lot of time at home. Those few months were difficult for everybody, not just us. We set ourselves a clear goal for the restart: We wanted to qualify for the Champions League again - which we did!
In the second half of the season, particularly after the restart, things were a lot more difficult for the side. Why do you think that was?
We had a great run before the break. We were really strong at the back. Things were a lot tougher once we resumed. We were playing without our fans in empty stadiums and we'd had a long break in the middle of the season. I personally can't wait to play in front of fans again - they give us the push we need when things are tough for us. Those kind of moments are the best ones. I'm at a point in my career where I want to enjoy every moment and I will give my all to be successful.
You were named Hungary's Footballer of the Year again this season, for the second time in a row.
Of course, I'm really happy about that. It's really special to win this award twice in a row. Not many people have managed that. I'm really proud and it makes me more motivated for the future. Nobody has won it on three consecutive occasions - that would be in the icing on the cake.
You signed for us when we were in the second division. We went straight up, played great football and then qualified for Europe. Your personal development is also impressive in that time.
When I signed here, I had the goal of playing in the Bundesliga. It's crazy that it happened so quickly. We've obviously had the success with the Champions League too, but that wasn't important when I first came here. We wanted to establish ourselves in the Bundesliga first of all. The development is really impressive and I'm pleased that this team has become such a high-class one.
What are you expecting from the upcoming Champions League tournament?
I think the idea is very good and it gives the so-called outsiders a bigger chance. The break will do us good and it'll mean that we will go into the tournament fresh. I want to go as far as we can - I enjoy testing myself against the best!
Thanks for your time, Pete!