Sebastiaan, your first day and first training session at FC is done and dusted. What are your first impressions of FC?
I like the club, and I really like the German mentality. Right is right and left is left. No other way. I think there is a good dynamic of people here with a lot of good energy. You can feel it as soon as you get here. They’re and dynamic in a very good way. It’s a great training centre in the middle of the forest. I like that a lot. The supporters here are amazing. To have so many people at training is crazy. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s incredible.
Have you had a chance to have a look around Köln so far? Are you looking for a house at the moment?
I didn’t have the chance to look around Köln yet. Tonight will be my first evening in the city and I’m looking for a nice restaurant. I’ve not got any recommendations for the guys at the moment, but I’ll send Birger a text and he’ll give me some good options. I’ll go with my girlfriend and my mum. We’ll look around the city a little bit and then tomorrow, we’re going to go and look for an apartment. There’s a nice forest in Köln and I wouldn’t mind being close to it. I’m more of a forest guy than being in the middle of the city, I like quiet and peace.
Moving away means it will be your first time living away from your parents – are you looking forward to the move? Will anyone be moving with you?
It’ll be my first time living away from home and living on my own. I lived in Brussels and close to Anderlecht – so I stayed with them. But I’m looking forward to it and it’s a step in my development as a person. It’s not so far away, it’s only two hours away from home so it’s good for me. My girlfriend is coming too, but she is studying in Brussels and I think she will be with me half the time. My younger sister is also starting University next year. I don’t want something so big, just nice and peaceful. I think I’ll have to learn a little from my mum when it comes to laundry (laughs).
Have you got any experience of German from your school days? Will that be another task you need to tick off?
I can understand a lot, but if people are speaking really quickly, then it can become a little bit difficult. I had some German lessons in school in the 10th Grade, and I’ve almost forgotten everything (laughs). I remember a few things like “Haben Sie eine Tisch frei?”, “eine Kartoffel” “Ja, nein. Ich bin Sebastian, ich bin 20 Jahre alt und ich habe eine Schwester.” I’ll make sure to use it at the restaurant tonight.
Was there anyone who helped you with some advice on making the move to FC?
We had a coach at Anderlecht who played in Germany. He told me about the club and that it’s an amazing place to be with incredible supporters, and that the level here is really high. I spoke with Vincent Kompany and Daniel van Buyten, and nobody knows the German league like him.
"I’ll always give 100% for the club. Always. I can’t go on the pitch and not do that."- Sebastiaan Bornauw
You mention Vincent Kompany – it must have been pretty special to play your final game at Anderlecht with him?
To play beside Kompany was amazing for me. I really enjoyed it. A like the person Kompany a lot. He has a mentality similar to what it’s like here, because he also played in Germany for some time. He’s an exceptionally good player and also someone to look up to, because he’s a great guy. I tried to learn as much as I could in the short time I was with him. Then I had the opportunity with Köln, and I just couldn’t let it go.
Much like Kompany, you have an appreciation for tactics and want to become a manager down the line. Where has that interest stemmed from?
I don’t know where it came from, but I really like tactics and to think about the way of playing football. What a good strategy is to play against your opponent, I like to watch football in general and I also enjoy video analysis. I know some players aren’t big fans of it, but for me, it’s always interesting to look at the pictures and see how the opposition play. But the most important thing is how we play. Later on in my career, I think I could become a good manager and it’s something I’d like to do. If you can make young players better and you can see their development, it’s very satisfying.
Lastly, the number 33 is a little bit special after Matze Lehmann wore it as captain. Did you pick it with that in mind?
I heard about it, he’s a legend of the club. I picked the number, because it’s a beautiful number. I didn’t know at the time it was his (Matthias Lehmann, red.). I heard about him, though. I’ll do everything to let his number shine. I had the number three before, with the national team in the summer and with Anderlecht in the youth teams. I’ll always give 100% for the club. Always. I can’t go on the pitch and not do that. It’s not my mentality. I will always give my best. Even when things aren’t going that well, I’ll still keep pushing through. I’ll work hard every day.