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Food

Something's brewing

When Leon Goretzka isn’t grinding out results on the pitch for Bayern München, he’s got another speciality: coffee

WORDS Dan Poole | INTERVIEW Joanna Kozak

“According to the stories, I used to play around with potatoes in the kitchen before they got chopped and put into the pan.” So that’s little Leon Goretzka back in the day, a toddler at his mother’s feet, doing keepy-uppies with spuds. Take a moment to visualise that (as an aside, in our mind’s eye he’s in full Bayern München kit). It’s a cute story but it’s also instructive. For here, clearly, is a man who was not only born with an aptitude for football, but also an appetite for victuals.

As the German midfielder has grown, matured and stopped kicking potatoes around, so too have his taste buds developed. Because now his favourite way to while away the time is not with a starchy tuber, but with a roasted bean or two.

“There are few things nicer for me than, after we’ve won a game, having a quick training session the next day and then going to sit down in a café in Munich and drinking a coffee – watching people, enjoying the sun,” says Goretzka. “For me, that is quality of life and I enjoy it very much. It’s a great passion of mine.”

And what’s his favoured means of delivery? “Since I don’t drink cow’s milk, I enjoy drinking a cappuccino with oat milk – or an espresso. I like trying lots of different things. I’ll never say no to a coffee.”

Coffee culture is alive and kicking in Munich, so while the 28-year-old won’t divulge his favourite haunt – “I do have one, but I don’t want to do any advertising for them!” – he’s certainly got plenty of cafés to choose from. There are the old-school ones with chandeliers on the ceiling and the more minimalist, modern options, in a city that embraces the caffeine scene. “Kaffee und Kuchen” is a popular pastime: coffee, cake and either a newspaper or a spot of people-watching.  

“I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight”
By

Goretzka is all for it. “It’s no problem for me to sit in a café alone; I enjoy that sometimes,” he says – although, given his commitment to nutrition, we’re assuming the cake part of the equation is declined more often than not. “I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight,” he says, making passing reference to that muscle mass he famously developed during lockdown. “I’ve felt very good since I started following it and I will keep on doing so.”

That doesn’t rule him out of another favoured approach to enjoying a cup of Joe in Germany:  Kaffeeklatsch is the art of coffee and conversation. “If I find somebody who wants to come with me, I’ll take them along,” he says of seeking out a willing companion in the dressing room. “I always try to find someone different but it’s always the usual suspects.”

When Goretzka does take a team-mate, he might well try to tempt them into one of his other hobbies: a game of chess. “I’m not sure I’d class myself as a good player, but I enjoy it and it’s very interesting,” he says. “The mental challenge, thinking about your moves in advance and what your opponent might do next: it’s all quite challenging.” 

That said, it might not be the best option if he’s just taken part in a challenging training session. “Sometimes after a game of chess I'm really exhausted, but I can really only recommend it to people. I think it’s one of the best games that has ever been invented.” Any similarities between the board game and the game he plays on the pitch? “I reckon one or two coaches think there is a connection but, for me, there is a huge difference between the two. Football lives off the emotions and the fans and the full stadium and the atmosphere – that’s not the case with chess.”

Talking of the fans, Goretzka is determined to win the Champions League again so that the team can celebrate with the supporters this time: their 2020 final win over Paris was played out in front of empty stands. “That’s an important aspect that motivates you even more to win the title: you want to celebrate with all the fans, everybody dressed in red. That’s my clear goal: to achieve it once again and celebrate together with our fans.” Just imagine the opportunities for Kaffeeklatsch afterwards…

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Food

Something's brewing

When Leon Goretzka isn’t grinding out results on the pitch for Bayern München, he’s got another speciality: coffee

WORDS Dan Poole | INTERVIEW Joanna Kozak

“According to the stories, I used to play around with potatoes in the kitchen before they got chopped and put into the pan.” So that’s little Leon Goretzka back in the day, a toddler at his mother’s feet, doing keepy-uppies with spuds. Take a moment to visualise that (as an aside, in our mind’s eye he’s in full Bayern München kit). It’s a cute story but it’s also instructive. For here, clearly, is a man who was not only born with an aptitude for football, but also an appetite for victuals.

As the German midfielder has grown, matured and stopped kicking potatoes around, so too have his taste buds developed. Because now his favourite way to while away the time is not with a starchy tuber, but with a roasted bean or two.

“There are few things nicer for me than, after we’ve won a game, having a quick training session the next day and then going to sit down in a café in Munich and drinking a coffee – watching people, enjoying the sun,” says Goretzka. “For me, that is quality of life and I enjoy it very much. It’s a great passion of mine.”

And what’s his favoured means of delivery? “Since I don’t drink cow’s milk, I enjoy drinking a cappuccino with oat milk – or an espresso. I like trying lots of different things. I’ll never say no to a coffee.”

Coffee culture is alive and kicking in Munich, so while the 28-year-old won’t divulge his favourite haunt – “I do have one, but I don’t want to do any advertising for them!” – he’s certainly got plenty of cafés to choose from. There are the old-school ones with chandeliers on the ceiling and the more minimalist, modern options, in a city that embraces the caffeine scene. “Kaffee und Kuchen” is a popular pastime: coffee, cake and either a newspaper or a spot of people-watching.  

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“I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight”
By

Goretzka is all for it. “It’s no problem for me to sit in a café alone; I enjoy that sometimes,” he says – although, given his commitment to nutrition, we’re assuming the cake part of the equation is declined more often than not. “I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight,” he says, making passing reference to that muscle mass he famously developed during lockdown. “I’ve felt very good since I started following it and I will keep on doing so.”

That doesn’t rule him out of another favoured approach to enjoying a cup of Joe in Germany:  Kaffeeklatsch is the art of coffee and conversation. “If I find somebody who wants to come with me, I’ll take them along,” he says of seeking out a willing companion in the dressing room. “I always try to find someone different but it’s always the usual suspects.”

When Goretzka does take a team-mate, he might well try to tempt them into one of his other hobbies: a game of chess. “I’m not sure I’d class myself as a good player, but I enjoy it and it’s very interesting,” he says. “The mental challenge, thinking about your moves in advance and what your opponent might do next: it’s all quite challenging.” 

That said, it might not be the best option if he’s just taken part in a challenging training session. “Sometimes after a game of chess I'm really exhausted, but I can really only recommend it to people. I think it’s one of the best games that has ever been invented.” Any similarities between the board game and the game he plays on the pitch? “I reckon one or two coaches think there is a connection but, for me, there is a huge difference between the two. Football lives off the emotions and the fans and the full stadium and the atmosphere – that’s not the case with chess.”

Talking of the fans, Goretzka is determined to win the Champions League again so that the team can celebrate with the supporters this time: their 2020 final win over Paris was played out in front of empty stands. “That’s an important aspect that motivates you even more to win the title: you want to celebrate with all the fans, everybody dressed in red. That’s my clear goal: to achieve it once again and celebrate together with our fans.” Just imagine the opportunities for Kaffeeklatsch afterwards…

Food

Something's brewing

When Leon Goretzka isn’t grinding out results on the pitch for Bayern München, he’s got another speciality: coffee

WORDS Dan Poole | INTERVIEW Joanna Kozak

“According to the stories, I used to play around with potatoes in the kitchen before they got chopped and put into the pan.” So that’s little Leon Goretzka back in the day, a toddler at his mother’s feet, doing keepy-uppies with spuds. Take a moment to visualise that (as an aside, in our mind’s eye he’s in full Bayern München kit). It’s a cute story but it’s also instructive. For here, clearly, is a man who was not only born with an aptitude for football, but also an appetite for victuals.

As the German midfielder has grown, matured and stopped kicking potatoes around, so too have his taste buds developed. Because now his favourite way to while away the time is not with a starchy tuber, but with a roasted bean or two.

“There are few things nicer for me than, after we’ve won a game, having a quick training session the next day and then going to sit down in a café in Munich and drinking a coffee – watching people, enjoying the sun,” says Goretzka. “For me, that is quality of life and I enjoy it very much. It’s a great passion of mine.”

And what’s his favoured means of delivery? “Since I don’t drink cow’s milk, I enjoy drinking a cappuccino with oat milk – or an espresso. I like trying lots of different things. I’ll never say no to a coffee.”

Coffee culture is alive and kicking in Munich, so while the 28-year-old won’t divulge his favourite haunt – “I do have one, but I don’t want to do any advertising for them!” – he’s certainly got plenty of cafés to choose from. There are the old-school ones with chandeliers on the ceiling and the more minimalist, modern options, in a city that embraces the caffeine scene. “Kaffee und Kuchen” is a popular pastime: coffee, cake and either a newspaper or a spot of people-watching.  

“I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight”
By

Goretzka is all for it. “It’s no problem for me to sit in a café alone; I enjoy that sometimes,” he says – although, given his commitment to nutrition, we’re assuming the cake part of the equation is declined more often than not. “I have followed my diet plan for seven years or so, and it has more to do with injury prevention than building body weight,” he says, making passing reference to that muscle mass he famously developed during lockdown. “I’ve felt very good since I started following it and I will keep on doing so.”

That doesn’t rule him out of another favoured approach to enjoying a cup of Joe in Germany:  Kaffeeklatsch is the art of coffee and conversation. “If I find somebody who wants to come with me, I’ll take them along,” he says of seeking out a willing companion in the dressing room. “I always try to find someone different but it’s always the usual suspects.”

When Goretzka does take a team-mate, he might well try to tempt them into one of his other hobbies: a game of chess. “I’m not sure I’d class myself as a good player, but I enjoy it and it’s very interesting,” he says. “The mental challenge, thinking about your moves in advance and what your opponent might do next: it’s all quite challenging.” 

That said, it might not be the best option if he’s just taken part in a challenging training session. “Sometimes after a game of chess I'm really exhausted, but I can really only recommend it to people. I think it’s one of the best games that has ever been invented.” Any similarities between the board game and the game he plays on the pitch? “I reckon one or two coaches think there is a connection but, for me, there is a huge difference between the two. Football lives off the emotions and the fans and the full stadium and the atmosphere – that’s not the case with chess.”

Talking of the fans, Goretzka is determined to win the Champions League again so that the team can celebrate with the supporters this time: their 2020 final win over Paris was played out in front of empty stands. “That’s an important aspect that motivates you even more to win the title: you want to celebrate with all the fans, everybody dressed in red. That’s my clear goal: to achieve it once again and celebrate together with our fans.” Just imagine the opportunities for Kaffeeklatsch afterwards…

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