Karim Adeyemi on Borussia Dortmund, catching Bayern Munich in the title race and Jude Bellingham
With six goals and five assists since the turn of the year, Karim Adeyemi is making a telling contribution to Borussia Dortmund’s push for top honours. bundesliga.com caught up with the 21-year-old Germany international, who has two games left to make his 2022/23 Bundesliga title dream a reality…
What was it like a year ago when you signed for Dortmund?
Karim Adeyemi: “I signed here in this building, one year ago. I arrived here as a shy boy, and I was really happy that everything worked out. My dream was always to come here and looking back a year later, I’m really happy with my choice. I look forward to the rest of my time here in Dortmund.”
Was it the right decision to join BVB with everything you know now?
Adeyemi: “Yes. As I always said – the first six months were really difficult. I always knew it could only get better, and this year personally has only been uphill for me. I think we’re showing good togetherness as a team, so I’m really happy to be here in Dortmund.”
What are the reasons for things going so much better in 2023?
Adeyemi: “I don’t know. I always stick with the words: new year, new luck. All my energy and focus is going into performing in training and matches – I want to make sure I don’t have a year like the last one again. I think hard work always pays off, and that’s why as a team, you can pick up form and go on a run of positive results. If you invest a lot, you get your rewards at some point.”
It seems that you also put more emphasis on defending. Is that where you get your confidence?
Adeyemi: “Absolutely, that’s exactly how I would describe it. The most important thing for me is to always stay in the game, defensively and offensively. I always think if I do my defensive duties properly, the offensive side will come out by itself – this is exactly how it’s been going this season. I don’t dwell on the negative things that can happen anymore, I just work as hard as possible defensively, to help my team keep that clean sheet – the attacking side comes out on its own.”
You scored an incredible header against Wolfsburg. Were you surprised?
Adeyemi: “I’ve always known I can jump quite high. Usually, I have used this strength to help with the build-up in the midfield, and not to be prolific in front of goal. I think in the end I started wanting it more and luckily, I managed in the end.”
Is that a previously unknown strength of yours?
Adeyemi: “I think it was always there, I just didn’t use it. I think it’s a new strength I can utilise moving forward in the future.
What did the other players say to you?
Adeyemi: “The term being thrown around in the changing rooms at the moment is, ‘Airdeyemi’. The team always knew that I could jump high; my heading ability just wasn’t perfect. A lot of them are telling me that my header was a good one, though, which is nice.”
Karim Adeyemi and Manu Kone during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund at Borussia Park on 11 November 2022.