András Schäfer scored his first goal in the Bundesliga (Photo: Imago)

Are you heading to Leipzig?
– Yes, but only to watch a match – András Schäfer, the Union Berlin midfielder, who scored as a substitute in the 4–1 away win over Freiburg on Saturday, replied to our newspaper early Sunday afternoon. – Most shops in Berlin are closed on Sundays, mostly just cafes and restaurants are open, and since we were given two days off after Saturday's win, I tried to come up with a good program for the afternoon. In the end, the Leipzig-Augsburg match was the winner; not a bad program for a Sunday afternoon.

After Saturday's win, Union Berlin is certainly going to participate in one of the European Cup series next season. You also scored your first goal in the Bundesliga. What were your feelings when you woke up on Sunday morning?
– I'd have a hard time describing it... It's amazing what's happening to me and I'm very happy to be part of this team. I could hardly have been in a more cohesive team. It says a lot that, with a little exaggeration, my teammates were happier with my first goal than I was.

Would you elaborate on that?
– When a player signs with a new team, he pretty much senses from gestures in the locker room and from small moments whether or not others like him. I felt from the very first minute that I was accepted, and when I scored on Saturday, the captain, his assistant, and the experienced players rushed straight towards me to put me in front of our fans. There are a lot of players in the team who have a much richer Bundesliga career than I do, yet they could feel so much what this shot means to me. It's an incredible feeling.

Would you have thought that you'd score your first goal after the coronavirus infection and just two training sessions behind you?
– No. A few days before the game, I wrote to our physiotherapist that if I am in the condition to play on Saturday, I would be the happiest man in the world. In the meantime, I forgot about this message, but he showed it after the final whistle. It's a strange situation because I have asthma, and this virus attacks the lungs, so I had to pay close attention to the load. Because of that, I could train only twice before the game, so it's hard to describe how I felt when I saw the ball ending up in the net.

What is it thanks to that Union Berlin is doing so well?
– I know it's a cliché, but especially to the team unit. The situation is a bit similar to that of the national team: in our success, harmony and cohesion are essential. Before the season, the majority predicted that we would fight against relegation, in terms of the Bundesliga field, the total value of our squad is not only not in the top eight, but not even in the top ten, but almost all of our matches have a three-way bet. Of course, it is difficult to win every match throughout the season, but we have lost very few of the important clashes. Unfortunately, we lost one of the most important ones, the German Cup semifinal against RB Leipzig.

Did the team get through that defeat quickly?
– It helped a lot that a few days later we beat Leipzig in the league, but it was not easy to move on after that either. Since the finale will be in Berlin, we had that "what if..." feeling. Anything could have happened against Freiburg in the German capital. Saturday's game shows that we would not have been underdogs, but it is a shame to dwell on that. And despite losing the semifinals, we have a great season.

Which European Cup series do you think the team will be in next season?
– I hope that at least we will have the Europa League. The Conference League cannot be overlooked – it would not be a disappointment either. And the Champions League is the dream category, but a lot of things would have to work out for that to happen. However, keeping sixth place is in our own hands, so let's stay with the Europa League.

When you started your preparations at DAC in the winter, did you expect the world to turn with you this much in May?
– I would have had a hard time thinking that this spring would be like living my dreams. I can't say that I have played a lot in the Bundesliga, but during these six months, I have played in league competitions, scored a goal, and the derby against Hertha in front of 80,000 spectators is an unforgettable memory. I'm grateful to be here, and I hope this is just the beginning.

Bayern München–VfB Stuttgart 2–2 (Mavropanos 35. – own goal, Th. Müller 44., and Tiago Tomás 8., Kalajdžić 52.)
RB Leipzig–Augsburg 4–0  (André Silva 40., Nkunku 48., 57., Forsberg 64. – penalty)
Eintracht Frankfurt–Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–1 (Paciencia 66., and Pléa 4.)

Hertha BSC–Mainz 1–2
 (Selke 45+5., and Widmer 25., Bell 81.)

Freiburg–Union Berlin 1–4
 (Höler 59., and Prömel 11., Trimmel 30., S. Becker 41., Schäfer 90.)
Greuther Fürth–Borussia Dortmund 1–3
 (Ngankam 70., and Brandt 26., 72., Passlack 77.)
Hoffenheim–Bayer Leverkusen 2–4 (Rutter 22., Baumgartner 36., and Schick 34., 76., M. Diaby 73., Alario 90+1.)
1. FC Köln–Wolfsburg 0–1 (Gerhardt 43.)

Bochum–Arminia Bielefeld 2–1
 (Polter 22., Bello 89. – own goal, and Nilsson 35.)

Translated by Vanda Orosz  

1. Bayern München 33 24 4 5 95–35 +60  76
2. Borussia Dortmund 33 21 3 9 83–51 +32  66
3. Bayer Leverkusen 33 18 7 8 78–46 +32  61
4. Freiburg 33 15 10 8 57–44 +13  55
5. RB Leipzig 32 16 6 10 67–36 +31  54
6. Union Berlin 33 15 9 9 47–42 +5  54
7. 1. FC Köln 33 14 10 9 51–47 +4  52
8. Hoffenheim 33 13 7 13 57–55 +2  46
9. Mainz 33 13 6 14 48–43 +5  45
10. Mönchengladbach 33 11 9 13 49–60 –11  42
11. Bochum 33 12 6 15 36–49 –13  42
12. Eintracht Frankfurt 33 10 11 12 43–47 –4  41
13. Wolfsburg 33 12 5 16 41–52 –11  41
14. Augsburg 32 9 8 15 37–51 –14  35
15. Hertha 33 9 6 18 36–69 –33  33
16. VfB Stuttgart 33 6 12 15 39–58 –19  30
17. Arminia Bielefeld 33 5 12 16 26–52 –26  27
18. Greuther Fürth 33 3 9 21 27–80 –53  18