Lucas Hernández: "I joined Bayern Munich to leave my comfort zone"
The opportunity to change "life, city, culture and country" was behind Lucas Hernández's decision to leave Atlético de Madrid and join Bayern Munich.
Lucas Hernández says he joined Bayern Munich to take himself out of his "comfort zone" in Madrid. The World Cup-winning France international switched to the Bundesliga champions from Atlético de Madrid in an €80million deal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
He has been the centre of a row between club and country over the past week following France's decision to call him up for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's previous two matches with a knee problem. Lucas, who did not make it off the substitutes' bench in the 1-0 win over Iceland on Friday, says he joined the Bavarian giants as the time was right for a fresh start.
It was the right moment to leave Atlético - Lucas
"There were other interested clubs and I had everything I needed in Madrid," he told France Football. "I put everything on the table. I thought about it; I spoke with my family. In the end, it was the right moment for me to change life, city, culture and country; to see something else. Bayern corresponds with who I am, my mentality, my ambitions. The club representatives and the players told me that I was going to be joining a family. That is the truth. Bayern is an historic club. It represents so many things in the world. I have already had a nice little experience and a list of achievements, but I am a big competitor and I want to win even more titles. Bayern is a winning machine. That was perfect for me. This is a real step forward in joining Bayern. I wanted to go to the next level. By joining Bayern, I have arrived in one of the best clubs in the world. I wanted to put myself under a bit of pressure, join a different club, where the language and culture is different, to put myself in danger, not stay in my comfort zone in Madrid."
No egos at Bayern, says Lucas
Despite joining a side brimming with established and successful players, Lucas says he has been welcomed with open arms into a dressing room that contains precious few egos. "When they show you everything that they've won, it is impressive," he added. "Then there is the dressing room. In your head, you say to yourself, 'Wow, this is going to be incredible!' You have stratospheric players like [Robert] Lewandowski and [Thomas] Müller, who have played it all, won it all. And then you quickly realise that it is a normal dressing room, where everyone is relaxed. It is not a dressing room with a clan mentality. Everyone speaks with everyone. The guys are really simple."