Plea: “Still plenty to achieve at Borussia”
On Friday, the club announced that Alassane Plea had extended his contract with the Foals until 30th June 2025, including the option to add on an additional year. In an interview, the Frenchman spoke about the reasons for his decision, his future goals with Borussia and the Bundesliga season opener against Hoffenheim.
Lasso, how does it feel to have extended your contract with Borussia until 2025?
Alassane Plea: I’m very happy to have signed this contract extension. I’m also pleased to be staying at Borussia, because that was my priority. I’m glad to have reached an agreement with the club. It’s perfect.
What drove you to want to extend your contract with the Foals after four seasons?
Plea: It’s true that after four great years at Borussia, I was asking myself what to do. In the end, I felt that there is still a lot I can achieve at Borussia. I feel very at home here, and so do my family. I have a lot of friends within the team and think that we have a really strong squad this season. My meetings with Roland Virkus and Steffen Korell were also very good, which I would like to thank both of them for. In the end, those were the reasons why I’ve decided to extend my contract here.
What do you hope to achieve over the coming seasons with Borussia?
Plea: When I arrived here, my goal was to compete in Europe. Thanks to Borussia, I have been able to play in both the Champions League and Europa League. Borussia are a big club. We had a tough season last year, and need to set our aims higher this term. In my opinion, we have the potential to play internationally. That’s what motivates me. Why should I leave when I’m at a club that has the potential to qualify for Europe? That’s why I’m staying.
What impression do you have of new head coach Daniel Farke?
Plea: I had a good feeling about him right from the first day. He’s very close to the players, asks us how we’re doing and feeling, which is important. We also have a lot of fun. We train a lot with the ball, but also work on our fitness. Training is really great and it’s different every day.
You mentioned it: although the training sessions are intense, it also seems like you’re having a lot of fun.
Plea: It’s true that training is very intense. It’s the first time in my career – and I’ve been around for 10 years now – that I’ve trained so much with and without the ball. In between the individual drills we always do a short fitness session, so you don’t notice it as much. However, we do work very hard. The drills are fun though, which is why we all have a smile on our face.
You’ve been living in Germany for five years. Has it become your second home?
Plea: The weather here is obviously different to back home, but I’m living in a really nice city and my family is really comfortable here. My parents and my brother are only two and a half hours away in the car and that’s a big advantage. My family and friends can visit me every weekend. It’s very important for me to have my loved ones close by.
You’ll kick off your Bundesliga campaign against Hoffenheim on Saturday. Is the aim is to pick up three points?
Plea: Definitely – our aim is to win the game at home. I think we’ve prepared well and are ready; we just have to demonstrate that on the pitch on Saturday. Starting the season at home in front of our own fans is perfect. We’ll try to give them a victory and a good start to the season while developing some momentum at the same time.