Exclusive: RB Leipzig and Wales defender Ethan Ampadu on Die Roten Bullen UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga continuity

RB Leipzig currently stands 3rd place in the Bundesliga courtesy of registering 50 points from 25 Bundesliga games this season under Julian Nagelsmann; RB Leipzig remains five points adrift current Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München having earned 10 points from a possible 18 in their last six league encounters.

RB Leipzig meanwhile has lost three times in the Bundesliga throughout the 2019/2020 campaign; RB Leipzig lost six games in the Bundesliga last season and registered 66 points.
Nagelsmann’s side has conceded 26 goals this season in the Bundesliga and has scored 62 in the competition this term. Furthermore, RB Leipzig has kept four clean sheets in the Bundesliga since January 2020.
Die Roten Bullen, who finished 3rd place in the Bundesliga last season, were runners up in the Bundesliga in the 2016/2017 season.
The Saxony-based club has lost once in the Bundesliga since the beginning of the New Year. RB Leipzig’s current leading goalscorers, Timo Werner with 21, Marcel Sabitzer with eight, Patrick Schick with seven and Emil Forsberg with five, have been among the key attacking catalysts this season for the club.
Prior to RB Leipzig’s triumphant UEFA Champions League victory against José Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur, FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta briefly caught up with RB Leipzig and Wales defender, Ethan Ampadu, 19, currently on-loan from Chelsea, to discuss RB Leipzig’s form in the Bundesliga this season, UEFA Champions League success and playing and learning under Julian Nagelsmann.

Q: Ethan, can you talk about RB Leipzig’s expectations and targets for the second half of the Bundesliga and, of course, the recent run of form and self-belief heading into the forthcoming matches?

As a team, we want to win every single game. But the Bundesliga is full of great teams, and especially this season you can see how close the top 5 clubs are. We have always said that we want to qualify for the Champions League, finishing among the top 4. If we should have the chance to play for the title at the end of the season, we won’t say no. (laughs)

Q: What are your collective thoughts on RB Leipzig’s displays and overall resilience in the UEFA Champions League this term?

It has been a good campaign so far. We played a strong group stage and earned our spot among Europe’s best 16 teams. Then we had a great performance at Tottenham in the first leg of the final 16 but we could have definitely scored again and that would have made things better ahead of the 2nd leg. Now we want to take the last step to reach the quarterfinals.

Q: With regards to Julian Nagelsmann, can you elaborate on the immense levels of loyalty and trust in the developmental process which he has instilled within you as a professional?

The coach is young and has a good connection to the team. He is technically very strong but also demands quite a lot from the players. This is how we get better – in football, at this level you always have to challenge yourself every day. I feel that I am learning new things here and Leipzig is a good experience for me.

Q: Can you talk about both adapting to and embracing the German culture and language since arriving on loan from Chelsea?

Obviously, it is quite a change for me. But that is part of what I mean with it being a good experience for me as a young professional. It is not only football that is different here but also the environment. To be honest, the language is quite difficult to learn but I am doing my best. The team and the club have made it very easy for me to adapt and to get integrated here. The team is young, hungry and we have a great atmosphere. And to my surprise, Germans can definitely be very funny, although the stereotype is different. (laughs)

Q: Lastly, what would it mean to be selected and play a pivotal role in Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad this summer at Euro 2020?

Representing your country is always something special. I’m a very proud Welshman so the idea of playing in a major Final is really really exciting. Every time I put on the Wales jersey it makes me very proud. So making the squad for the Euro 2020 finals would definitely be something very cool. I really hope I do make the squad so while my main job is training to help my club RB Leipzig I’m also doing my best to be ready to fulfill my dream to perform well at the Euro finals.

Dean Perretta
Dean Perretta is a 2x SEA Award-winning creative, Broadcast Journalist, Reporter, Courtside Analyst for BBC televised London Lions and Executive Producer who currently contributes to FOX Sports Radio, FourFourTwo Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Magazine.