A polarizing figure before the World Cup and an international sensation after it, Julian Green’s life has certainly been a whirlwind over the past two months.
And now that things settle down for the Bayern Munich product following the US national team’s run to the Round of 16 in Brazil, the 19-year-old Green shared some of his thoughts on the adventure in a Q&A with Bayern's official website.
He said that while the team was disappointed to lose to Belgium in their first knockout-round game, there was great pride to have surpassed the outside expectations by advancing out of Group G that included finalist Germany, Portugal and Ghana.
He was also asked about the overall experience.
“Overall, it was a great experience, even though it was very exhausting,” Green said. “We traveled to a new location every four days, and for us squad players, the training was harder. The climate in our camp in Sao Paulo was pleasant, but in other places the humidity was extremely high. That's why we prepared in Florida and California.
“On the way to training and games, countless people were standing on the road and cheered us. It was obvious that everyone in Brazil is crazy about football. Even in the stadiums, the atmosphere was always sensational. And what we saw on the Internet, Twitter and on TV was also great.”
His goal against Belgium, of course, was a highlight, he said, making him the youngest player to score a World Cup goal since Lionel Messi in 2006. But was he nervous when head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called his number to come on in extra time?
“There was a little tension but I wasn’t nervous,” he said. “I was just really happy to be coming on.”
Green, who scored 15 goals in 23 matches last season with Bayern’s reserve team that plays in the Bavarian Regionalliga, plans to take vacation before beginning preparations for the upcoming season.
He’ll also be on display stateside, barring any unforeseen circumstances, when his club makes a United States preseason tour that culminates with the MLS All-Star Game on Aug. 6 at the Portland Timbers’ Providence Park.
“The experience has definitely helped me progress,” Green said. “I was able to watch the best players in the world up close. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, his presence on the field, his ambition, his posture. Experiencing that up close was great. …
"After my vacation, everything starts again from zero, but I’ll carry a lot of confidence and experience with me from Brazil to Munich, so I’m looking forward to the new season. I want to be able to stand my ground at FC Bayern.”