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Punching above their weight: Flying start in Bundesliga proves why Ritsu Doan and Freiburg are a perfect match

Ritsu Doan has made a storming start to life with Freiburg, netting an extra-time winner in the DFB-Pokal before following up with his first Bundesliga goal for the club in a 4-0 win over Augsburg. Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP

Ritsu Doan has made a flying start to life in the Bundesliga with Freiburg. But for him, this is only the beginning.

Having made the decision earlier this summer to leave Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven and take his career to Germany, Doan has already had an instant impact.

In his official debut, the Japan international netted a dramatic extra-time winner to secure a first-round victory in the DFB-Pokal, before following up with his first league goal for the club in last weekend's 4-0 win over Augsburg.

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Scoring twice in two games would be a dream start of many.

For Doan? He is staying grounded having been quietly confident he would be able to make such a mark.

"People might think I've done a great start but honestly I'm not surprised," he told ESPN.

"My feeling in the preseason was very good, with my new coach and my new teammates. "For me, it makes sense. It's not luck. In my head I had a clear idea and the team has helped me a lot.

"Yes, it's a great start for sure -- two games, two goals -- but I'm just focusing on every training and every game. The result will come later.

"For me, it's about a routine every week and not thinking too much about the future or other stuff. Mentally, I'm very stable now and I'm really enjoying being at this club."

Doan's decision to move to Freiburg was an interesting one given he was coming off the back of arguably the best season -- at least in terms of his attacking output -- of his career, having netted 11 goals in all competition for PSV last term.

At the age of 24, moving permanently to a bigger league in the Bundesliga -- where he previously had a loan spell with Arminia Bielefeld -- made absolute sense.

"For sure, it's a very exciting time signing for this new club," Doan added.

"I was thinking a lot during the holidays what I have to do, and want to do, for my career. My decision was clear in my head that I wanted to make a new step and in a bigger league.

"I saw a lot of games of Freiburg, spoke with the new coach, and I had no doubt to make the decision for this new chapter."

While it is usually the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund that grab the headlines in the Bundesliga, Freiburg have made a habit of performing above expectations for a club of their more modest stature.

Having last won promotion back to the top flight in 2016, Freiburg have achieved top-half finishes in three of the six seasons since -- with last season's 6th-place earning them Europa League qualification.

Freiburg are a club that are capable of punching above their weight but go about their business without much fuss.

And that is why it should come as no surprise that they appealed to someone like Doan, who is also hungry to achieve more in his career while doing so in his calm and understated manner.

"That was also one of the biggest reasons (for me) to come here -- I like the project," he explained.

"They don't spend as much money as Bayern, Dortmund or (RB) Leipzig. They're not that kind of club. When I spoke to the coach (Christian Streich), I got the feeling they don't just see what is on the pitch, but also look at personality and how a player fits into this club.

"That's what I like at the club -- I felt like they wanted to be a bigger club and that it's time to make the next step. Of course, they don't want to just stay 10th in the Bundesliga. They want to keep fighting like last season - 6th, 7th, fifth, maybe even the Champions League.

"That's our big goal for the next few seasons now. It's difficult to compare playing for one of Holland's top clubs (PSV) and fighting for fourth to 6th in the Bundesliga, but honestly I prefer playing in the Bundesliga.

"It's a bigger league with bigger players, there's a different pressure but it's good.

"I fit with the Bundesliga, I think."