National player Florian Wirtz from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen celebrated his comeback after 272 days in a friendly at Ibrox Stadium against Scottish record champions Glasgow Rangers with a 3-0 (2-0) loss. On March 13, the 19-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in a duel against his former club 1. FC Köln.
Wirtz came on for Kerem Demirbay in the 62nd minute against Rangers on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, it was a disappointing game for us, that’s why I’m not in a good mood now,” said Wirtz after the game, for which he “naturally would have wished for a better result”. Nevertheless, he was sure that “as the day progressed he would realize what kind of day it was for me”.
The goals for Rangers were scored by the American Malik Tillman (15th/21st), who was trained at Bayern Munich, and Scott Arfield (84th). The Rangers also put a penalty on the post through James Tavernier (81st).
Due to the serious knee injury, Wirtz also missed the nomination for the World Cup finals in Qatar. For the future, however, the teenager is one of the hopes of national coach Hansi Flick. The Werkself are also happy that Wirtz is available again.
“He will be a great winter signing for us,” said coach Xabi Alonso. Sports director Simon Rolfes said in the Sky interview: “He’s a player who has incredible skills at his young age. But what makes him really extraordinary is the discipline and meticulousness with which he goes through it to come back.” In this area, the youngster is “the greatest role model” for him. He has a lot of respect for “how he mastered this rehab – far from the ball,” said Rolfes.
Friendly matches: Wolfsburg draw in friendly against Nordsjaelland
In the penultimate test match of the year, VfL Wolfsburg drew against the leaders of the Danish Superliga. The game against FC Nordsjaelland, which was played behind closed doors in Wolfsburg, ended 1-1 (1-0) after Benjamin Nygren (78′) equalized Mattias Svanberg’s (28′) lead for Wolfsburg.
The seventh-placed Bundesliga side have another friendly against FC Brentford in London on Saturday, December 17, before the Christmas break. A training camp in Almancil (Portugal) will follow in the new year from January 5th.
Test matches: Mainz with a draw at the end of the year
Mainz 05 missed out on a sense of achievement at the end of the calendar year. In the second test of the winter training camp in Mallorca, Rheinhessen and the Spanish first division team RCD Mallorca drew 2-2 (2-1) on Saturday. Earlier, coach Bo Svensson’s team had beaten Mallorca’s second team 3-1 on Wednesday.
Mallorca’s Amath Ndiaye (1st) used the first attack to take the lead. But Mainz responded with Aymen Barkok (21’/penalty kick), and the Svensson team evened out another deficit caused by RCD striker Vedat Muriqi (39’/penalty kick) thanks to a joker goal from defender Danny da Costa (53′).
The second winter training camp will take place on the Spanish Costa del Sol from January 4th to 11th before Mainz take on VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on January 21st.
Test matches: victory and defeat for Borussia Dortmund
The German internationals from Borussia Dortmund have returned to the club shirt with moderate success. At the Christmas Cup in Romania, BVB lost 2-0 to AC Florence on Saturday. Nico Schlotterbeck, Julian Brandt and Karim Adeyemi were among the starting XI.
In the first duel, which also lasted 60 minutes, BVB defeated Rapid Bucharest 2-1 (1-1). Ole Pohlmann (12th) and Giovanni Reyna (49th) scored for the sixth-placed Bundesliga team. Youssoufa Moukoko was in the starting XI.