Düsseldorf – The preliminary skirmish is over, with the start of the Europa League final in North Rhine-Westphalia, missteps are no longer allowed. Because of the crown, there are only finals in the form of a shortened tournament.
“It’s bouncy or top notch. We’ll see we go into the mainstream, maybe to win something big,” Bayer Leverkusen captain Lars Bender said ahead of the quarter-final knockout match with the Inter Milan on August 10 (9 p.m. / RTL) and DAZN) in Düsseldorf.
Bayer’s gaze is on the final, which takes place on 21 August, from all places across the Rhine at the stadium of rival 1. FC Köln. But that toad would be swallowed. Because the only international title to date – in the previous competition, the UEFA Cup – came in 1988 and over 32 years ago. Only two wins – and the dream of the home final would come true.
Bayer coach Peter Bosz enters the game fearlessly, without any support from the crowd: “We don’t fear any opponent, but we respect every opponent. Inter have a very good and experienced squad. But of course they also have weaknesses. I hope we can on Monday. See what that means, “the 56-year-old coach said in the last virtual press conference on Sunday.” We also have a good squad. , but you shouldn’t allow yourself too many mistakes. Otherwise, it will be difficult. “
Kai Havertz will play a key role in the only remaining Bundesliga squad following the end of Wolfsburg and Frankfurt ahead of his eventual move to England at Chelsea. Bayer coach Peter Bosz is confident that ongoing transfer speculation will not prevent Germany’s most sought after footballer internationally in his commitment and performance. “Kai is focused and very motivated, he wants to play football and achieve something with us. We are lucky,” Bosz said in an interview with “Bild am Sonntag” of the 21-year-old Werkself star.
So far Havertz has not been distracted by the reports and rumors. Also in the 1-0 round of 16 second leg against Glasgow Rangers last Thursday in the BayArena, he showed a classy performance, although he missed three good scoring opportunities. Havertz is also taking advantage of the fact that he has been spared the major hype since the outbreak of the corona pandemic due to fan exclusion and poor media contact. The creative player is not someone who seeks the light of the public anyway. If he wasn’t under contract at Leverkusen, where the media volume is relatively manageable, but at FC Bayern or Borussia Dortmund, the vortex would be much bigger.
Moreover, it pays off that sporting director Simon Rolfes and sporting director Rudi Völler made it clear from the start that a change of Havertz would only be possible after the last game of the season. Völler repeats this like a prayer wheel and leaves no room for speculation for Havertz a la Timo Werner to leave prematurely.
Havertz is also pulling the strings against Inter. “Of course Kai plays, he wants it too. I’m a bit old-fashioned: for me a season isn’t over until all the games have been played. Nobody leaves before that,” Völler said. The 60-year-old has been in the business for so long that he remains relaxed on the matter of change and allows no fuss in the squad. The question is “quite simple,” says Völler: “He still has a two-year contract. If someone accepts our terms, that’s okay, otherwise he’ll stay one year and we’ll be happy. It won’t be. easy, but for such an artist there is no Covid reduction. “There is a transfer fee of around 100 million euros.
Bosz can fully concentrate on his role as a coach. Inter were a big hunk, said the Dutchman, who led Ajax Amsterdam to the Europa League final three years ago. “Whoever finishes second in Italy can’t be so bad. Inter are certainly one of the favorites in the tournament,” said the 56-year-old. “But of course we want to improve. It’s a knockout game, anything is possible,” said Bosz, who now only has to replace suspended Charles Aránguiz. If they reach the semi-finals, the Werkselfs will face the winner of the Schachtjor Donezk – FC Basel match, which will be played in Gelsenkirchen, Düsseldorf on Tuesday.
Kevin Volland also treated Antonio Conte’s side intensively, who beat the Spaniards in Getafe 2-0. “They are a very strong team,” said the forward, but: “We are not a bad team either and have the potential to advance against such an opponent.”
Inter Milan: Handanovič – Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni – D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozović, Gagliardini, Young – Lukaku, Lautaro Martínez
Bayer Leverkusen: Hrádecký – L. Bender, Tapsoba, S. Bender, Sinkgraven – Demirbay, Palacios – Wirtz, Havertz, Diaby – Volland
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain)
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