12.01.2017Bayer 04

#B04goesUSA – Day 9: Racing with Rubens and Rivaldo

Go-karting with Brian, the skipper working on his own, soccer school visit and famous sports stars - day nine in Florida:
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

The final full day in Orlando in 2017 consisted of a training session in the morning and the match against Atletico Mineiro in the evening at the ESPN World Wide of Sports. And even if there were a few tired legs the Werkself gave their all against the Brazilian top-flight side.

Lars Bender bounces back

23 outfield players completed full training before lunch with a focus on the ball and set pieces. Lars Bender trained on his own. "I'm getting better and better," said the skipper in the evening in an interview with "We've worked well at the training camp but we want to take the next steps without any pressure," added Bender who admitted there were a number of frustrating moments during his time in rehab. "It's hard to keep having to fight back. But anybody who knows me knows I will get up again." The captain leaves the training camp in a very positive mood and soon hopes to return to the training ground.

Rivaldo and Lincoln

The match against Atletico Mineiro attracted a number of former football greats. The former Schalke and FC Kaiserslautern pro Lincoln, who started at Atletico, plus the former international Rivaldo were at the ground that belongs to the Disney Group. The World Footballer of the Year 1999 is a friend of the Florida Cup. As part of his duties, he attended a go-kart race that the organisers of the tournament arranged with the former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichelo. What the former teammate of Michael Schumacher thinks of Bayer 04 and the lot of the eternal runner-up will be revealed on the Bayer 04 Facebook page in the next few days.

Go-karting with Barrichello

Barrichello was joined on the track by our mascot. Brian the Lion took part in the race for all mascots at the Florida Cup. Our lion looked the part in his kart and he made the podium. You can follow Brian's experiences on Snapchat.

Visit to children's hospital

As in previous years, a Bayer 04 delegation called in at a hospital in Orlando. And it goes without saying that Meinolf Sprink, director of fans and community affairs at Bayer 04, did not appear with empty hands. All the young patients received a Bayer 04 training top as well as a lot of attention and encouragement. Of course, most of them wanted to know how Chicharito was but interest in Bayer 04 as a club is on the increase according to Sprink.

Bayer 04 Soccer School

This year, Bayer 04 not only visited sick children but also helped out other youngsters. The Bayer 04 Soccer School was held under the Florida sunshine to show football Made in Germany to three different groups (with different disabilities, a Christian organisation and one from the MLS and Orlando City). The coaches were Jörg Kappenhagen, Christoph Binot and Christopher Korte, an American who completed an internship at Bayer 04 at the end of 2016 and helped to organise the groups. "When they heard that coaches were coming from the country of the World Cup winners they were highly enthusiastic," said Sprink who saw the the sessions attended by over 200 children as a complete success. "It's great to see people's eyes light up. It was a big hit."

Sustainable support

And it appears to be sustainable. The match against Atletico Mineiro at the ESPN Worldwide of Sports stadium attracted lots of kids wearing training tops from the Bayer 04 Soccer School. They gave vocal support to their new favourite club and continuously chanted the name of their big hero: Chicharito.

Return flight to Frankfurt

The Werkself training camp 2017 in Orlando comes to an end on Thursday. There is one last training session on the pitches at the ChampionsGate Sports complex and the bus sets off in the direction of the airport at five in the afternoon. The flight takes off at 20.10 local time and is expected to land in Frankfurt on Friday at 10.50 CET. The last leg of the journey will be by bus to Leverkusen. The next match for Bayer 04 is on Tuesday 17 January at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium in a friendly against VfL Bochum. The game kicks off at 14.00 CET.

You can keep up-to-date with events in Florida round-the-clock via our hashtag #B04goesUSA. Just log on to Twitter,Facebook,Instagramand Snapchat (@bayer04snaps). Information on the Werkself training camp is available here in German, English and Spanish: >> <<.


© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Related News

Bayer 04 - 02.12.2023

African journalists visit Leverkusen for round table with Rolfes

Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.

Show more
Business - 01.12.2023

Modernised media area unveiled at BayArena

Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.

Show more
Die PK vor #B04BVB | 13. Spieltag
Werkself-TV - 01.12.2023

Alonso ahead of #B04BVB: An opponent with “individual quality and a good coach”

Bayer 04 have little time to recover from their 2-0 win away at Häcken in the UEFA Europe League, ensuring progress to the round of 16, before their next challenge up against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, head coach Xabi Alonso spoke about BVB and gave a warning about not losing focus.

Show more
Bundesliga - 01.12.2023

Our next opponents: Dortmund seeking next statement win in Bundesliga

Spirits are high at Borussia Dortmund following their impressive display and result away at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. On Sunday (17:30 CET), they want to keep an impressive week going with another scalp in Leverkusen. Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents.

Show more