The conditions at the BayArena were ideal for the start of training: A lush playing-surface thanks to a rain shower, that provided perfect conditions for the quick, short-passing game of the Werkself plus pleasant temperatures around 20 degrees centigrade.
Shortly after ten in the morning, youngster Florian Wirtz and right-back Mitchell Weiser were the first players on the training ground. They and their teammates were in brand new kit. While the outfield players wore red shirts and black shorts, the goalkeepers had blue tops. Immediately before the start of training, the new coaching staff Gerardo Seoane, Patrick Schnarwiler and Alberto Encinas posed for a photo for the media representatives and then the warm-up started.
In addition to the injured Timothy Fosu-Mensah (rehab after torn cruciate) ten players were unable to show Seoane and Co. what they can do as they have only just finished international duty or are still to play for their countries. Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, Edmond Tapsoba, Julian Baumgartlinger, Charles Aránguiz, Exequiel Palacios, Paulinho, Leon Bailey, Lucas Alario, Patrik Schick and Joel Pohjanpalo all missed the opening session. Tapsoba will probably be the first to return from international duty after two friendlies with Burkina Faso in June and he is expected to be back in training this week.
The 16 senior players present, including returning loanee Panos Retsos, were joined by seven youth players on Tuesday morning. Maximilian Neutgens trained with Lennart Grill and Niklas Lomb after the warm-up routine under the guidance of goalkeeping coach David Thiel away from the outfield players. Joshua Eze, Christian Schwieren, Sadik Fofana, Noah Pesch, Ayman Aourir and Zidan Sertdemir completed the session with the Werkself. Sertdemir, who joins the club for the new season from Danish top-flight side FC Nordsjaelland, is set to be with the first-team squad for the whole pre-season.
Left-back Daley Sinkgraven recently had a slight knee problem and therefore did not complete today’s training session. A usual measure for controlling training during the pre-season.
Unfortunately the Black and Red group was affected by an injury. This time it was not a player but instead a member of the coaching staff. Fitness expert Schahriar Bigdeli left the training ground before the end of the session with a bandaged left knee. We wish him a speedy recovery.
All Werkself fans who missed the live stream of the first training session on Bayer 04 TV, with commentary from Mara Mones and Niko Hartmann, can now catch up with the session on YouTube. HERE is the video.
There was another session for the Werkself on Tuesday. This was held in the gym at the BayArena. The next training session will be on Wednesday morning.
As mentioned, Patrik Schick has not yet returned to Leverkusen from Euro 2020. The Werkself centre-forward is currently enjoying a well-deserved holiday after progressing to the quarter-finals with the Czech Republic. He scored five goals at the tournament and one is now up for the vote as the June Goal of the Month on ARD Sportschau.
The 25-year-old scored the opening goal against Scotland with a header just before half-time in the Czech Republic’s first group match, and he made it 2-0 with a shot from just inside the halfway-line in the second half. You can now vote the goal from our number 14 as the best goal of the month of June. The video of the goal and the vote are HERE.
The politicians gave the green light to the Bundesliga on Tuesday for the return of fans in the 2021/22 season. The heads of the state and senate offices have reached an agreement to avoid a patchwork approach caused by different rules in the federal states. A maximum 50 per cent capacity is permitted per stadium with a cap of 25,000. For the BayArena that means a capacity of around 15,000 fans.
Fernando Carro, CEO at Bayer 04: “There is a huge desire amongst the fans to return to the stadiums. And the current development in Germany justifies possible opening scenarios. We welcome the political decision as it gives us and the fans a prospect as well as a certain planning security.”
The ruling does depend on the Covid-19 incidence rate. If the rate at a venue location is higher than 35 and the occurrence of infection is not clearly contained then a maximum of 5,000 spectators is permitted. Only vaccinated, recuperated and tested fans are allowed access to the stadiums. Mandatory mask-wearing applies up to going pitch side and tracing chains of infection is guaranteed via personalised tickets.
A former player, a successful Brazilian under the Bayer Cross, celebrates his birthday on 6 July: Zé Roberto, who played for the Werkself from 1998 to 2002, celebrated his 47th birthday on Tuesday. Bayer 04 wishes many happy returns.
The Werkself was the second foreign club after Real Madrid for the midfielder born in Sao Paolo in 1974. In his four years with Leverkusen, he played 150 games, scoring 19 goals and providing 42 assists. In 2002, Zé Roberto was a runner-up in the Bundesliga with Bayer 04 and was in the finals of the DFB Cup and Champions League. He ended his playing career 15 years later.
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
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
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
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