27.07.2021Bayer 04

News in brief: Kossounou starts – Schick and Aránguiz return

The Werkself return to the training ground in Leverkusen on Monday fresh and cheerful after an intensive training camp in Salzburger Land followed by a weekend off. On a long day at the BayArena, new signing Odilon Kossounou joins in for the first time, two tournament competitors also return to Leverkusen. Also in today's news in brief: good news from the Olympics in Japan and an update on the Bayer 04 Veterans team.

New signing Odilon Kossounou took part in the first training session of the new week. For the 20-year-old central defender, signed by the Werkself from Belgian champions Club Brugge a few days ago, it was his first chance to show what he could do to his new teammates.

In high-tempo training under head coach Gerardo Seoane the Ivory Coast international joined Patrik Schick on the pitch. After playing at Euro 2020 with the Czech Republic, it was also his first session of the pre-season with the Werkself. The centre-forward starts preparation for the new campaign with plenty of confidence: He scored five goals in five matches at the European Championship finals.




Charles Aránguiz is also back in Leverkusen. Our number 20 played for Chile in the Copa America. The champion of 2015 and 2016 went out at the quarter-final stage against Brazil and the 32 year-old then went on a three-week holiday. Now he's back in the Rhineland and he trained on his own on Monday.

Media Days at the BayArena

In addition to the two training sessions, the Werkself had the first of two in-house media days on Monday. On level two of the BayArena and the TV studios next to the Mixed Zone there were autograph card and portrait photo sessions as well as filming for different social media formats from early morning into the evening. On day one it was the turn of Seoane and his fellow coaches plus staff with the majority of the players following on Tuesday.

Olympics: Amiri scores again

Werkself player Nadiem Amiri is currently away with Germany at the Olympic Games in Japan – and he put Germany ahead in the second group match. The 24-year-old opened the scoring against Saudi Arabia after just eleven minutes. There was end-to-end action after that and the Saudi team twice drew level with Germany. However, the team under coach Stefan Kuntz came out on top in the end: Augsburg's Felix Uduokhai rounded off the scoring at 3-2 on 75 minutes.


Germany lost 4-2 in their first game against Brazil despite a goal from Amiri but progress to the quarter-finals is in their hands. On the final matchday in Group D, victory is required against the Ivory Coast to progress to the knockout rounds. The game in Miyagi on Wednesday, 28 July, kicks off at 10.00 CEST.

Paulinho’s Brazil also played their second group match. The South American team could only manage a goalless draw against the Ivory Coast. Bayer 04 player Paulinho came on as a substitute on 79 minutes. The leaders in Group D also have their next game on Wednesday, 28 July, at 10.00 CEST. The Selecao just need another draw to progress to the last eight.

Gold Cup: quarter-final exit for Bailey

As in 2017 (final) and 2019 (semi-final), Jamaica again lost out in the Gold Cup, the North and Central American equivalent of the European Championship, this year in the USA. The team with the Werkself player Leon Bailey, who did not appear in this match, lost 1-0 to the hosts in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals see the USA play the next World Cup hosts Qatar while holders and record winners Mexico face Canada.

For a good cause

The Bayer 04 Veterans team beat the SV Preußen Merchweiler Old Boys 9-1 (4-0). The match in the Saarland was played in front of 500 spectators at the Merchweiler ground following on from the soccer camp of former Werkself player Mike Rietpietsch. The Bayer 04 goals were scored by Sebastian Schoof (3), Philipp Wollscheid, Jörg Reeb (2 each), Mike Rietpietsch and Peter Gemein. More important than events on the pitch at the current time is overcoming the flooding disaster in many parts of Germany. Part of the receipts from the match in Merchweiler will go to people affected in the flooded areas.


The next game for the Veterans is in a similar vein. They are in action on Tuesday night, 27 July, in Neitersen in the Rhineland Palatinate. The benefit match against Wiedbachtaler Sportfreunde Neitersen kicks off at 18.00 CEST at the ‘Auf der Emma’ sports ground. The Werkself team includes Hanno Balitsch, Falko Götz, Jens Nowotny and Thorsten Judt. The former Werkself keeper Ramazan ‘Rambo’ Özcan will also make his first appearance for the Veterans. A number of other Black and Reds such as honorary captains Ulf Kirsten and Rüdiger Vollborn plus coach Gerd Kentschke will also be there.

Yoga for the U19s

The oldest of the Bayer 04 youth teams have also returned. As part of the pre-season, the U19 squad completed a one-hour yoga session. But it was run by Dagmar Meiss of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen. In future, yoga will be a regular and set part of the training plans of the U19 head coach Sven Hübscher.


happy birthday, Paul

Former Werkself player Paul ‘Slawo’ Freier celebrates his 42nd birthday today (Monday). The former midfielder played for Bayer 04 from 2004 to 2008, clocking up 148 appearances in Black and Red. The Pole scored 18 goals and provided 30 assists. Freier spent most of his career at VfL Bochum and today he is the coach of the U17 team at SV Lippstadt 08 . Many happy returns and continuing great success.

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