11.01.2022Bayer 04

News in brief: Wirtz nominated for #TOTY – 04 birthday greetings

Full focus on the game against the Foals: Bayer 04 are away to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second fixture of the New Year on Saturday, 15 January (kick-off: 18.30 CET). After the day off on Monday, Lukas Hradecky and Co. this afternoon completed the first training session of the new week that mainly focused on work with the ball. Other subjects in Tuesdays news in brief: Florian Wirtz has been nominated for the Team of the Year, Lukas Hradecky has again been voted Finland's Player of the Year and 04 former Leverkusen players celebrate their birthdays.

It was freezing cold for the first day of the week on the training ground but the sunshine over pitch number one brought one or two smiles to the faces of the Werkself players. The focus on Tuesday was primarily on tackling in tight spaces as well as finishing in the final third.

Baumi and Charly on nthe right track

Head coach Gerardo Seoane had some good news after the training session, which Kerem Demirbay, Paulinho and Niklas Lomb had to miss: Julian Baumgartlinger is expected to return at the start of next week to begin rehab training following his cruciate injury. And Charles Aránguiz is making "good progress" following his calf injury. The Chilean should be able to return in a few days and take some part in full training.

Wirtz amongst Top 80 in the world

Florian Wirtz is also gaining great recognition in the eSports sector after his impressive year in 2021. The video game company EA Sports recently nominated 80 players from all over the world, "who have been exceptional in the past 12 months." From this pool of players – as is usual at the end of the year – will come the FIFA Team of the Year (TOTY). For the ultimate eleven in the world of football from 2021 there is also a Bayer 04 player to be voted for in Florian Wirtz. Click HEREfor the vote.

The final TOTY will be announced on 22 January. Then special items with some of the highest values in the whole season will be published in the FIFA 22 Ultimate Team.

Hradecky retains title

Finnish sports journalists have again voted the Werkself keeper Lukas Hradecky as their Player of the Year. Our number one, who has been the skipper since the start of the season, received the award for the fifth time in the past six years. The 32-year-old has made 74 international appearances and he took part in the Euros in the summer with Finland who he also captained.

Happy Birthday, Jenne

Club legend Jens Nowotny celebrates his 40th birthday on this Tuesday. Jenne played for Karlsruher SC for six years before joining Leverkusen in 1996 where he became an absolute key player under coach Christoph Daum. The defender made 297 appearances for the Black and Reds in ten years. In one of the most significant seasons in the club's history, he led the Werkself as captain in 2001/02 to the DFB Cup final as well as on the #RoadtoGlasgow to the Champions League final. With 48 caps for Germany, Nowotny is now assistant coach for the Germany U18 team. Congratulations and many happy returns.

Carvajal celebrates birthday

Daniel Carvajal is now 30 years old. The Spaniard joined Leverkusen from Real Madrid in 2010/11. After one year under the Bayer Cross, the defender then returned to his hometown club where he quickly became a regular starter. The Spain international has made 310 appearances for the Spanish record champions, won the Spanish league title twice, the Champions League four times as well as the Club World Cup. The former Werkself number 20 has described his 12 months in Leverkusen as crucial to his development: "I needed that one year to be able to get a chance at Madrid and come out on top." Many happy returns to you too, Dani.


another two birthday boys

Bayer 04 also congratulates Leroy Sané – on his 26th birthday this year. The Bayern Munich player has a Leverkusen past just like Nowotny and Carvajal: The midfielder came from the Schalke academy in 2008 to join the Bayer 04 youth section and he stayed for three years. The winger then returned to Gelsenkirchen in 2011 where he progressed to the first team via the U17 and U19 sides.

And the Black and Red birthday list continues: Dario Kresic today celebrates his 38th birthday. The goalkeeper joined Leverkusen from Mainz 05 in the summer of 2014. The Croat made his Bundesliga debut on 14 May 2016 in a 3-2 home win against FC Ingolstadt. The keeper moved on to Omonia Nicosia in the summer of 2016 where he ended his playing career one year later. All the best to you too.


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