The wording certainly sounds a bit exaggerated at first. “Reach for the stars“It says on the FC Red Bull Salzburg website to describe the expectations for the Champions League away game at VfL Wolfsburg (Tuesday 6.45pm).
Against the curse of the past
But when Salzburg competes in Wolfsburg, a historical component actually plays a role. The Austrian champions have never made it into the second round of the premier class. Which is why the people of Salzburg can’t wait for the dream of the first “Ascent“As they say in Austria, the knockout phase is coming true.
In addition, there is the damned Champions League past. FC Salzburg is now playing in the group stage for the third time, but there is a long list of failures in qualifying rounds and playoffs. Garnished with grotesque bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps.
Trainer Matthias Jaissle learned from Ralf Rangnick
In this respect, it would be remarkable if the rascals of the German trainer Matthias Jaissle, who are on average only 22 years old, now penetrate the phalanx of the greats. The head coach, who was promoted to the successor to Jesse Marsch, who moved to the sister club in Leipzig in the summer, is a good acquaintance in the Bundesliga. As a humorless defender, he was involved in the fact that TSG Hoffenheim once stormed to the autumn championship in 2008.
Due to a serious knee injury, the native of Nürtingen had to quit earlier than wanted, studied sports economics and trained as a trainer in the youth team at RB Leipzig. Like so many football teachers, the 33-year-old is decisively influenced by master teacher Ralf Rangnick. In Hoffenheim and Leipzig, by the way.
Departures are caught again and again
It is not surprising that this DNA is now reflected on the pitch. Despite all the departures – in the summer Patson Daka left with striker for 30 million euros Leicester City the next high performer the club – the Salzburgers play a refreshing, sometimes gorgeous football. Even missed penalties like in the wild group game at Sevilla FC (1: 1) cannot shock them.
With seven points, the representatives of the city of Mozart surprisingly lead Group G. Jaissle says: “So far we have done very well, not starting to calculate, but concentrating on bringing our style of football to the field and being bold and brave. The boys have done that very well so far.” Around 800 Salzburger Schlachtenbummers are there in Wolfsburg.
Compliments also from trainer Florian Kohfeldt
And in the Austrian Bundesliga there is no real competitor anyway: The “Bulls” have been undefeated again for 19 league games across the seasons, the most recent 2-2 at SV Ried was a slip-up, nothing more. The lead over Sturm Graz is twelve points.
VfL coach Florian Kohfeldt sees Salzburg “a very clear, intense football”: Feature be a “Extremely brave switching, quick passes into the depths, without further ado”. His counterpart, said the 39-year-old, will definitely not deviate from this basic idea: “They play full throttle, that’s what sets them apart.”
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Champions League: FC Salzburg with historic chance