On the way to the Europa League final in Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen must first beat Inter Milan on August 10th. Bayer coach Bosz regards the Conte team as a very strong opponent. Before his possible move to England, Havertz will play a key role.
Düsseldorf (dpa) - The preliminary skirmish is over, with the start of the Europa League finals in North Rhine-Westphalia, missteps are no longer allowed. Due to the corona, there are now only finals in the shortened tournament form.
"It's bouncy or top. We'll see that we get into the flow, maybe to win something big," said Bayer Leverkusen's captain Lars Bender before the knockout match in the quarter-finals with Inter Milan on August 10th (9pm / RTL) and DAZN) in Düsseldorf.
Bayer's gaze is directed towards the final, which will take place on August 21, of all places, on the other side of the Rhine in the stadium of rival 1. FC Köln. But this toad would be swallowed. Because the only international title to date - in the previous competition, the UEFA Cup - came in 1988 and was more than 32 years ago. Only two wins - and the dream of the final at home would be realized.
Kai Havertz will play a key role in the only remaining Bundesliga team after the end of Wolfsburg and Frankfurt before his possible move to England to Chelsea. Bayer coach Peter Bosz is certain that the ongoing transfer speculation will not inhibit the internationally most sought-after German national football player in his commitment and performance. "Kai is focused and very motivated, he wants to play football and achieve something with us. We have the chance," said Bosz in an interview with "Bild am Sonntag" about the 21-year-old Werkself star.
So far, Havertz has not been distracted by reports and rumors. He also showed a great performance in the 1-0 in the eighth-final second leg against Glasgow Rangers last Thursday in the BayArena, even if he missed three good scoring opportunities. Havertz also benefits from the fact that he has been spared major hype since the outbreak of the corona pandemic due to the exclusion of fans and the sparse media contact. The creative player is not someone who seeks the light of the public anyway. If he were not under contract in Leverkusen, where the media volume is comparatively manageable, but at FC Bayern or Borussia Dortmund, the vortex would be much greater.
It also pays off that sporting director Simon Rolfes and sporting director Rudi Völler made it clear early on that a change from Havertz would only be possible after the last game of the season. Völler repeats this like a prayer wheel and leaves no room for speculation for Havertz a la Timo Werner to leave prematurely.
Havertz also pulls the strings against Inter. "Of course Kai plays, he wants that too. I'm a bit old-fashioned: For me, a season is only over when all the games have been played. Nobody leaves before that," said Völler. The 60-year-old has been in the business for so long that he remains relaxed about the change issue and does not allow any unrest in the team. The matter is "reasonably easy," says Völler: "He still has a two-year contract. If someone accepts our terms, that's okay, otherwise they'll stay another year and we'll be happy. It won't be easy, but for an artist like that there is no Covid discount. " There is a transfer fee of around 100 million euros.
Bosz can concentrate fully on his coaching role. Inter was a big chunk, said the Dutchman, who led Ajax Amsterdam to the Europa League final three years ago. "Whoever finishes second in Italy can't be that bad. Inter are certainly one of the tournament favorites," said the 56-year-old. "But of course we want to progress. It's a knockout game, anything is possible," said Bosz, who only has to replace the suspended Charles Aránguiz. If they reach the semi-finals, the Werkself will face the winner of the game Schachtjor Donezk - FC Basel, which will be played in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, in Düsseldorf.
Kevin Volland has also dealt intensively with Antonio Conte's team, which beat the Getafe Spaniards 2-0. "They are a very strong team," said the striker, but: "We are not a bad group either and have the potential to advance against such an opponent."
Inter Milan: Handanovič - Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni - D'Ambrosio, Barella, Brozović, Gagliardini, Young - Lukaku, Lautaro Martínez
Bayer Leverkusen: Hrádecký - L. Bender, Tapsoba, S. Bender, Sinkgraven - Demirbay, Palacios - Wirtz, Havertz, Diaby - Volland
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain)
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Information about the game on uefa.com
Information on the Europa League on the Bayer website
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