Day 4 of #VfLinBruneck: The day was naturally dominated with our first pre-season friendly of our time in lovely South Tyrol. In order to get there, we had a slight journey on our hands. The match took place in Brixen, a good hour's drive from Gais.

Personnel Updates

But before Toto and Co. got on the VfL bus, the first session of the day was on the agenda. The bar has been set very high during our training sessions and players work right to the end of the session. As the session was drawing to a close, there was another unpleasant moment. Bruno Esser’s boot got a bit stuck in the turf while trying to claim a high ball. His knee was affected and the goalkeeper initially went down. Physio Maik Liesbrock rushed to the new signing and bandaged the affected area before Esser was fortunately able to leave the pitch on his own. To be on the safe side, however, Bruno preferred not to take part in this afternoon’s friendly.

By the way, Herbert Bockhorn was not around to witness this incident. The all-rounder, who could be used on either full-back position during the promotion season, left the training ground yesterday due to health reasons. At the start here in Bruneck, Bockhorn was still able to train in doses, but lately our number 11 felt so weak that the joint decision was made to bring Herbert back to Bochum. Back home, Herbi will now be examined further for a more precise diagnosis.

Still unbeaten 

The fifth friendly of our pre-season only added to our impressive record so far. Four wins, one draw. So we remain unbeaten after the first match here in South Tyrol. Thomas Reis was satisfied with the performance of his team, even though not everything is going well yet. It is, however, only early in pre-season. The detailed match report on the 1-0 win against Parma Calcio can be read here.

Ciao, Gigi 

Admittedly, you can be the most professional person in the world, but when a true great of the game drops by, you become a fan girl /boy – it’s natural. Gianluigi Buffon returned to Parma Calcio this summer. And it wasn't just the supporters of the 1999 UEFA Cup winners who wanted to see the long-time Juve goalkeeper in action. The now 43-year-old between the sticks of our opponents during the first half. In keeping with his likeable reputation, Buffon high-fived all his team-mates during the break and afterwards stood ready for photos with the ball children of host ASV Milland.

By the way, Manuel Riemann was also happy to meet big Gigi. Even before the game, the two keepers exchanged a few words. Off the pitch - both goalkeepers were rotated and therefore off duty after half-time. Manu even managed to get a photo with Buffon, two greats of the game. Hear what Manu thought of the game here.