Bremen (AP) – If Florian Kohfeldt were a superstitious coach, he shouldn’t have brought his dream player Leonardo Bittencourt to Werder Bremen.
The former German junior international moved to the Champions League Club 1899 Hoffenheim in 2018 – and was only ninth with the club. He went to 1. FC Köln in 2015 – and ended up relegating with the future Europa League participant. The 26-year-old has been accompanying the fact that things are not developing as Bittencourt and his respective club imagine. The former Europa League candidate Werder Bremen has also been relegated for four months.
That hope in Bremen before the important catch-up game against Eintracht Frankfurt (June 3, 8:30 p.m. / Sky) is back again has a lot to do with the son of the former Brazilian Bundesliga professional Franklin Bittencourt, who was born in Leipzig. After a long sporting crisis, the table 17 won. most recently 1-0 at Schalke 04 and 1-0 at SC Freiburg. In between was a convincing 0-0 against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bittencourt scored both winning goals during this time of the much-needed upswing.
“The fact is: he was there for us in two crucial moments,” said coach Kohfeldt. “And those were moments that mean six points. So, to put it bluntly, it wasn’t entirely unimportant to us.” So important after all that Werder can leave a direct relegation zone this Wednesday for the first time since the beginning of February. Or as Bittencourt himself says: “We are now showing a completely different mentality. This is the way we want to and must continue. Because we have not yet achieved anything.”
Bittencourt’s personal experiences in Bremen say a lot about his club’s season so far. Kohfeldt brought him to Werder for the offensive midfield or the offensive wing positions. Rashica, Füllkrug, Bittencourt – that should be something like the first storm row. But in reality one player after the other injured himself (Füllkrug, Möhwald) or stopped developing (Osako, Johannes Eggestein). For months there were more gaps in the Bremen squad than Kohfeldt could ever close. And the first person who always had to help was Leonardo Bittencourt.
“In addition to Maxi Eggestein, he played most positions: left-back, right-back, double six, tens, striker, winger,” said his coach. “He has qualities that always benefit our game, namely a good passing game, a good clearance and a high level of aggressiveness against the ball. This gives him a good understanding of different positions. However, he then lacked the rhythm of his main positions. “
That time is now over, because since the Corona break the former Hoffenheim, Cologne, Dortmund and Hanoverian played exactly where Werder always wanted him to play. With one exception: After Bittencourt’s winning goal against Freiburg, Kohfeldt put him on the bench against Mönchengladbach. Kohfeldt was asked whether he wanted to do that again after winning the goal against Schalke, because that didn’t hurt. The coach’s answer was rather no, because: “Unlike many soccer players, I am not superstitious.”