Daniel Caligiuri: We need to push ourselves even more
The 96th Revierderby on Saturday (16/5, 15:30 CET) will be a unique one. For the first time ever, local rivals Dortmund and Schalke will face off with no fans in the stadium, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “It will definitely be a different kind of game – derbies are normally always sold out with fantastic atmospheres”, explained Daniel Caligiuri.
“It’s obviously a shame, but there is no other alternative. We need to push ourselves even more without our fans there,” said the midfielder. “We’ve seen a few messages from the fans on Instagram, who are excited for the derby, even if they can’t be there in person,” reported Caligiuri. “In training, you can see how much everyone is enjoying being back.”
We need to be mentally top fit and give our all to the end of the game!
Caligiuri, who has scored four goals and registered three assists in the last five derbies, will miss the Royal Blue fans in Dortmund greatly. “We still need to get up for the game as we would if it were a full ground,” said the 32-year-old. “The fans can often give you that extra few percent of motivation, even if you are tired. That won’t be the case this time, which means we need to be mentally top fit and give our all to the end of the game!”
Caligiuri available after a spell on the sidelines
After suffering a partial ligament rupture in the cup game against Hertha back in February, Caligiuri is feeling “more than 100% fit.” “I’m really well and I’m fully fit again now,” said the German-Italian.
The chance to damage BVB’s title aspirations isn’t on the players’ minds according to Caligiuri: “We’re out to be successful ourselves, not to ruin anything for them. We want to defend our place in the table.” ‘Cali’ is naturally proud of his excellent Revierderby record. “Playing well and scoring goals in the derby is always special,” he acknowledged. “I wouldn’t be against the same happening again on Saturday!”