Daniel Caligiuri: The goal is now closer than it was before

Due to groin problems that have troubled him since the end of last season, Daniel Caligiuri has had to train individually during the pre-season. Now, the German-Italian midfielder is back with the team on the pitch. The 31-year-old spoke to schalke04.de about making his return against FC Bologna, how the opening goal came about and the hectic closing stages.

David Wagner und Daniel Caligiuri

Daniel, how do you feel about making your comeback?

I’m happy to be able to be back out with the team on the pitch. I’m feeling well but of course I’m not yet at 100%. The coach told Alessandro Schöpf and myself beforehand that we’d be splitting a half’s gametime between ourselves. For me, it was a successful comeback.

Last season, you played a more attacking role. How do you like your new position?

It’s not really a new position for me, as I played on the wing when I was at Wolfsburg and Freiburg. The goal is now closer than it was before (smiles).

. Amine played a super pass and I was then able to serve Fabi the ball on a silver platter.

Daniel Caligiuri

You made use of the goal being closer when you assisted Fabian Reese to make it 1-0.

It was nice play, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked. You’ve got to make the runs the coach wants you to make. Then the channels behind the back four open up. Amine played a super pass and I was then able to serve Fabi the ball on a silver platter.

Results are of secondary importance in friendlies – what you take away is more important. What went well against Bologna, and what needs to be done better?

There’s always the potential to improve. We pressed well and our build-up play was good in certain phases. However, we could have avoided conceding the goals we did, and we’ve got to work on that. On the whole, we must be more intelligent in our play and react.

I think it speaks for the team spirit that so many of us ran over to protect Jonas.

Daniel Caligiuri

In the closing stages the game became more and more chaotic

It was very, very heated on the pitch. If the referee had had a grip on the game from the start it would have perhaps been different. Amine had been hacked down a few times before and the referee should have already taken action about that. The fact that Jonas was so heavily tackled was totally unnecessary – especially in a friendly. I hope that he isn’t too seriously injured.

How did you see the situation surrounding the foul on Jonas Carls?

I think it speaks for the team spirit that so many of us ran over to protect Jonas. That shows that we’re a team.

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