During Bayer Leverkusen’s friendly against Rangers, Florian Wirtz made his on-pitch return after recovering from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered in March against FC Köln.
Wirtz made his comeback in the 62nd minute of the game and replaced Kerem Demirbay as Rangers beat Leverkusen 3-0 in Glasgow. The 19-year-old played 29 minutes in his favoured attacking-midfield role. His return and performance prompted praise from manager Xabi Alonso: “He’s a super player. He can play in many positions,today we saw some special, special ones qualities he has.”
Although Wirtz shined in some parts of the game he also struggled with the physicality of it all, Wirtz discussed how he was feeling after the game: “I’m very exhausted. I’m not used to the pressure anymore because I was out for nine months,” said the Germany international after the game, “all in all it was unfortunately a disappointing game for us. That’s why I’m not like that now in a good mood. But I think it comes as the day goes on that I realize what kind of day it was for me.”
Wirtz was reportedly on the original 50-man list for the World Cup in Qatar but was not called up due to the fact he had to focus on getting fit and it would have been too big a risk for him to travel to Qatar.
Rangers opened the scoring in the friendly through on-loan Bayern Munich player Malik Tillman who scored twice in the game before Scott Arfield scored a third for Rangers.
GGFN | Jack Meenan