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HomeFootballRapid captain Burgstaller makes comeback in Austrian national team

Rapid captain Burgstaller makes comeback in Austrian national team

Due to the injury plight in the Austrian national team and the lack of alternatives in the centre of attack, team boss Ralf Rangnick has convinced Rapid captain Guido Burgstaller to make a comeback in the Austrian national team. The experienced attacker had actually declared his team career over in 2019.

Austria’s national team can come up with a surprise in the finish of the European Championship qualification. Rapid striker Guido Burgstaller is making a comeback to the ÖFB squad four years after his team career ended. The 34-year-old was nominated at short notice and will travel to the qualifying match in Azerbaijan on Monday. Burgstaller already completed the final training session on Sunday morning in Vienna with the team.

“It’s an unusual situation, so it’s just an unusual measure,” team boss Ralf Rangnick explained his decision. “I know that he had actually quit before. But he is still fit enough to score many goals in the Austrian league. He is certainly one of Rapid’s key players. When he was missing, they struggled to win games. “

“Don’t have as many options in the central attacking area anymore “

Burgstaller had declared his international career over in 2019 under team boss Franco Foda. At the time, the Carinthian played for Schalke 04. The attacker made his last short appearance in the national team so far in June 2019 in Northern Macedonia (4:1). A few days earlier, he scored the all-important 1:0 winning goal against Slovenia in Klagenfurt as a “joker” on the way to participation in the European Championship.

The Austrian team is currently struggling with several absences in the centre of attack. After Marko Arnautovic and Karim Onisiwo, Michael Gregoritsch also had to cancel his trip to Baku on Saturday. On Friday against Belgium (2:3), Rangnick had thrown a team debutant into the deep end with Manprit Sarkaria from Sturm Graz up front. Wolverhampton legionnaire Sasa Kalajdzic was substituted but does not appear ready for a full 90 minutes after suffering his second cruciate ligament rupture last year.

“We don’t have so many options in the central attacking area anymore,” Rangnick explained. He added that if Kalajdzic started, he would “certainly not be able to play more than 60 minutes”. “That’s why it was about having another skilled centre-forward back in the squad.” Burgstaller was “spontaneously willing” after a call from the team manager late on Saturday afternoon and moved into the team camp early on Sunday. An express visa for entry into Azerbaijan was being prepared. According to Rangnick, there were no discussions about a longer-term commitment to the ÖFB team. “It’s for this game now, everything else is not important. “

Sabitzer: “He can definitely help us further.

At Rapid, Burgstaller had to take a break since the end of August due to a torn tendon in his adductor and was therefore not on the ÖFB’s call-up list. The veteran made his comeback on Thursday with two goals in Rapid’s test against Vienna. A competitive comeback was planned for after the international break. Now it could be quicker: with a surprise appearance in Baku in a game in which Austria would fix their ticket for the European Championship 2024 in Germany (14 June to 14 July) with a win.

“Burgi is an old acquaintance, many have known him for a long time,” Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer said of the returnee. “He is a good guy, a good player who knows where the goal is.” In the current situation, he said, it was important to have “players who know what they can do. I’m convinced that if he comes into his own, he can definitely help us.”

Burgstaller has proven his scoring ability in Germany with 1. FC Nürnberg, Schalke and FC St. Pauli. In the summer of 2022, the striker returned to Rapid, where he immediately became top scorer with 21 league goals. Burgstaller is not only the captain and key player at Hütteldorf, but also an absolute favourite with the public. He has scored two goals in 25 senior appearances for Austria. He ended his ÖFB career four years ago, citing his health and family.

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