Gernot Trauner is about to do his freestyle

Gernot Trauner is about to do his freestyle
Gernot Trauner
Image: APA/Maurice van Steen

His club Feyenoord is eight points ahead of PSV Eindhoven and would be Dutch champions with two rounds to go if they beat the Go Ahead Eagles at home on Sunday (4.45 p.m.) – for the 16th time and for the first time in six years. In this case there would be a huge party in Rotterdam. “The city would literally explode,” predicted Trauner.

It is still open whether the central defender will experience what could be the crucial game on the pitch or in the stands. At the Europa League out three weeks ago at AS Roma, Trauner suffered an injury to the knee that had only been operated on in December.

At first the injury didn’t worry the defender too much, but then the absence got longer and longer. “It’s nothing gross, but it’s a bit more complex than initially thought,” said Trauner.

Five predecessors

The 31-year-old suffered a bruised knee, and the capsule may have been affected. Therefore, there is a big question mark over the use against the Go Ahead Eagles. “The question is whether you should take a real risk again.” In order to be able to start the summer preparations without any symptoms, Trauner is considering an early end of the season. In this case, he would probably also have to pass for the European Championship qualifiers against Belgium and Sweden in mid-June.

A compulsory break on Sunday would, of course, have a pale aftertaste for Trauner in the case of the championship freestyle. I really want to be part of this match. If I can’t play, it would be really bitter.”

One consolation would be the fact that he was only the sixth Austrian footballer since the 1960s after Franz Hasil (Feyenoord/1969, 1971), Heinz Schilcher (Ajax Amsterdam/1972, 1973), Kurt Welzl (Alkmaar/1981), Felix Gasselich (Ajax/1985) and Marcel Ritzmaier (PSV Eindhoven/2015) to be Dutch Champion.

On the way to the Champions League

That was unthinkable before the season started. “No one would have bet that we would become champions. Half the team left back then and it took longer for everyone to be filled,” explained Trauner. Nevertheless, Feyenoord played at the top right from the start, spent the winter in first place and hasn’t relinquished the lead in the table since then.

Due to his knee injury, Trauner missed the first ten competitive games this calendar year, without him there were six wins and four draws. Nevertheless, the ex-LASK defense chief was again an undisputed regular player shortly after his recovery. “During the time I wasn’t there, the team performed very well. The fact that I was still there right away shows a certain appreciation.”

It is mutual, after all, Trauner and his family feel very comfortable in Rotterdam. “I don’t regret this change for a second,” emphasized the Upper Austrian. In the summer of 2021, the free transfer from LASK to the top Dutch club was completed, and now Trauner can look forward to his first participation in the “premier class”: “Playing the Champions League is the greatest thing in club football.”

Source: Nachrichten

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