Bundesliga: Hofmann’s return: First emotions, now conciliatory tones

Bundesliga: Hofmann’s return: First emotions, now conciliatory tones

His move during the summer break caused trouble for Borussia Mönchengladbach fans. Jonas Hofmann returns to Borussia Park with Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

When the waves rose at the beginning, Jonas Hofmann deliberately did not read any comments on social media. “Also on the advice of others who had already read the comments,” he said in the “Bild am Sonntag” interview at the time: “Some of them were below the belt, pointless and also tasteless. Many did not see the topic objectively.”

Planned as a leading player in Gladbach

At first it was a transfer that aroused great emotions. A current German national soccer player switched to unloved neighbor Bayer Leverkusen out of the blue after seven and a half years at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Made possible by an opt-out clause as a planned leader and candidate for captain. And accompanied by unusual statements from Gladbach’s sports director Roland Virkus. He first publicly stated that the change left “not a good feeling” because as a club you “have met all the conditions set by Jonas”. And shortly thereafter he added in a discussion round of the “Rheinische Post”: “It depends on the way. Jonas agreed to us and canceled a day later.”

Words that made the soul of the fans boil. Although Hofmann asserted early on: “I was always loyal. Gladbach had made me an offer, yes. But it was important for me to tell Borussia: “There is also one or the other possibility”. And his new head of sport, Simon Rolfes, also made it clear: “It’s important to deal fairly. And I think Jonas succeeded in doing that at Gladbach.”

Now Hofmann will return on Saturday (6.30 p.m. / Sky) on the 2nd matchday. Maybe too fast to heal the wounds of many fans. Michael Weigand, spokesman for the Supporters Club at the Mönchengladbach fan project, told the dpa that he had no knowledge of planned fan campaigns against Hofmann. However, the change still has “a taste. It seems to us that Jonas Hofmann gambled in his favor.”

But from a neutral point of view there are of course many reasons for Hofmann’s move. At the age of 31 he switched to a club with higher ambitions, which probably pays more and, unlike Gladbach, plays internationally. And where the offensive all-rounder might also have the better stage to recommend himself for the European Championships at home next summer. And – what Virkus also emphasized: “He gave us the opportunity to become active on the transfer market.” After all, the fee was ten million euros.

Virkus: “Jonas a good boy and fantastic player”

At least for those directly involved, the emotions have long cooled down again. Virkus assured that he “didn’t want to do any more tickets”. He was “not angry with Jonas”. This is “a good boy”, a “fantastic player” anyway. Virkus asked fans for a “respectful” reception. And because of his merits, Hofmann will also be officially bid farewell on Saturday: “It goes without saying for me.”

Fan Weigand sees this as problematic, because the focus is then placed directly on Hofmann before the game. “Given the level of displeasure at the end of last season, it’s a brave decision to say goodbye before the game,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hofmann himself assured that he felt “pure anticipation. It’s going to be a bit emotional in a positive way,” he said: “Because it’s nice to return to the old place of work. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again.” He hopes that many people will see the positives from seven and a half years and not the last few weeks or “prioritise this one moment over the whole.”

Source: Stern

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