UDuring the week Anthony Modeste presented his own coffee brand. According to the advertising message, this is “strong as Tony’s headers and gentle as his mind”. A few days later, the French striker of 1. FC Köln showed everyone why. After he secured the late 1-0 win against VfB Stuttgart (89th) with an unbelievable header – according to “bundesliga.de” the chance of scoring was four percent – it broke out of him.
Modeste whispered something in his trainer’s ear, Steffen Baumgart, then leaned his head on his shoulders and cried uncontrollably. For about half a minute, the striker and the coach lay in each other’s arms on the pitch, at that moment they didn’t seem to notice the Christmas lights in the darkened arena and the party atmosphere. “For me personally it was very emotional,” said Modeste: “On December 19, three years ago, I lost my dad. And in this situation my papa was there for me. “
The hug with Baumgart was the scene of a real friendship between men in the tough football business. But also a portrait of a sensitive footballer who was led by an ostensibly rough-hewn coach at the age of 33 to a flight that was no longer thought possible. “Somehow it didn’t work with the foot today,” he said shortly after the game, now resolved: “So I thought: I’ll do it with my head again.” He scored eight headers in this first half of the season – a Bundesliga -Record since data collection began in 2004.
“If you do not work hard you will not see any results”
It was also the last Bundesliga goal in the calendar year 2021. And it ensured that Modeste, with 55 Bundesliga goals for FC, caught up with club icon Lukas Podolski. “He’s right at the moment,” said the trainer at ARD.
“Nothing comes from nothing,” said the celebrated striker with a laugh. Crossing with Kingsley Schindler, who had already prepared his 3-2 winner on Tuesday, also in the 89th minute, he is constantly practicing in training. “So I’m not surprised that it works in the game.”
The fact that FC, who were only saved in relegation last year, winters in eighth place under Baumgart after the first half of the season – just three points behind a Champions League place, but eight points ahead of the Stuttgarters who hibernated in 16th place – is “simply crazy” for Modeste too . We have almost the same squad as in the last two years, but we have changed everything with a great coach. “
Above all thanks to Modeste, who is fourth on the top scorers list with eleven goals behind Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern / 19), Patrik Schick (Leverkusen / 16) and Erling Haaland (13). “Now we can enjoy Christmas,” said Modeste, wiping his damp eyes again and then beaming into the cabin.
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