Striker Sasa Kalajdzic and midfielder Raphael Holzhauser have been called up for the first time in Austria’s national soccer team. Kalajdzic (23), who is under contract with VfB Stuttgart, and Holzhauser (27), who plays for Belgian club Beerschot, were won by team boss Franco Foda for the international match against Greece on October 7 in Klagenfurt and the subsequent Nations League away games in Northern Ireland 11.10.) And Romania (14.10.) Nominated.
As announced on Tuesday when the squad was announced in Vienna, Marco Arnautovic is still absent. The Shanghai attacker remains in China. The German legionnaires Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer, Valentino Lazaro and Florian Kainz are injured. Foda nominated a total of 26 players for the international triple. David Alaba is back after the Bayern star was absent from the September Nations League games due to adductor problems.
Injured and other challenges
Despite the recent failures, team boss Foda is optimistic. “The topic of injuries or Covid-19 will be with us for a long time, but we have seen in the last few games that we can compensate for that well,” said Foda. Especially the boys like Adrian Grbic and Christoph Baumgartner made good use of the chance, now another very promising player is coming in Kalajdzic, who showed with the U21 last year by participating in the European Championship.
“I’ve been thinking about him for a long time, but then he was unlucky with an injury,” said Foda of the offensive player. “Most recently he showed what quality he has at VfB Stuttgart.”
However, failures are not the only challenge the ÖFB is faced with. Until Tuesday, it was not clear whether 3,000 spectators would be allowed in Klagenfurt or whether the game would have to be played in front of empty stands. In addition, Arnautovic’s team future is uncertain. “Entering Austria would not be a problem, but on the return journey to China he would have to be quarantined again,” explained Foda, who is in constant contact with one of his best players in recent years. “But it’s nice for a coach to see when youngsters get their chance and use it.”
At least there are positive things to report from Werner Gregoritsch: The U21 team boss, who suffered a heart attack a few weeks ago, is back on the bench and will look after the youngsters for the upcoming course from Sunday. (apa / art)