Sunday, June 24, 2018

Manchester City in La La Land as Schalke toil underground

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 18 Jan 2017


Stars of the Premier League and Bundesliga enjoyed team days out with a difference on Wednesday.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was accompanied on a trip to the cinema by a number of his first-team squad as he celebrated his 46th birthday.

The likes of Pablo Zabaleta, John Stones and Raheem Sterling might have fallen flat during Sunday’s 4-0 Premier League defeat at Everton, but they joined their boss at Manchester’s Printworks complex to watch Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone hit all the right notes in their Golden Globes smash La La Land.

Going to the cinema is not without its perils – brain freeze from that icy beverage – but Schalke’s players had a look at risks of a more extreme kind as they went underground at Prosper-Haniel colliery in Bottrop.

Markus Weinzierl’s men were scrubbing coal from their faces rather than picking popcorn from their teeth as they, fittingly, spent 90 minutes having a look at the inner workings of the mine.

Schalke’s nickname, Die Knappen, derives from Gelsenkirchen’s mining heritage and getting in touch with the club’s roots certainly seemed to go down well with new recruit Holger Badstuber.

“The team and the trainer have learned a lot,” he told Schalke’s official website. “I’m sure this day has brought a lot to the team.

“For me, the visit to the mine was absolutely new territory. It was a great experience and definitely something new for me.”

Given Germany international defender Badstuber was also linked with a switch to Manchester City before he left Bayern Munich on loan earlier this month, the obvious question is whether he would have preferred a day at the movies.


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