Holger Badstuber was hailed no matter where he went. When he warmed up on the touchline shortly after half-time, when he came on after 80 minutes, when he applauded the FCB faithful together with the team after the 3-1 victory over Augsburg, the fans hailed their
Holger Badstuber, and with good reason: the centre-back made his yearned-for comeback after a 259-day spell on the sidelines.
"It's pure emotion. I enjoy being welcomed like this," said a "very happy" Badstuber after the final whistle. "You absorb the atmosphere. It gives you goosebumps. It really moves me. What the fans organise is always stunning. I'm very grateful for that." Badstuber's last competitive fixture dates back to 10 February, a 3-0 cup victory away to Bochum. Then a fractured ankle sidelined him yet again.
"Badstuber is very happy. He deserves the support by our fans. Everybody's delighted for him because everyone knows how hard he's worked for a comeback," Carlo Ancelotti commented, pleased with the return of his defender, who improves the team with his "experience and quality." Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "He always fights like a madman. He's deserved it. I hope he'll stay healthy for a long, long time."
Badstuber hopes so too. The centre-back is confident he will stay healthy "in the long term. I'm feeling really good. But I have to consider the signals of my body and work hard," the 27-year-old commented, admitting he has deficits in his awareness of space and timing on the pitch. "There's certainly room for improvement. I've taken part in the squad programme for three weeks, but matches are different."
Badstuber's bad luck began in December 2012, but the defender aims to put an end to his injury misery, adding with a grin: "Today was the last day I came back, that's my decision."