After nine weeks in a clinic being treated for depression, German soccer star Sebastian Deisler surprised his Bayern Munich teammates by returning to training on Monday ahead of schedule.
Bayern Munich fans, staff and players are all looking forward to seeing Deisler in action again.
Nothing could be better news for a soccer team preparing to meet the likes of Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo and Beckham than the return of one of its star players.
Back from a debilitating bout of depression, Bayern Munich star midfielder Sebastian Deisler brought a smile to the face of coach Ottmar Hitzfeld when he surprisingly turned up for work at the Sabener Strasse training complex on Monday morning. With Bayern preparing to defend its German champions title defense and pursuing the European Champions League trophy, the team could definitely use Deisler's skills on the pitch.
Deisler's treatment appears to have been successful.
Deisler returned to training ahead of schedule after being discharged from the Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry last week after nine weeks of treatment for depression. The 24-year-old German international told reporters, “I have the desire for soccer 100 percent again, it never actually went. It's been a long time. I missed the game.”
“I am still carrying a bit of extra weight and it will take me a few weeks to get fit again, but I am happy to be back.”
Madrid clash on the horizon
The coaching team at Bayern was also happy to have the midfield player back in the ranks of Bayern’s star-studded team, especially as the knock-out stages of the Champions League begin this month with the German champions facing the mighty Real Madrid. It is not clear, however, when Deisler will feature in his first competitive game since his illness.
"Maybe his return will be just as surprising as here today," said coach Hitzfeld as Deisler was put through light training by fitness trainer Bjorn Andersen before joining the rest of the squad for a workout on Monday. “There will be no pressure. It's very important that he's back in his normal daily routine. We are going to take it slowly."
New father embraces life
Deisler himself was remarkably upbeat and positive about his return and his life after treatment, especially after becoming a father for the first time last week. “I feel very good. The most important thing was the pleasure in being back on the pitch. We've had a son, which is a beautiful thing, and it's just enjoyable again. It's my motivation and I'm simply happy.”
The 24-year-old has had to overcome five knee operations and other frequent injuries in his short career which has been mostly conducted under an intense media glare. Frequently hailed as the future of German soccer and talked about as one of the most talented players in a generation, the pressure on Deisler after his €9.2 million ($11.5 million) move from Hertha Berlin to the champions seemed to have been taken in his stride.
He delivered some highly praised performances earlier this season, only to stun the club and fans by checking into the Munich clinic in November.
A German international with 20 caps, Deisler’s return will also be welcomed by national team coach Rudi Völler, who is hoping to have the Bayern playmaker ready for the European Championships in Portugal this summer.