Mainz 05 - Union Berlin

Germany: Bundesliga
Mainz 05 M. Niakhate (Pen. 22)
Union Berlin N. Schlotterbeck (55)

Svensson applauds Adam Szalai's return: "He coached and demonstrated personality, character, and posture"

By Peter Vice

With his recent statements, Mainz trainer Bo Svensson appears to suggest that he'll call upon his old teammate more as the Rheinhessen gear up for a tough relegation fight. 

Bo Svensson.
Bo Svensson.Photo: GEPA Pictures/David Geieregger

Veteran striker Adam Szalai returned to the Mainz starting XI for the first time in over a year on Saturday. He had been gradually worked back into action by his former teammate Bo Svensson in the previous two matches.

This constitutes quite the turnaround for a controversial player at the center of a squad-wide training boycott in September. The 33-year-old has gone from persona non grata to starting striker under a new coach charged with restoring the "Mainzer DNA".

"He not only helped us in terms of the game," Svensson said of the Hungarian attacker after the match, "he also coached and demonstrated personality, character, and posture. I'm glad that he could prove to some critics that he has some meaning for this team."

"I rate his performance very highly," Svensson continued, "It surprised many, but the people who see Adam every day in training know who he stands for."

The 41-year-old head coach had more positive words for the general skills he's had the opportunity to observe on the training pitch with his new team. He told reporters that the squad had a lot of "dormant talent" that could be used in the future.

Mainz 05
27Robin Zentner
4Jeremiah St. Juste
16Stefan Bell
19Moussa Niakhate
22Danny da Costa
35Leandro Barreiro
31Dominik Kohr
23Philipp Mwene
6Danny Latza (C) ↩80
28Ádám Szalai ↩80
21Karim Onisiwo ↩84
37Finn Dahmen
9Robert Glatzel ↪80
29Jonathan Burkardt ↪84
18Daniel Brosinski
42Alexander Hack
5Jean-Paul Boëtius
8Levin Öztunali
17Kevin Stöger
25Niklas Tauer ↪80
Union Berlin
1Andreas Luthe
5Marvin Friedrich
31Robin Knoche
4Nico Schlotterbeck
28Christopher Trimmel (C)
34Christian Gentner ↩66
30Robert Andrich
32Marcus Ingvartsen ↩81
23Niko Gießelmann ↩66
14Taiwo Awoniyi ↩73
36Cedric Teuchert ↩73
20Loris Karius
9Joel Pohjanpalo ↪73
15Marius Bülter
18Keita Endo ↪81
24Petar Musa ↪73
6Julian Ryerson ↪66
19Florian Hübner
7Akaki Gogia
33Sebastian Griesbeck ↪66

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