Daniel Baier has been pulling on the FC Augsburg shirt for almost nine years now as a motivator, leader and most recently, captain. He’ll still experience something new nn Saturday 25th November against VfL Wolfsburg though, as Baier will meet up with a very familiar face.
It’s 14th September 2008. In a 3-1 loss to SC Freiburg in the second division, Daniel Baier celebrates his FCA debut. Today, over nine years later, he’s made 277 appearances for the men in red, white and green. The game against FC Bayern Munich on Matchday 12 marked his 200th Bundesliga appearance. “I’m very proud of that number,” he says. “If somebody had told me way back then that I’d get to this stage, I would have been very surprised.” For Baier, three things are central to this longevity. “I’ve always had the trust of all the coaches, my teammates and the club as a whole throughout my time here,” explains the midfielder. “You’ve obviously got to play well too, but the most important thing is to stay fit and avoid injury.
Baier: “I learned a lot in my time at VfL Wolfsburg”
On Sunday, Daniel Baier will meet his ex-team VfL Wolfsburg. He wore the green and white shirt between 2007 and 2010. “I learned a lot in my time at VfL Wolfsburg,” says Baier looking back. “I also learned the other side of life as a football player: what it’s like to not always play and to deal with disappointment.” Baier has taken that experience with him into the rest of his career.
Daniel Baier and his FCA teammates have the chance to ensure that VfL Wolfsburg remain behind them in the Bundesliga table on the weekend. Currently, a mere two points separate Augsburg (16 points) and Wolfsburg (14 points). “It will come down to the little things on Saturday,” says Baier and emphasises “we have to play to our potential. The wins that we have got to this point haven’t just fallen into our lap.”
Baier wants to “give the fans another win”
Wolfsburg finally managed to get their first win under coach Martin Schmidt against Freiburg last weekend, after a string of seven straight draws, “I hope they haven’t got used to winning,” says Daniel Baier cheekily. After three home games without a win, the midfield man wants to get all three points against the Wolves. “We want to give the fans another win,”
There will also be another reunion on Saturday. It will mark FCA’s first meeting with FCA’s ex-captain Paul Verhaegh. “We had a long, enjoyable and successful spell here together.” says Baier. “It will certainly be odd to be wearing different shirts, but I’m still looking forward to it. We’ll definitely have a good catch up after the game.” FCA’s current captain will have to put his friendship with his predecessor on the backburner for 90 minutes on Saturday,