The Ghana international was picked up at Salzburg airport on Friday and after a 60 minute drive he arrived at Leogang. Luiz Gustavo turned 23 on Friday and was welcomed by team mates and caretakers with plenty of cheerful birthday wishes. However, he was unable to escape the Brazilian tradition of being covered in a "shower" of eggs and flower. The birthday child was aware that he wouldn't be able to run away from this and joyfully found a positive verdict: "At least it's a change from getting a water shower."
But before all this the team did engage in another tiring training session at the Steinbergstadion. Athletic coaches Christof Elser and Yannick Obenauer started the day with running exercises that included a rapid change of pace from the players. Carlos Eduardo and Matthias Jaissle were also taking part in the exercises. "We are trying to get Matze (Jaissle) to be able to take part in the running exercises," said Obenauer. Goalkeeper coaches Zsolt Petry and Cesar Thier worked on one-on-one situations with the four goalkeepers. Ralf Rangnick overviewed everything and carefully took notes, which were later implemented in a training match. Towards the end of the training session the sunshine had faded away and it started raining.
Andreas Beck and Josip Simunic answered the reporters questions after the lunch break. "I have a very good feeling. I have participated in a lot of training camps already, but this one is certainly the toughest so far," said Simunic. "I have recovered well," said Beck who had a longer vacation after taking part in Germany's preparation for the World Cup. "I'm back in a normal training routine for some weeks now. It's a different preparation as to the one before the World Cup, since the DFB solely had to focus on the tournament. Here, we try to set the basics for a long season."
Shortly before the afternoon training session was about to get underway, the Rhein-Neckar-Supporters Fanclub arrived and sang a birthday song for Luiz Gustavo. The main emphasis of the second training session was on tactics and different formations.
The season preparation has lasted four weeks already for 1899 Hoffenheim. Therefore it is time for coach Rangnick to make his first résumé: "The team has done well, despite the tiring exercises and the difficult weather conditions. I have the feeling that the team is in very good spirits and I hope we can take that with us into the Bundesliga season," said Rangnick. "We will continue to work on tactics and always include the ball in our training sessions, so the boys can get a feel for each other and get used to the tactical arrangements."