Berlin - Injuries are part of the game, especially for professional footballers, where the speed of the game and the intense nature of the game make it impossible to avoid falling victim to injury. However, thanks to the availability of comprehensive medical care and a detailed plan outlining their recovery process, our Herthaner are usually able to return from injury quickly. In Santiago Ascacíbar’s case, patience was a key virtue. Our number 18 missed the end of last season with a foot injury, while further injuries have meant that ‘Santi’ has been sidelined for the majority of the first half of the 2020/21 season as well. “That was a tough time,” Ascacíbar told herthabsc.de. “The injuries, the Coronavirus situation and then not being able to play football for so long made it difficult to deal with these constant set-backs while I was doing everything possible to return to fitness.” However, giving up was never an option for the midfielder.
Support from home and hard work to return to the starting XI
Ascacíbar is fortunate to have people around him to support him through the set-backs he experienced. “I’m lucky to have the support of my wife and my son, as they give me a lot of strength. My family in Argentina are also always there for me. We talk on the phone a lot and their positive attitude was very important for me,” said the four-time Argentina international. “At the moment, I feel good. The most important thing is to be healthy. I hope that there won’t be any further setbacks. I want to use every minute I have with the coaches to show what I’m capable of!” So far, Ascacíbar has been able to do just that. The midfielder has started all three matches under Pal Dardai. “Working with Pal is good, he’s given me a lot of playing time so far and I want to pay back the trust he’s shown in me. I’ve had to wait a while to have the chance to help out the team,” said Ascacíbar, who is also well aware of the competition for his spot. However, he’s not worried about this, but rather sees it as an opportunity. “We all have our own individual qualities and our own style of play. The most important thing is that we all do our part to help out the team,” Ascacíbar said. “We’re all in this together!”
In Ascacíbar’s most recent appearance for Hertha, the team were able to pick up a point. “Given that I used to play for Stuttgart, it was definitely a special experience to play there,” he said. Despite being subbed out in the closing stages, Ascacíbar cheered on his teammates from the stands as they came close to snatching a win in Stuttgart. “I always try to take a step back and see the positives and to analyse the result based on that. We were able to take home a point, and will now have to continue working hard as a team in order to pick up the points we need,” he said.
A “tough challenge” against Leipzig
Next up for our Herthaner is a home game against RB Leipzig on Sunday (21/02/21, 15:30 CET). The ‘Old Lady’ will have another opportunity to build on their current points haul, after coming close in the reverse fixture. “Leipzig will be another tough challenge, as they prove week in and week out what they’re capable of,” said Ascacíbar. “We will have to prove as a team that we are capable of taking on such an opponent and this time, we want to take points off one of the top teams in the league.” In order to do this, the capital city club will need to bring a fighting spirit to the pitch, something that Santiago Ascacíbar undoubtedly has. The Argentine will be looking to continue helping out his side as they fight to get out of the bottom half of the table.