Michael van Gerwen suddenly looked very gloomy. Actually, the three-time Darts World Champion had arrived that evening last May in the belief in the training camp of the Dutch national football team, the loose arrows throw with the “Oranje” kickers under any circumstances to be able to pull the short straw. But then “Mighty Mike”, the nickname of the 30-year-old, met a man who is clearly not only on the green grass very well: Wout Weghorst. The attacker actually managed to win a leg against van Gerwen. “I threw twice 140. He was really angry and then wanted to play directly twice more,” says the 26-year-old in a conversation with the NDR radio
Gates on the assembly line in the Netherlands
At that time, Weghorst still had its wages and bread in its homeland at AZ Alkmaar. Soon after, VfL Wolfsburg announced the commitment of the 1.97 meter tall striker. Of course, not because of his triumph against van Gerwen, but because of the impressive scoring: 45 goals in 86 games had the right foot scored for the two-time Dutch champions. And now he takes off in the Bundesliga cheerfully. In 26 appearances Weghorst was already twelve times successful and prepared five goals – most recently in a 5-2 draw against Fortuna Dusseldorf he even managed a hat-trick.
VfL transfers Alkmaar eleven million euros for striker
One day after that great moment in the “Wolves” jersey on 16 March, the attacker visited the game of his former club against Ajax Amsterdam. The reception for him was very cordial. “Weghorst on Fire” was among other things on a banner. In addition, the “lost son” was greeted with much applause. The AZ fans have not forgotten the former captain and top scorer of the club. And quite by the way, he also flushed the club a considerable amount of money into the box office. Almost eleven million euros should have been the transfer fee for him. So far, however, this investment for the factory club has always paid off. Weghorst is one of the faces of the Wolfsburg revival.
And he is well on the way to following in the footsteps of his compatriot Bas Dost in the Lower Saxony. He had played for VfL from 2012 to 2016 and scored 36 goals in 85 matches. His departure three years ago at Sporting Lisbon, the Bundesliga club could never really compensate – until Weghorst pitched his tent on the Mittelland Canal.
From rags to riches? Not quite…
“At the beginning of the season, my goal was to score 12 goals throughout the season,” said Weghorst to NDR: “Things are going well.” Surely. In fact, it’s even magical for a player who has never seen a junior performance center from the inside and only made his debut as a professional footballer at age 20 – at second-rate FC Emmen. Now, the kicker from the small town of Borne shoots goals in one of the best football leagues in the world. A typical story under the headline: “From rags to millionaires”. Well, Weghorst never had to wash dishes to stay afloat – his family runs 130 petrol stations in the Netherlands. For the big money through football, he actually came through his irrepressible will and a lot of hard work.
“Every day try to get the best”
“I try every day to get the best and to get stronger in things that I can still develop,” says the Wolfsburg. Additional shot and header training as well as individual units in the weight room are normal for the high-powered attacker: “I always try to develop myself – that’s a little bit my secret.” His goal has always been to become “a better player,” says Weghorst, confidently adding, “I’m on the right track.” And where should this path lead him? “It’s clear, I would like to play European, that’s an important thing for me,” explains the Dutchman. The chances are currently good to reach this goal with the “wolves”. As a table screener the Werksclub has close contact with the Europa League and Champions League places.
A magnificent development for a club that avoided relegation in the previous two seasons only in the relegation. And a development at the Weghorst as well as coach Bruno Labbadia (“I am very grateful to the coach that he has brought me to the Bundesliga”) has a large share.
At “Oranje” currently in the waiting loop
While Labbadia’s term ends in the summer , Weghorst – Stand now – will be active at least until 2022 for the Lower Saxony. So long is his contract. But if the 26-year-old continues to meet so consistently, managers from other clubs will certainly court him soon. For example, those from the motherland of football. And England, Weghorst has recently emphasized, has always been a destination for him. Since the VfL responsible people have to be almost happy that their top scorer is currently not in the “Oranje” jersey in the shop window. Although he was in the preliminary squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers of the Elftal against Belarus (4: 0) and Germany (2: 3). In the final squad of Bondscoach Ronald Koeman, the striker did not make it.
So it remains for the time being in three missions for his homeland. But anyone who has observed his previous career path knows that a Wout Weghorst can not be discouraged or intimidated by anything or anyone. Not even the darts – a certain Michael van Gerwen can sing a song of it …