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Ralf Rangnick gave the ÖFB stars a little gift after a “very nice evening”.

Ralf Rangnick gave the ÖFB stars a little gift after a “very nice evening”.

As a reward for their group win, Austria's national football team players were given a day off by team chairman Ralf Rangnick. The ÖFB announced on Wednesday afternoon that training and all media appointments for Thursday had been cancelled. The players would not have to return to the team headquarters in Berlin until the evening. During the substitutes' training the day after the shock 3-2 comeback against the Netherlands, only ten of the squad were on the pitch at lunchtime.

Patrick Wimmer was looking forward to a day of downtime. “Every player is very happy because he is the boss of our team,” the Wolfsburg corps member said of Rangnick. Everyone in the field knows exactly what to do. “On the pitch we are a cohesive unit and we do what the coach wants. Off the pitch it gives us the freedom we need as players. There have been no specific plans for the day off yet.

The team hotel was opened to friends and families of the players on Tuesday evening. “The evening was very beautiful,” said young Leopold Kerfeld. “It wasn't very nice, it was more of a relaxing evening.” The big party after the group's victory was already on the bus from the Berlin Olympiastadion to the hotel – you can follow it on the Austrian Football Association's social media channels or here. :

Training on Wednesday was more relaxed. In addition to substitute goalkeepers Heinz Lindner and Niklas Heidel, eight field players conducted their training. Gernot Trauner was not among them. The central defender may be in short supply after suffering a thigh muscle injury during the 3-1 win over Poland last week. The 32-year-old from Feyenoord Rotterdam did not want to make any predictions after the match against the Netherlands.

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The front runners for ÖFB's centre-back position appear to be Kevin Danso and Philipp Lenhart at the start of the knockout stage. Kerfeld is likely to come in behind Maximilian Wober in the pecking order. The 20-year-old will be available despite a deep cut above his left knee that he sustained in his European Championship debut against the 'Orange'. “I took a little souvenir with me,” Kerfield said. The wound, which was stitched after the match, was treated and treated on Wednesday so that it would heal as quickly as possible. “This shouldn't stop me from training too much.”

Rangnick himself arrived at the training ground on the pitch at the throwing stadium very relaxed and a little late. The big attraction of the day was the start of training for the German second division team Hertha Berlin at the Olympic Park in Berlin. More than 100 spectators watched the first public session under new coach Christian Will, who was appointed by the Berlin team from their league rivals Nuremberg.