Wolfsburg (Germany): Reigning German Cup winners VfL Wolfsburg's duel with the Belgian side KAA Gent in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 round today is being regarded as one of the most important matches in the football club's history.
Wolfsburg midfielder Andre Schurrle
The club could take a big step forward to reach the quarter-final for the first time and it could also pave the way for midfielder Andre Schurrle, one of Germany's 2014 World Cup stars, to return to the spotlight, Xinhua reported.
For several months, the striker had been viewed as a kind of "one hit wonder" after being the man providing a decisive pass that led to Mario Goetze's winner in the 2014 World Cup final. After the fairy tale moment, Schurrle lost ground control on the pitch and in his career.
Now the 25-year-old seems to have found the chance to have his way back. It might sound premature, but the last two league games and the Champions League first leg against Gent (Wolfsburg wins in 3-2) seem to have helped Schurrle break down a wall of frustration.
In Wolfsburg's 4-0 away win against Hannover in Bundesliga recently, Schurrle scored a hat-trick and then supplied an assisting pass for a goal in a 2-1 win against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
"It is extremely important to show Loew and the national team that I'm still alive and playing in form. I'm sure it'll be noticed," said Schurrle.
"If you score three goals, it helps in your confidence and your soul."
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking is just as happy as his striker. "I admit we did have our doubts. But playing like that, Andre can be a vital part of our team and help us as we expected. A hard time lies behind Andre," he said.
"We can't express what it would mean for the club if we go through," said Wolfsburg CEO Klaus Allofs. "It's a big challenge as we know the mental quality of a team like Gent."