Caligiuri is looking forward to a reunion with his previous coach Christian Streich, who not only managed him in the top flight, but also throughout his time with the U19s. “Christian is honest, guides his players in the right direction, and pushes them when needed,” said Schalke’s number 18 when asked to describe his former coach. “He’s done really well in his time at Freiburg.”
Even though his former team are currently languishing in the bottom third of the Bundesliga, Caligiuri is wary of the men from Breisgau. “Lots of teams find it difficult to play in Freiburg, including us in our last few trips there,” he explained. “They play with a very aggressive style and have eleven players who are willing to leave it all out on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes. We have to be ready for that.”
Schalke played another previous team of Caligiuri’s in the form of VfL Wolfsburg on the last matchday, although it ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw. “We really wanted to come out of that game with all three points. We were just too passive in the second half though,” said the 29-year-old looking back. The game has been analysed, worked upon, and forgotten about. “All of our focus is now on Freiburg,” he said.
Caligiuri received a lot of ticket requests ahead of the game at the Schwarzwald-Stadion from friends and family alike. “A few of my teammates have given me their allocation of tickets. My family really wanted to be there,” he said. One thing matters above all else though: “We want to come back with all three points!”