After what was probably the most emotional week of his football career to date, Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer stood in the belly of the Hanover stadium and grinned. "It can't get any better than this," said the Hamburger SV striker.
And he didn't just mean his solo run over around 70 meters, which gave the leaders of the 2nd Bundesliga a late and well-deserved 2-1 (1-1) win at Hannover 96 in injury time.
The 21-year-old striker made his debut for Ghana in a 1-0 win over Nicaragua on Tuesday. Königsdörffer was born in Berlin. But his father comes from the African country for which he now also wants to play at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.
On Wednesday he flew back to Hamburg via Lorca, Alicante and Frankfurt am Main, where he trained with HSV for the first time in over a week and a half on Thursday. On Friday, coach Tim Walter substituted him in for the convincing Sonny Kittel in the second half. 23 minutes later, Königsdörffer grabbed the ball after a corner kick for 96 and started running in the middle of their own half of the game.
HSV coach: "We're far from done"
So far this season, the Hamburgers have not been impressed by anything. A player like Königsdörffer not from his immense travel stress. The entire team is not affected by the quarrels surrounding CFO Thomas Wüstefeld, who only resigned on Wednesday evening.
"It shows the spirit of the team," said captain Sebastian Schonlau. Everyone knows the dominant playing style of coach Tim Walter in the second year. And everyone has to fight to be a part of this team. Königsdörffer, for example, is one of eight players who are only suitable for three positions in attack.
"We wanted to bring in an energy. Ransy has it. He paid it back," said Walter about the substitution of his 1.1 million euro newcomer from Dynamo Dresden. But the coach didn't want to get too euphoric. "We're up there, that's nice. But there are still a lot of games to go. We're far from done," he said.