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Gaudino & Kurt

Junior duo aim to learn and grow

The crowds who had come to watch their idols train were already on their way home, but Gianluca Gaudino and Sinan Kurt were still driving in shots and swinging over crosses. Even after a punishing session with the squad, the pair stayed out on the practice ground and completed a short extra shift. “We’re still young, so we have to do more than the others,” Kurt told “But in any case, we’re delighted to stay out for longer and shoot at goal. We really enjoy it!”

The youngsters are always brimming with energy in training, and are clearly driven by motivation and desire. After all, they have to prove their worth over and over again in every workout, Gaudino explained. The honeymoon period for both came to an end a long time ago. “In my first few days of training they were pretty careful with how they dealt with me. But there’s no protection any more, and that’s good. It’s the only way to learn,” the 18-year-old reasoned.

There is a huge difference between the U-19 juniors and the first team. “It’s all so much quicker. You have no time to think,” explained Gaudino. Kurt confirmed his fellow youth’s words: “The standard in every first team training session is world class, but I reckon I’ve adapted very well.” That is partly due to the attitude taken by the established players, Thomas Müller for example. “He’s very good at geeing you along,” smiled Kurt. “It’s a good sign if the older players push you a bit.”

Pair are good friends

Kurt has yet to make a maiden competitive appearance for the club, but Gaudino is already a step further on: he was still 17 when he made his Bundesliga debut in the opening match of the season at home to Wolfsburg, although he barely had any time to prepare for the big occasion. “It went really quickly. The coach told me while we were in the hotel before kick-off,” he recalled. “It was a great feeling, but I was also totally nervous. It was better once I got out onto the pitch and I was in the zone.” Gaudino has now made a total of six competitive appearances for FCB.

“Gianluca has made a pretty good impression. I do consider him a bit of a role model,” confessed Kurt, who counts his fellow new starter as a friend: “We get along specially well.” Sinan is bowled over by Gianluca’s ability with both feet, “where he’s really outstanding!” So when will Kurt make his maiden senior appearance? “I’ve not set myself any targets,” the attacking midfielder said. “I’m going to go for it all the time and put myself forward to the coach.” And that includes a bit of extra training.