Wolfsburg proceed with camp

2015-01-12 12:41
Junior Malanda (Getty Images)
Junior Malanda (Getty Images)

Wolfsburg - Bundesliga side Wolfsburg is going ahead with its planned training camp in South Africa despite the death of midfielder Junior Malanda in a car crash on Saturday.

"It wasn't an easy decision but we're sure that it's absolutely the right one. He wanted success, to achieve great things with us, and it's the least we could do for him," Wolfsburg general manager Klaus Allofs said.

The team's rescheduled departure for Cape Town was set for Sunday evening.

The 20-year-old Malanda, a Belgium youth international, died when the Volkswagen Touareg in which he was a back-seat passenger crashed off the motorway near Bielefeld. He was on his way to meet teammates for Saturday evening's planned departure to the training camp.

Wolfsburg was bringing in counselors to help players cope with the loss of their teammate.

"Everyone is completely distraught. The players are in a terrible state," Allofs said.

Allofs later told Sky television: "Everybody loved him."

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking struggled to hide his grief and fought back tears at Sunday's press conference.

"Junior was an exceptional young player - talented and full of life. He leaves a big gap," Hecking said.

Several hundred fans gathered to express their sorrow with a silent march on Sunday. Many left flowers, candles, pictures, and banners in the club's green and white colors at Wolfsburg's stadium, where the club opened a book of condolences for the young player.

Malanda was considered one of Belgium's top prospects. He played at every youth level for his country from under-15s to under-21s.

"Heaven is now your playing pitch, but we will not forget you," the Belgian Football Association said on its website.

Malanda scored two goals and set up four more in 17 Bundesliga games for Wolfsburg, which he joined from Belgian Pro League side Zulte Waregem in January 2014. He previously played for the reserve side of French club Lille, which he joined as a 12-year-old from Belgian side Anderlecht's youth setup.

Read more on:    wolfsburg  |  bundesliga  |  junior malanda  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.