FRISCO, Texas – For FC Dallas captain Reto Ziegler, the quarantine period, while emotionally challenging, has brought along many positives.
“I can enjoy my family more than ever,” he said. “I had the chance to see my daughter’s first steps and celebrated her first birthday. Those are the positive moments I can take out of this situation.”
With the extended time away from the training grounds, Ziegler and his wife, a former alpine skier, still maintain a consistent workout routine each morning.
“We start a workout from 6-7:30. At 7:30, my daughter wakes up and then we have to be there for her,” Ziegler said. “I’m almost a babysitter. It’s important for me to help my wife and I really see what she’s doing the whole year for me and my daughter.”
The defender has even begun to teach his young daughter the art of soccer, a sport he’d be proud to watch her play later in life.
“I especially am teaching her that when she sees the ball to not rub it with her hands,” he said. “Now she’s kicking it and I have the feeling that she is left-footed like I am. I am very proud.”
While the outlook for a return to action still remains unclear, Ziegler, through speaking with former teammates in Italy and Germany, is hopeful.
“I spoke to my ex-teammate, Angelo Palombo, who is now on the coaching staff in Sampdoria. He was the captain there when I played there,” Ziegler said. “They were really in a bad situation, but it’s better now. A few teams are starting to train together in small groups. I saw that also in Germany. I spoke with Gelson Fernandez, who plays at Eintracht Frankfurt. They are actually out of quarantine training in small groups. I hope that this can happen soon here.”
For now, though, Ziegler will attempt, like many of his teammates, to improve his skillset in the kitchen, as he helps his wife prepare a wide range of dishes.
“I was never a good cook, but I try to help my wife with cooking,” Ziegler said. “We made chicken curry with pineapple. The presentation is important because we have more time to present a nice dish. We were eating the rice and the chicken inside the pineapple and I actually posted the picture on Instagram. That was very cool.”
While Ziegler feels he is not quite at Fafá Picault’s level yet, perhaps a friendly cooking challenge could soon be on the cards.
“I don’t know if I’m ready yet,” Ziegler joked. “He’s a really good cook. So, why not?”