Cacau enjoys 'beautiful' return

Cacau enjoys 'beautiful' return

Published Feb. 21, 2010 11:05 a.m. ET

Stuttgart striker Cacau could not have dreamt of a better return to the team as he netted four of his side's goals in a 5-1 win at Cologne.

The Germany international has spent over a month on the sidelines with a groin injury, but he made a dream comeback with four goals in just over an hour, making it difficult for coach Christian Gross to recall Ciprian Marica when he returns from suspension next weekend.

"I was really looking forward to this game after my long break," admitted Cacau. "And the way the game went makes it particularly beautiful.

"We put them under pressure from the start and didn't let Cologne get into the game and then we scored an early goal.

"We then carried on in the second half and never let up."

Cacau's return to the team and to form could not be timed any better with a Champions League cracker against Barcelona on Tuesday.

After this morale-boosting win, Cacau sees no reason why his side should hold any fear of the Champions League holders, who warmed up with a 4-0 victory over Racing Santander.

"We are now looking forward to Barcelona on Tuesday," he said.

"We have got to gather our strength for that game and then we may cause an upset."

Gross praised his team for bouncing straight back after his first defeat since taking over in December last week against Hamburg.

"We are delighted about this clear victory," he said on the club's website.

"That was a good reaction to last week's defeat. I think it was a great game for the fans."

Nevertheless, the Swiss coach still saw plenty of room for improvement.

He said: "We did not play a perfect game, but it was still good and obviously we had an exceptional Cacau and a good Jens Lehmann."

But while it was a perfect day for Cacau, it was yet another disappointing one for Cologne striker Lukas Podolski, who has now gone over 1300 minutes without scoring.

"This is a bad time for me personally, but that can happen in a footballer's career," he said.