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Steven Dreger

Steven Dreger

Steve Dreger is a journalism graduate. After attending the 2006 World Cup as a fan, Steve worked as an overseas reporter at the 2008 Euro Cup and the 2010 World Cup RSS

Two Clubs One Title – Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich

Written by on April 11, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Posted in Bayern Mnchen, Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga

The stage is set for Wednesday, Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund will hold an epic clash between German giants, the unbeaten in 23 games Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich who are on a nine game winning streak. Bayern has been chasing Dortmund in the standings since December and now Bayern only three points behind with five games left, all the chips are on the table.

The two squads last met November 19th at Allianz Arena in Munich. Dortmund took the important match 1-0, mostly because of the efforts of one man. The game was dominated by Mario, not the Mario leading the league in goals scored with 25. It was the 19 year old Mario Gotze who had a wonderful match, leaving his stamp in Munich scoring the game’s only goal in the 65th minute.

Shortly after Gotze’s brilliant performance, the young German international found himself sidelined with a very unusual injury. Similar to Arjen Robben’s groin hernia problems, Gotze’s injury could not be completely solved under the knife, taking time away from the pitch was the only option. The good news surrounding the young star for the Dortmund faithful is that Gotze has recently signed a contract with Dortmund, locking him in with the West German club until 2016. Although Gotze has returned to training last week, it is unlikely Mario will play against Bayern.

Unfortunately for current league leaders Dortmund the opposing Mario will be on the pitch and he is in top form as of late. In the last nine games Gomez has played, five in which he did not play the full 90 minutes, he has netted 12 goals.

Maybe the key to the match for the Bavarians will not be their prolific goal scorer, but the return of their midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger. ‘Basti’ missed the last match against Dortmund, allowing Dortmund to win most of the battles in the midfield.

Bayern is coming off a dominant display in their European play. Their quarter-final matchup Marseille was barely a challenge for FC Hollywood. Bayern moved on to the semi-final round where they will meet thee Real Madrid. After watching Bayern dismantle Marseille, you have to wonder if you can make any correlation in the fact that Dortmund lost twice to Marseille in their Champions League group play.

One of the major positives Dortmund has going into Wednesday is the play of their 23-year-old Japanese star, Shinji Kagawa. With the absence of Gotze in the Dortmund midfield, Kagawa has been the team’s creative spark plug. After being sidelined with a couple of different injuries, Kagawa has comeback and seen impressive results. Kagawa has scored three goals in his last three games.

There is no shortage of storyline for this massive Bundesliga tilt. Playing on home soil will be a huge factor; it always is when you’re playing at home in front of 78,650 passionate fans all wearing the same colours. With the return of an anchor in the midfield for Bayern in Schweinsteiger and Dortmund having to keep their young super star on the bench, the Bavarian’s will no doubt put up a great fight to take the top spot in the Bundesliga.

Whoever loses this very important match will be able to take some comfort in knowing that they will get another crack at the same opposition in only a month’s time. Round three between the two sides is to hoist the DFB Pokal trophy, the match is slotted for May 12th in Berlin at the historic Olympiastadion.

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Kahn Too

Written by on May 11, 2011 | 4 Comments »
Posted in Bayern Mnchen

When you think of dominating and aggressive footballers, the name Oliver Kahn should come to mind.

A winner of eight Bundesliga championships, six German Cups, a UEFA Cup, a FIFA Golden Ball award and a Champions League title, King Kahn has etched his name in football history as one of the greatest keepers ever.

Born in Karlsruhe, West Germany, Kahn began playing with the Karlsruher SC youth team at six years old. At 18 years old he got called up to the Bundesliga.

Six years later, Karlsruher SC a mid level Bundesliga team, rode the strong play of the blooming Oliver Kahn all the way to the UEFA Cup semi finals in 1993.

The excellent goalkeeping performance did not go unnoticed. The next season at 25 years old, Kahn was in the South of Germany playing for the Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.

At 25 years old Manuel Neuer could find himself following the exact path of that Kahn took, from western Germany to the black forest in the south of Germany.

Born in Gelsenkirchen, Neuer too started his football career very young with his hometown youth academy. At five years old Neuer was training in the Schalke camps.

As Kahn did, at 18 years old Neuer got called up to the men’s ranks, although it was the Schalke second team.

With a strong World Cup in South Africa and the impressive Schalke Champions League semi final run that Neuer anchored, he is paving the road to bigger and better clubs.

In December 2010, Kahn publically gave Neuer advice saying, “I think he will become world class,” Kahn told Bild. “But he has to take the next step and join one of the great clubs. Then he can play in the Champions League regularly, with Schalke it is certainly possible sporadically but not every year.”

Since then Bayern has made it clear that they want Neuer backing their team next season. The price isn’t set, but negotiations are inevitable.

On April 30th, the Bundesliga’s second place Bayer Leverkusen lost to FC Koln and at the time third place Hannover lost to Monchengladbach.

On that same Saturday, Neuer to suited up against his possible future employers Bayern Munich, who sat beneath Hannover in the table, at the edge of a Champions League spots.

The same Champions League that could play a huge role in where Neuer’s future lies.  Although Neuer made two fantastic saves, stealing goals away from Bayern, he faced twenty two shots, nine of them on target.

Bayern won 4-1. In that victory some Allianz Arena fans weren’t so welcoming to their possible future keeper. They remembered a celebration where Neuer had that mimicked their beloved Oliver Kahn.

A few sour fans will not stop Neuer from joining the Champions League bound Bayern Munich, if that’s where he wants to play. It wouldn’t be Kahn-like of him to care what fans are thinking of him.

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