Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund: Tactical analysis

May 24, 2013

Jerseys of German football clubs Bayern
“The key to Bayern Munich’s success throughout 2012-13 has been their adaptability. On their way to a record points total in the Bundesliga, Bayern’s ball retention was consistently remarkable, while in the Champions League victories over Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona they have been equally impressive when using a physical approach designed to overpower the opposition.” Guardian

The Champions League Final: Fünf brennende Fragen
“… So it’s disconcerting that the Oxford-Duden German Dictionary appears to contain not a single entry corresponding to ‘the strange curiosity one feels regarding the 2013 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, the first all-German European Cup final in history, which will be played Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET at Wembley Stadium in London, and which feels oddly compelling despite the fact that the teams involved have played one another approximately 345 times in the Bundesliga this season.’ I mean, you’d think they’d be all over that, right?” Grantland – Brian Phillips

What’s on the line for Bayern, Dortmund, all of Germany in CL final
“1. This doesn’t mean the Bundesliga is the best league in the world. What constitutes “the best” football league? If it’s affordability, sustainability, indigenous talent on pitches and benches and a decent stadium experience you’re after, the Bundesliga is your bag. Most of these factors, while commendable, are only of real concern to German fans, however. As an international entertainment “product,” the Bundesliga is still miles behind the Premier League and will continue to be so unless there are three or four Bayern Munichs, competing for the best international players and entering the Champions League with a realistic view to winning it. That will take a lot of time and even more hard, smart work, even if dormant giants like Hamburger SC, 1.FC Köln or VfB Stuttgart will begin to wake up.” SI

Bayern and Dortmund bring Bundesliga battle royale to Wembley
“Saturday’s Champions League final between German powers Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund could be the greatest clash between good and evil since the Book of Mormon. Bayern are Germany’s superclub, a possession-hungry, passing, pressing powerhouse that are loved or loathed, but always feared. Dortmund, the resurgent underdogs, prefer to thrill with movement and speed — a fearless young team that run hard and attempt to overwhelm opponents with a vicious transition game.” ESPN (Video)

What David Moyes and Sir Alex really do

May 24, 2013

“Sometimes as a journalist you get lucky. In March I spent a day at Everton Football Club’s training ground at Finch Farm. I didn’t meet the manager, David Moyes, but his aura hung over the place. I talked to several of his staff members, who spoke of him with awe, and on May 4 I published an article that tried to describe how Moyes works. Four days later, to my surprise, Moyes was given perhaps the biggest job in football management: successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.” FT – Simon Kuper

The great European Cup teams: Barcelona 2009-2011

May 24, 2013

“Barcelona completed the circle on 28 May 2011. Wembley again, back where it all began. The perfect expression of a team that some considered the finest there has been and at the perfect location too. When Barcelona defeated Manchester United 3-1 in London to win their second European Cup in three years under Pep Guardiola, and their third in six, Sir Alex Ferguson called the Catalans the best team he had ever faced. ‘No one,’ he said, ‘has ever given us a hiding like that.’ But it was about more than just the performance; it was about the symmetry and symbolism too.” Guardian

The Beavers and the Champions League

May 24, 2013

“As the Portuguese Primeira Liga drew to a close at the weekend, all eyes were understandably on Benfica and Porto as they battled it out for the League Championship and, for the latter, the enviable record of enduring the season without defeat. Slipping underneath the radar, however, there has been another big story in Portuguese football this year: that of the relatively unknown Pacos De Ferreira and their qualification for the Champions League. Pacos secured the third and final Champions League qualification spot in the Primeira Liga with a game to spare, and now find themselves only a two-legged playoff tie away from the elusive and lucrative group stages of Europe’s premier club competition.” In Bed With Maradona

The Bundesliga’s True “White Brazilian” – Part I

May 24, 2013

“‘I’m not in right now… If you want to reach me you can find me down my local pub from five in the evening to five in the morning – Beeeeeeeeeeep.’ It’s not an answer phone message you would want your mum to hear. And it’s certainly not a message you would expect from a professional footballer. But then Ansgar Brinkmann was never a professional footballer in the true sense of the word. He drank, he fought and he womanized. He had run-in’s with the police. And he had a reputation for arguing with his teammates and managers. With Ansgar, you never knew what to expect. And therein lay his appeal, both on and off the pitch.” Bundesliga Fanatic – Part 1, Part 2