So Borussia Dortmund is now the Bundesliga champion 2010-2011. Despite there being another two match days this season, BVB’s 2:0 win against Nuremberg on the weekend put them beyond the reach of their closest rivals, Leverkusen, who lost 0:2 to Cologne. Even if the Leverkusen boys had won, though, their chances of claiming this title this season would have stayed slim.
Dortmund’s statistics speak for themselves: they have the most wins, the least defeats, and the lowest number of goals conceded – they’ve been at the top of the league table since the tenth match day without even the shortest interruption. They are a young, dynamic team, headed by great players like Götze, Großkreuz, Hummels, Sahin, Schmelzer and Barrios – and I think they really deserve their victory. Well done Dortmund!
Aside from Dortmund’s title victory, the other big talking point in the German league at the moment is Manuel Neuer, who is looking to leave Borussia’s rivals Schalke 04. Apparently, he wants to go to Bayern Munich, but Manchester United have joined the bidding after seeing his skills in the Champions League. Nevertheless, Neuer seems intent on staying in the Bundesliga. I wonder why?
Well, I suppose I can think of three good reasons why the German national team goalie doesn’t want to go to any of the other three major European leagues.
Reason number 1 has got to be the atmosphere in German stadia compared to English venues. Whilst Premier League sides have rid their grounds of terraces and allowed ticket prices to get out of control, the German clubs still have lively crowds of supporters packed into their stadia, cheering, singing and generally having a great time. I mean, who would want to exchange Dortmund’s famous Südtribüne, a near-sheer wall of shouting supporters, for the suspiciously quiet and almost clinical atmosphere of some English stadia?
The second reason that comes to mind is that the Bundesliga is well organised; much better than, say, the Italian Serie A, where players have to go on strike until they get paid, big investors lose their temper in the changing rooms and violent fans can get onto the pitch thanks to the crumbling stadium infrastructure. Whereas Italian teams regularly court bankruptcy until some shady millionaire coughs up enough to keep them ticking over, German teams save their way back to financial security – just look at Dortmund, whose managing director Hans-Joachin Watzke has done great work in rebuilding confidence in team finances, laying the groundwork for their victory this year.
The third reason for Neuer to stay put in Germany is that the league title is open to more than two teams. Whilst Spaniards who want to speculate on the result can really only place bets on Barça or Real, German gamblers still have a wide range of options. Obviously, smart money is almost always riding on Bayern Munich, but just look at the other winners in the last few seasons: Bremen 2004, Stuttgart 2007, Wolfsburg 2009 and, of course, Dortmund 2011.
There are three good reasons for Manuel Neuer to stay in the Bundesliga, then. In fact, these are also all good reasons to swap to, well, Dortmund! Then again, if you’ve ever played for Schalke, it’s just not the done thing.
Results Matchday 32:
Werder Bremen – VfL Wolfsburg 0:1
1. FC Kaiserslautern – FC St. Pauli 2:0
Borussia Dortmund – 1. FC Nürnberg 2:0
Hamburger SV – SC Freiburg 0:2
1. FSV Mainz 05 – Eintracht Frankfurt 3:0
1899 Hoffenheim – VfB Stuttgart 1:2
1. FC Köln – Bayer Leverkusen 2:0
Hannover 96 – Borussia Mönchengladbach 0:1
Bayern München – FC Schalke 04 4:1
1 Borussia Dortmund 72 P
2 Bayer Leverkusen 64 P
3 Bayern München 59 P
4 Hannover 96 57 P
5 1. FSV Mainz 05 52 P
6 1. FC Nürnberg 47 P
7 SC Freiburg 44 P
8 Hamburger SV 43 P
9 1899 Hoffenheim 40 P
10 FC Schalke 04 40 P
11 1. FC Kaiserslautern 40 P
12 VfB Stuttgart 39 P
13 Werder Bremen 38 P
14 1. FC Köln 38 P
15 VfL Wolfsburg 35 P
16 Eintracht Frankfurt 34 P
17 Borussia Mönchengladbach 32 P
18 FC St. Pauli 29 P