Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bayern Munich

Although I am becoming almost unhealthily excited at the prospect of both the Italian and Spanish football leagues beginning this weekend, I would like to turn my attention briefly to the Bundesliga and, more specifically, to Bayern Munich.

To be honest, I am just not into German football. Between England, Italy, Spain, the MLS and the occasional international, I have about as much football watchin’ on my plate as I can handle. If I pick up one more league my lovely bride might decide she’s seen enough of both the beautiful game and me.

But I’ve seen every Bayern Munich game so far in the young season. I am fairly indifferent to the club as a whole, since as I’ve said I have no real attachment to German football. I decided to watch the games because the club employs one of my favorite players, Luca Toni, who formerly played for one of my favorite clubs, Fiorentina. I also enjoy the work of Franck Ribery, who is always fun to watch.

Aside from this, I really didn’t expect to really get a kick out of watching Bayern. But so far they have been a revelation; the best team in this very young season in all of Europe. They play Toni up from with the equally-dangerous Lukas Podolsk and Miroslav Klose. In the midfield they have Ribery on the right (who frequently drifts to center and orchestrates the action) along with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ze Roberto. They play Philipp Lahm and Christian Lell in back in front of the redoubtable Oliver Kahn. So far they have played very smooth attacking football with emphasis on crisp passing. They are deadly on the counter attack and tough on defense. In some ways their approach reminds me of Real Madrid’s Galactico project from five years ago, but Bayern has a much better balance between offence and defense. They should win the Bundesliga easily.

Hey, it’s easy to make fun of Bayern and some of their players. The team is a very big fish in a (somewhat) small pond that can’t match their popularity at home abroad, as the other big clubs seem to be able to do. And mercenary players like Ribery and (as much as it pains me to say it) Toni look foolish for claiming they want to play Champion’s League football and then signing for Bayern because of the money. So be it. But beautiful football is beautiful football, and that is what Bayern Munich is playing right now.

1 comment:

Johnny Centreback said...

Great piece. Yes, Bayern looks great on paper: they've got tons of firepower. Could do some damage in the Champions League as well. I've linked to your story from our site at