Bayern, Wolfsburg to kick-start Bundesliga season
Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS
Berlin, Aug 22 : Interest in the German Bundesliga would have have peaked after the national team's success in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the new season will kickoff with defending champions Bayern Munich taking on Wolfsburg Friday night.
But the headlines would surely be hogged by two big rivals - the defending champion Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Five or six others will be snapping at their heels hoping to spring a surprise, reports Xinhua.
For Dortmund charismatic coach Juergen Klopp, the Bundesliga's "emotional power" is the key to success.
"We have to deliver a competition that thrills fans. If we fail to do so then we've lost our right to exist. The worst thing that could happen is that we lose emotional connection to the people," Klopp said.
"We managed to get people's hearts bound up with the clubs. Even when things don't go one's way for a while on the pitch, it's important people say, come on, let's knuckle down and solve the problem together," Klopp added.
Weeks before the start of the new league season, a "war of words" was already in full flow between the officials of both clubs.
Bosses (Hans-Joachim Watzke (BVB) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern) have had well-publicized "arguments" in the media. One tells the other to "keep his mouth shut". Most fans smile and are fully aware it is part and parcel of the Bundesliga.
"It's something that comes with the meal," said the Bayern chief Rummenigge. "It's something that whets the appetite of the fans."
This season many league clubs will be keen to beat Bayern. VfL Wolfsburg, FC Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach have closed the gap on Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund by investing in new players.
"The other clubs have moved forwards. I fully expect this season to be an exceptionally exciting one," said Klopp.
"I regard Leverkusen and Wolfsburg as championship contenders if Bayern fails to live up to expectations. Now it's up to Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and ourselves to face the challenge as well as the pressure and expectations," the BVB manager added.
Bayern's answer is to keep its rivals at bay with arguably the best squad in the club's history. And the promise of Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, "The Champions League is the most beautiful woman but for me the Bundesliga is the most important competition," said the Iberian coach, "I want to win the German title again - we will do everything we possibly can to do so."