Marco Reus was named kicker’s Fussballer des Jahres (Player of the Year). He had a brilliant campaign with Gladbach, made the solid jump into the national team, did well in Euro 2012 and started off great with new club Dortmund. Couldn’t ask for much more.
The biggest news however is that Bayern München plunked down 40 million euros to sign Basque defensive midfielder Javi Martinez for 40 million euros. I believe this is a Bundesliga record, the previous being Mario Gomez for 35 million and Frank Ribery for 25 million, Arjen Robben 24 million (See the pattern? Guess who?) Bayern has been haggling with Bilbao for weeks, and apparently they’ve finally agreed. It will be interesting how the Spaniard fits in, perhaps it indicates that Schweinsteiger will be concentrating more on attack now that cover is available.
Wolfsburg has sent DM Petr Jiracek to Hamburg. Rumour is that Felix Magath is looking at bringing in a couple of new players.
Relegated 1. FC Köln GK Michael Rensing has transferred to Bayer Leverkusen. This is somewhat of a surprise, since Bernd Leno has established himself as clear no.1 in chemical town. (He booted Rene Adler’s ass off to HSV). I’m a bit surprised, because Rensing was actually fairly decent at 1. FC Köln, you could hardly blame the relegation on him. He certainly had redeemed himself from his crappy Bayern season. But Köln was jettisoning all pricy salaries, so he had to leave. You’d think he might have looked for a starting job, but I guess he’s content to sit on the bench and collect the paycheck.
Another “interesting” signing was Kaiserslautern picking up Alexander Baumjohann from Schalke. Baumjohann was considered one of the young rising superstars after the 2009 season with Gladbach. Then he made the mistake of signing with Bayern and got the dreaded Bankholzsplinterimarschverletzung, after warming the bench too much. So off to Schalke to revive is career. Well, strike two apparently. Let’s see how he fairs. I think he’s only around 24, so in theory he could still make a move, but perhaps that train has left the station.
How ’bout some other promising youngsters whose careers were essentially flushed down the toilet after the big transfer to Bayern? You have any favorites? Go ahead and post your suggestions….
Ivica Horvat died at age 86. He was a Yugoslavian international in the 1950s, and then moved to Germany with Frankfurt, first as a player, then as a coach as they became a founding member of the Bundesliga.. He is best known as a coach for Schalke in the early 70s, when the young squad burst on the scene to challenge Bayern. (Didn’t last long, as they collapsed soon after – however, he did win the Cup, as the Blues blasted Kaiserslautern 5-0). He coached Rot-Weiss Essen and Westfalia Herne later (ha, bet you don’t remember them that well, eh?) before returning to Schalke, but had little success.