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The defense wins the titles…

Once upon a time, Bayern Munich had an amazing defense and thanks to them, Bayern won many titles. It‘s clear to everybody that a good defense is necessary to win trophies like the Champions League. The offense wins the games, the defense wins the titles.

Unfortunately, this old saw doesn‘t seem to be applicable to the current FC Bayern Munich team! Bayern has some of the best offensive players in Europe. Ribery, Robben, Müller and Gomez are desired in most european clubs because of their outstanding skills. When people talk about Bayern, they rarely mention the defense, especially the centre backs. Why? Are they that bad? Will Alex or Boateng, both connected to Bayern, be able to approve the defensive stability?


Breno, a 21-year-young Brazilian was bought in January 2008 for 10 Million Euro from Sao Paulo. Till his transfer to Germany, Breno had played 30 times in the highest brazilian ligue, scored twice and given one assist. Since his arrival on the Säbener Straße Breno has only played 40 times and neither scored nor given an assist for Bayern or the FC Nuremberg. He was actually loaned in January 2010 for half a season to Nuremberg but he quickly suffered a cruciate ligament rupture and went back to Munich to try his luck under Louis van Gaal. After he had cured his injure, Louis van Gaal trusted him and Breno played in 18 matches (13 in the Bundesliga, three in the Champions League and two in the German Cup).

Uli Hoeneß and many other Bayern fans scapegoated Breno after the 2:3 in the Champions League against Inter. But I don‘t think that it was only Breno‘s fault. I don‘t want Bayern to sell him because he‘s still one of the greatest defender talents in Germany, even Europe. It isn‘t for nothing that Barca wanted to buy him… Breno is strong, athletic and very fast. But if he really wants to become an important player for Bayern Munich he has to be more serious. It‘s rumored that after every summer break Breno was a bit overweight. At the moment he isn‘t the most popular player in the club and that attitude doesn‘t help him because although he has often shown his great talent, he needs specious arguments so that Bayern wants to extend his contract. But I‘m sure that he‘ll convince Jupp Heynckes and Christian Nerlinger of his skills.

Daniel van Buyten:

In 2006 Bayern bought Daniel van Buyten for about 7 Million Euro. Despite 176 more or less good and satisfying matches, van Buyten isn‘t good enough anymore for a Bayern team who wants to win the Champions League 2012 in their own stadium. He‘s too old (33) and too slow. His performance in the Champions League final 2010 was the ultimate proof that the Belgian isn‘t nimble enough to play against the best strikers in the world (although I don‘t think that Milito is one of the best…).

I don‘t know if I‘d keep or sell him but I do know that he wouldn‘t play much. If there was a club who wanted him and offered 3 Million Euro (his market value), Bayern should sell him immediately because his contract expires on June 30th 2012. Otherwise van Buyten would still be a great back-up for Badstuber and the other defenders and he wouldn‘t complain at all what‘s important for the harmony of a team who wants to win the Champions League . Daniel van Buyten is a really nice guy but Bayern has to be reckless if they want to win the Champions League…

Holger Badstuber:

Holger Badstuber made his breakthrough under Louis van Gaal in 2009. Badstuber immediately played very well and self-assured, mainly as left-back. In that first season he played 49 times, scored once and gave 3 assists. Besides he only missed 136 minutes which is a great proof that van Gaal trusted that young guy. But in his second season, which is referred to be the hardest one, van Gaal seemed not to trust him anymore. Well, he didn‘t trust his whole defense. I think he hadn‘t forgotten van Buyten‘s and Demichelis‘ faults in the final of Madrid. The Dutchman got used to change his defense every match. Badstuber quickly became anxious and although he was playing now on his favorite position (center back) he couldn‘t perform as good as in his first season. Despite the pressure to succeed put on van Gaal, he played 31 times for Bayern and it would have been much more if he hadn‘t been injured for two entire months. Holger did make some mistakes but no distastrous ones. That‘s why van Gaal and Jonker eventually trusted him.

Although Badstuber will be one of Heynckes‘ most important players, he still has to improve his skills. He‘s a bit slow, not as fast as Breno which is quite important as far as I can see. But he‘s already very athletic and strong, even if sometimes he seems to be a bit weak. Sometimes his positional play isn‘t the best, he has to be even more concentrated during the whole match. These are little but important details which have to be corrected if Badstuber wants to play first team in the German national team. He can do this if he wants it and I‘m sure that a expierenced manager like Don Jupp will help him a lot.


A beast. Alex is one of the strongest defenders I know. Not many can keep up with him. His free-kicks are frightening, he hammers them with 120 km/h into the goal. He isn‘t that old, 30 years are quite good for a defender, because he is experienced and still very fast. He would be perfect next to the young Badstuber because the young German could learn a lot from Alex. Not only Badstuber but also Breno would improve thanks to Alex. Both are Brazilians and Alex is one of not much Brazilians who managed to have no disciplinary problems in one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Alex would teach Breno how to keep on being disciplined. Holger and Breno could learn a lot from him and when Alex‘ contract will expire after three or four years, Breno and Badstuber (Boateng as well?) will be the best central backs in the Bundesliga, and some of the best in Europe. But Alex wouldn‘t only be important for the future but also for the present. Alex is that experienced that he can immediately help Bayern to stabilize the defense. That‘s why I think Alex would be a great and important transfer for Bayern Munich.

Jérôme Boateng:

-,,I want Boateng so badly to come!“

-,,No, I don‘t think so!“

-,,Ooh, come on man! One year ago you wanted him to come to badly as well!“

-,,Yeah, that was last year! Now I want Höwedes and Santana to come!“

That‘s the sort of conversation you can hear everyday between me and my best friend. He wants Boateng to come, I don‘t. Why?

Well, Boateng was great at Hambourg. Then he went to Manchester City (<<because they often say ‘fuck‘ over there>>) but was often injured and could only played 27 times. He couldn‘t convince Roberto Mancini and I don‘t know if he‘s better than Breno. Besides Boateng is still injured at the moment (often injured) and isn‘t worth 15 Miollion Euro. Like his half-brother Kevin-Prince, Jérôme is sometimes too keen to do well and gets unnecessary yellow or sometimes even red cards (like in the qualification game against Russia in 2010). He‘s got a big lack of experience what isn‘t favorable in the Champions League. I wouldn‘t be mad at Nerlinger & Co. if they bought Boateng but I‘d be mad if Alex wasn‘t bought as well. I rather prefer experience than youth.

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The match schedule

July 2011
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