The challenger’s battle cry is louder and more confident than it has been in a long time. Borussia dortmund wants to end the permanent domination of FC bayern.
"We want to be champions," postulates BVB managing director hans-joachim watzke ahead of the opening round of the 57th soccer season. Bundesliga season the promise of excitement in the title fight. And captain marco reus also wants to finally win the cup after his individual award as fubballer of the year 2019.
While the serial winners from munich, after their seventh championship sweep, are mainly talking about mega-transfers that are still pending or the apparently imminent end of the era of club patron uli hoeneb, the westphalians are focusing on their championship mission after their bitter runner-up finish in the preseason. "With our new team, the chance has increased that we will win the title in 2020. We just have to take them by the scruff of the neck," reus told "kicker.
The prominent frontenwechsler mats hummels rounded off the dortmunder transferoffensive after thorgan hazard (monchengladbach), nico schulz (hoffenheim) and julian brandt (leverkusen). In munich, people have been waiting a long time for the big coup – preferably with the desired player, leroy sane. Karl-heinz rummenigge, however, left the BVB verbal offensive and the talk of a squad that was too thin completely untouched. In munich, as always, people like to look at themselves, and here the chairman of the board thinks "that we have a great team".
In the traditional opening match in the allianz arena on 16. August (20.30 o’clock ZDF/DAZN) will have to show for the first time in the league against the once again ambitious and with new investors millions equipped capital club of hertha BSC, how quickly coach niko kovac can get a new hierarchy in the mia-san-mia-ensemble.
After the departures of arjen robben, franck ribery and hummels, there is inevitably a new fray in the star team around captain manuel neuer, top goalkeeper robert lewandowski and the apparently reintegrated ex-world champion jerôme boateng. Exactly this trio was praised by rummenigge after the trip to the USA.
The french world champion newcomers lucas hernandez (atletico madrid) and benjamin pavard (vfb stuttgart) will still have to adapt, HSV striker jann-fiete arp even more so. "At this level, it feels like a different sport is being played here," said the youngster, describing his first impressions.
Head coach kovac himself is under scrutiny despite a double in the premiere season, especially if support player hoeneb actually resigns in november. "Of course we are again the ones being chased by many," kovac said of the title fight. In his second year at bayern, the 47-year-old has his sights set not only on dortmund. He also counts leverkusen and leipzig among the competitors and thus has the complete german quartet for the champions league on the championship list.
"Bayern munchen and borussia dortmund, in particular, must try to advance one or two rounds further than they did last year," rummenigge said of germany’s objectives after being stripped of their collective eighth-final exit the previous season. In munich, the possible national championship title number 30 and the possible cup victory number 20 are worthy of all honor – but the real goal is and remains the european cup, rummenigge has made that clear.
From these spheres are returners 1. FC koln and fellow promoted SC paderborn and union berlin far away. The iron men from the east of the capital bring a fresh touch to the bundesliga with their image of the unadjusted. "A few games to nil would be good, and of course keeping the league," said goalkeeper rafal gikiewicz as his goals for the season. Four to seven points was the target for union in its opening three games against leipzig, dortmund and augsburg. Understatement has never been a berlin affair.
The referees are also under scrutiny. Not only a new interpretation of the recently so controversial handball rule is given by the international rules board to the impartial players for the new season. Fans can eagerly await the possible major impact of seemingly minor changes. For example, attacking players are no longer allowed to stand in the wall when a free kick is taken, the ball no longer has to come out of the penalty area when the ball is kicked, and when a substitution is made, the player must leave the field on the next touchline. And the video evidence will certainly cause discussions again.