What is wrong with the Bundesliga?
Whilst reading the latest football gossip recently, a story about Bayern Munich tracking Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc in a £7m summer swoop caught my eye. Now, why Bayern want to sign a man who must currently be considered the dodgiest keeper in British football is a whole article in itself – but I’ll leave that for another day.
Instead, it was the footnote at the end of the article which said Boruc was one of a number of keepers on Bayern’s shortlist which included Juventus stopper Gigi Buffon – arguably the greatest goalkeeper in the world.
Instantly, I dismissed the possibility that Buffon would head to the Bundesliga and should he leave Juventus, the English Premiership or La Liga would be his only likely destinations. The reality is, the Bundesliga is not considered glamorous and none of the world’s top stars want to play there.
However, this begs the question – what is wrong with the Bundesliga? As a fan of German football, you can certainly make some compelling arguments for why it is indeed actually the best league in the world!
For starters, the Bundesliga boasts higher average attendances than any league in Europe, even higher than the Premiership with crowds of 40,000 common place amongst a number of top teams.
The German national team is one of the best performing nations in the world and since the turn of the millenium, have reached a World Cup final, World Cup semi final and Euro 2008 final. They are one of the most successful nations of all time and are strong contenders for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa next year.
In the league, with five games to go, seven teams are separated by only five points! What other major league in European football can boast such excitement? With Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen two of the teams outside those positions, an argument could be made that 10 teams could feasibly win the Bundesliga next season.
And then of course there is Bayern Munich. With four European Cups to their name, Bayern are one of the biggest and most successful clubs in world football. They were ranked third on the recent Deloitte money list – having a higher turnover than the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, AC Milan and Barcelona. What’s more, Bayern Munich jerseys are one of the best selling in world football.
Therefore, perhaps it is not unfeasible that Bayern can sign Buffon. After all, the Bundesliga is certainly a more attractive league than the average fan might think.
Written by Danny Watson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football news.