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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.

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  1. Double Pivot

    April 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks Danny. Perhaps a little background. The Bundesliga is the only league in Europe that requires all of it’s teams to be solvent. We can’t compete for players against England, because we can’t run up massive debts to overpay players and then bitch when our teams are put into administration. We can’t cook the books or rely on a sugar daddy to pay for salaries under the table like in Italy. We can’t get government handouts like Real Madrid. And we don’t have loose taxes like Spain.

    All in all, for a league that is run quite properly, we seem to have our fair number of stars and growing influence in Europe. Funny that. So I would respond by asking what the heck is wrong with your 3 leagues of favor? They are the ones that are run poorly and can’t sustain their current formats. And basing a question on ridiculous rumors about who Bayern will get as a keeper is odd. First, if they make a move, it will be for Enke…..meaning within league, and he’s better than anyone in the EPL or La Liga (outside Casillas). Second, any links with a keeper and Bayern are being generated by agents. Simple as that.

  2. Barry

    April 29, 2009 at 7:18 am

    What is wrong? Money, money, and more money! Where does this money come from? Television networks/channels. The EPL, and even more amazingly Real Madrid on their own, negotiate TV deals which bring in billions of dollars worth of revenue, and this money is generously transferred to the players’ wallets. In Germany, this just doesn’t happen for some reason, hence the calls to have a national tax of some sort(?).

    In terms of respect and exposure – the Bundesliga gets its fair share, however in the current climate it will only be seen as (a) A stepping stone – Diego, Ribery (b) A transit station for one’s career – Voronin, Pizzaro, and (c) A retirement home – Lehman.

    Still, I love the Bundesliga because it is a different product to most European leagues and (from where I come from) Australia’s A-League.

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