As the world’s eyes turned to South Africa to watch football played at it’s highest level, the Bundesliga also looked on as players from many of the different clubs in Germany’s top division battled it out for World Cup glory.
The World Cup always attracts new fans to the game, who will latch on to a favourite player or two and then follow them on their club teams once the World Cup ends. The fortunate thing for the Bundesliga, is that over 70 players from the Bundesliga represented their nations at this World Cup tournament. Players like Hugo Almeida for Portugal who plays for Werder Bremen, and Mark van Bommel who marshalled the midfield for the Netherlands who performs so admirably for Bayern Munich will have caught the eye of many new football fans around the world. Not to mention that the entire German national team, minus Jerome Boateng, plays in the Bundesliga. It is also worth mentioning that superstars like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, as well as Brazil’s Josue and Grafite are all top Bundesliga players. 28 out of the 32 nations in the World Cup have Bundesliga players in their national squads, which is a sign of great quality in the Bundesliga.
Nations like Paraguay and Argentina, sides that many would not expect would have players plying their trade in Germany, do have them. Nelson Valdez and Lucas Barrios who performed so well for Paraguay play for Dortmund alongside Serbia’s Neven Subotic. Ivory Coast’s Isaac Vorsah and Nigeria’s Chinedu Ogbuke both play together for Hoffenheim. Swiss attackers Eren Derdiyok and Alexander Frei partner up with Chile’s Arturo Vidal and Ghana’s Hans Sarpei for Bayer Leverkusen.
The Bundesliga is full of quality World Cup stars, as I have made clear here. Seven of them even represented Holland in the World Cup final. With all of these players making an impact at the World Cup this year, it is inevitable that fans of the game from all over the world will cast their attention from South Africa to Germany’s top league to follow the players they have become so used to after supporting them during the World Cup.
The growth of the Bundesliga can be tied directly to both the German national team’s success, and the success of players who are both successful at the World Cup and who are successful in the Bundesliga. With players impressing at the World Cup, it is inevitable that new fans will follow those players to their club sides and eventually become long-time followers of the game.
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