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Bayern’s domination worries Bundesliga rivals

FC Bayern's domination of the Bundesliga this season may have gone down well in Munich, but their fourth domestic double in six years is causing alarm bells to ring in Germany, write AFP's Ryland James.

Bayern's domination worries Bundesliga rivals
At least Bayern won't have Olli next year. Photo: DPA

Bayern wrapped up the German Cup and Bundesliga double at the start of the month to add to their 2003, 2005 and 2006 success, but their title rivals are concerned the bar has been set too high. And without question, no other Bundesliga side can match the financial resources of Bayern.

The German giants splashed out €69 million ($100 million) last summer to bring the likes of Italy’s Luca Toni, French star Franck Ribery and German striker Miroslav Klose to Munich.

They effectively bought the German league title and secured their place in next season’s Champions League, but their main rivals are wondering if they can match the Bavarian football barons.

“There’s a great danger of Bayern winning the title three or four times in the next five years,” said Bayer Leverkusen’s director of sport Rudi Völler. His side are still chasing a UEFA Cup place with the season finishing this weekend and he admits Bayern are “unrivalled” in the German league in terms of finances.

Wolfsburg boss and former Bayern handler Felix Magath believes the newly-crowned champions are “on a par with the biggest clubs of them all, the Real Madrids, AC Milans and Arsenals.”

Only 2007 champions VfB Stuttgart and Energie Cottbus managed to beat Bayern in the league this season. And Stuttgart coach Armin Veh says the gap between Bayern and the league’s

“also-rans” is growing too wide.

“A couple of clubs could have got Bayern this season. I think it’ll be more difficult in the years to come, because their team will become even more settled,” said Veh.

Bayern have reportedly offered AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso a €6 million a year salary to boost their Champions League campaign next season while fellow World Cup winner Toni is already paid a €10 million annual salary.

“The Champions League is more important than anything else next season,” admits Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß.

New coach Jürgen Klinsmann knows he has to make an impact in Europe next season when he starts on July 1.

Bayern led the Bundesliga from the opening weekend to the last, but some of their rivals have already laid down the gauntlet for next season.

“They’ve been clearly the best this season,” said Schalke 04 manager Andreas Müller. “But that doesn’t mean Bayern will win the championship every year from now on. Clubs like Werder, Stuttgart and us are always in with a chance of matching them over the course of a full season.”

And Hamburg Director of Sport Dietmar Beiersdorfer used the form of the full Germany side to rubbish any claims of Bayern domination.

“Franz Beckenbauer predicted Germany would be invincible after winning the 1990 World Cup (he coached them to the title that year), but that wasn’t the case then, and it won’t be the case with Bayern now.”

MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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