All eyes on Munich as Bundesliga season begins

All eyes will be on Munich's Allianz Arena when defending champions Bayern Munich kick off the new Bundesliga season on Friday against Hamburg under the gaze of new coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

All eyes on Munich as Bundesliga season begins
Photo: DPA

Rarely has the arrival of a new coach been greeted with such interest in Germany as the former national team manager makes his eagerly awaited Federal league debut.

Having steered Germany to third at the 2006 World Cup this will be Klinsmann’s first stewardship of a domestic team and he will be under pressure to repeat Bayern’s league and cup double last season under Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Opposite him will be another new manager as Dutchman Martin Jol takes over at Hamburg from Huub Stevens. Neither side have recruited hard in the summer, with Hamburg losing midfielder Rafael van der Vaart to Real Madrid.

Klinsmann’s side is already full of stars with Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm all showing good form at June’s Euro 2008.

On Saturday Champions League side Schalke 04 will be looking to stamp their authority on the league when they entertain Hannover.

Under Dutchman Fred Rutten, Schalke have recruited aggressive Dutch midfielder Orlando Engelaar and Peru striker Jefferson Farfan as they look to make a fist of wrestling the league title from Bayern.

In contrast, Hannover struggled for consistency last season but have brought

in strikers Jan Schlaudraff and Mikael Forssell.

Big-spenders Wolfsburg and Cologne will go head-to-head on the opening day of the season. Newly-promoted Cologne spent big in the summer, bringing in six new names

and pulling off a coup by signing Portuguese star Petit from Benfica.

Under coach Christoph Daum, Cologne will want a strong start against Felix Magath’s Wolfsburg who signed Italian World Cup winners Andrea Barzagli and Cristian Zaccardo over the summer.

Under new coach Bruno Labbadia Leverkusen will be looking to improve on last year’s finish which saw them slip out of the title race when they take on Borussia Dortmund.

After Thomas Doll was shown the door, Dortmund have new coach Jürgen Klopp in charge, but they are missing several of their stars including Swiss captain Alexander Frei and midfielder Tinga.

One of the biggest success stories in German football will be realized when 1899 Hoffenheim make their Bundesliga bow against Energie Cottbus. Having gone from the eighth level of the Bundesliga’s structure, Hoffenheim won their second consecutive promotion last year.

Funded by one of Germany’s richest men Dieter Hopp, they have been forged into a Bundesliga side by former Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick.

Having finished second in the Bundesliga last season, Werder Bremen will expect few problems when they begin their season at Arminia Bielefeld. And 2007 champions VfB Stuttgart will want a win over last season’s second division champions Borussia Monchengladbach who are back in the Bundesliga after a season away.


Bayern Munich v Hamburg


Schalke 04 v Hannover 96

VfL Wolfsburg v Cologne

Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund

Karlsruhe v VfL Bochum

Energie Cottbus v 1899 Hoffenheim

Arminia Bielefeld v Werder Bremen


Eintracht Frankfurt v Hertha Berlin

Borussia M’gladbach v VfB Stuttgart


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.