“Robert [Lewandowski] will definitely play for Borussia Dortmund next season. We need planning certainty.” --Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke in Suddeutsche Zeitung. And so this annoying tale finally comes to a rest-- for the time being, of course. Lewandowski's agents pushed. Lewandowski himself pushed. But in the end Watzke and Dortmund's general manager Michael Zorc wouldn't budge. Bild stated that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did reach out to Lewandowski's agent, Cezary Kucharski, saying that Lewandowski would be welcome at Bayern Munich in 2014; not wishing to see the Polish striker go to Manchester City or Manchester United.
With all sorts of people passing out plaudits and performance scores, deriding or complementing their respective squads, I thought I would do something a bit differently. After all, it's hard not to give everyone a "10" that plays for Bayern Munich -- considering the season they just had. So, instead I used a very informal poll on Twitter (#SusieAwards) to hand out some alternative (and some not) awards, and perhaps have a little bit of fun. Best Goal While everyone's sympathetic choice is obviously Arjen Robben's winner in the Champions League final, it certainly wasn't the prettiest goal this season.
Borussia Dortmund has nixed Robert Lewandowski's summer move to treble-winning Bayern Munich. Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told kicker, "We have communicated to the player and his advisers that we will not agree to a transfer to FC Bayern this summer." Forgoing close to 30 million euro in possible transfer fees, Dortmund has taken a hard line against Bayern in light of their swoop for young midfield maestro Mario Goetze. Perhaps I'm being a bit naive, but I fail to see where this makes business sense.
My best week in football didn't start out that way. When I awoke the Saturday of the Champions League final match, it was work, work, work. I had a piece due to ESPN and then a UEFA-sponsored Google hangout before I could leave my room. It was early afternoon before I had finished, and I raced to put my new Javi Martinez kit on and get to the team hotel a short distance from mine. Sadly, as I rounded the final corner, the team bus was already pulling away for Wembley, and my chances were diminishing to add autographs to my Champions League jersey.
What a difference a year makes! Last May, after Bastian Schweinsteiger's penalty miss against Chelsea in the Champions League final, I was inconsolable for two full days. Two full days to wrap my head around it all, and put fingers to a keyboard. Two days of cringing when I saw a Chelsea kit, not being able to watch any sports television, and swearing when I saw pictures of John Terry holding up that trophy. I found myself in a similar situation this season. Not inconsolable, naturally, but yet unable to wrap my head around it all.
Jupp Heynckes' second Weissbier shower of the season came after Bayern Munich's 3-2 victory over VfB Stuttgart in Saturday's DFB Pokal final. There could have been a third for the Champions League victory, but that tournament, unfortunately, isn't sponsored by Paulaner. "I'm delighted that won't be happening to me again, because the stuff really stinks," Heynckes commented after changing into dry gear. And, it won't. At least, not in the near future. - Heynckes says he'll take break Tuesday saw Heynckes step up to a bank of microphones at the Allianz Arena, and step away from it all.
Celtic '67. 'Ajax Amsterdam '72. PSV Eindhoven '88. Manchester United '99. Barcelona '09. Inter Milan '10. Bayern Munich '13. It's a small, superlative group. With their 3-2 victory over VfB Stuttgart on Saturday in Berlin, Bayern Munich finally becomes the first German club to win a treble, securing their place in the books as the greatest Bundesliga side in the league's 50-year history. -Bayern clinch 1st German treble - Replay It's striking when you look at 1999 and 2010: Bayern could potentially be looking at their third triple victory.
After Saturday night's Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge joked that Bayern could still complete the treble with a DFB Pokal final win over VfB Stuttgart, even if the team was still a bit inebriated. "I know we have another final in six days," he said at the post-match party, "but I think we still have a chance even with 1.8 mg [blood alcohol content]!" Maybe yes, maybe no. But now the question is whether they can beat Stuttgart while drunk and without two Brazilians.
It would take two days after the devastating loss to Chelsea in last year's Champions League final for me to put my fingers to a keyboard. Two days of tears, trying to wrap my head around it all. Two days until I could find the words to be gracious, feeling anything but. This time around, London was strewn in black and yellow in a brilliant (yet pandering) marketing campaign by Borussia Dortmund, the club turning all neutrals and all London onto "Echte Liebe" -- although you'd never see that phrase in German here, just "True Love.
Friday 9 AM. I press the snooze button on my alarm clock multiple times -- fighting lack of sleep -- and finally wake up at 10. Adrienne and I are putting red extensions (yeah, girl stuff) in my hair before I go out to face the day. With my new 'do, and some really typically English weather (cold, rainy), I take the short trot to the team hotel. To my dismay I catch them en route about two blocks from their destination. After I spontaneously pulled a "Kloppo" (shaking my fists and screaming "Jaaaaaaa!
There are things to be said about the importance of all 11 Bayern Munich players that will take the pitch against Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's Champions League final. But, while Dortmund has taken it upon themselves to ingratiate themselves with the English via their yellow double decker bus, and "bobbies" dressed out in black and yellow, Bayern Munich needs no such propaganda: One only must look to Thomas Mueller. - Delaney: The personalities set to dominate final - Bennett: Bundesliga battle in Wembley How could anyone not like Thomas?
Wednesday 5 p.m. My best friend Adrienne and I make the excruciating rush-hour traffic drive from the Fort Lauderdale area to Miami International Airport. A drive on empty streets to the same location would take us 35 minutes; we get to the airport a full two hours later. Adrienne is along with me simply for the experience of London: She knows nothing of football (she calls it "soccer"), or this Champions League final ("What is that thing called you're going to see again?"). Yet, we've been friends since elementary school.