Pep Guardiola wary of Dortmund threat
Bayern Munich are gearing up for a two-horse race in the Bundesliga this season, with Pep Guardiola saying his side and Borussia Dortmund are among the finest teams in the world.
With third-placed Bayer Leverkusen suffering a 1-0 defeat at bottom-of-the-league Eintracht Braunschweig at the weekend, the victories for Bayern and Dortmund saw the top two begin to move clear.
Bayern’s success also saw them equal Hamburg’s 30-year record of 36 consecutive Bundesliga games without defeat, and that record is odds-on to be broken against Augsburg next weekend. However, Guardiola already has his sights set on the meeting with Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion in three weeks’ time.
“Dortmund and Bayern are two of the best teams in the world, not only in the Bundesliga,” he said in Abendzeitung Muenchen on Saturday. “That is a good challenge for us, but we are ready.”
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, is already predicting a “big duel” with Dortmund this season, while captain Philipp Lahm said: “It appears that we are showing again that both teams play at a constantly high level -- the only question is for how long. It will come down to a duel between us and them.”
Meanwhile, Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos has told kicker that he is in talks over a contract extension.
The Germany international, who has been in excellent form this season, is contracted to the club until 2015.
“We are in talks, which of course will intensify once we get closer to the contract’s expiry date,” he said. “It is not like that is an eternity away -- everybody knows that.
“There is a general eagerness to prolong the deal. If I continue to play like I have been, it will all fall into place.”
Kroos -- who has played every league game under Guardiola despite preseason predictions he would struggle for first-team opportunities -- revealed he may consider a move away from the Allianz Arena at some stage.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to say I’ll be at Bayern in 10 years’ time,” he said. “A lot can happen, and, in the past, five-year contracts have been terminated after only one season.”
When asked whether a move abroad is part of his career plan, he said: “That’s an option -- either during my career or when I have retired. All of the players who have made that step, such as [Lazio forward] Miro Klose, have said it furthers them.”