bayern münchen – the future can come!

 

another five years for schweinsteiger and bayern. great news for all bayern fans!

after the 3×0 win over st.pauli, this afternoon, bastian schweinsteiger took the microphone and announced to the fans that he just prolonged his contract for another five seasons. that was, by far, the greatest applause of the afternoon.

with phillipp lahm and bastian schweinsteiger, both players owned by bayern munich since their teens, two key players have not only declared their loyalty and love towards their home club. it is also a signal to europe: bayern munich wants to be not only a top team in europe, but the top team in europe. lahm could’ve gone to fc barcelona, schweinsteiger to chelsea or real madrid. but they decided to stay and be part of a team capable of reaching uefa champions league semifinals every single year. that’s their main motivation for not leaving the club.

and i believe they might be right. let’s look at what the future european champion might look like:

 

he wants to win the champions league too... better go to bayern, manuel neuer!

goalkeeping: manuel neuer seems to have agreed to move to munich for next season. neuer deserves a post for himself, he is most certainly the coming best goalkeeper of the world. number one in germany since rene adler’s injury and robert enke’s suicide, he’s had spectacular games and basically no mistakes, mostly against bayern last week. butt will probably move to management, talented number two keeper thomas kraft will probably leave the club, so bayern has to find a good number two.

central defending: he’s still being criticized, by i firmly believe that breno will make the race to become holger badstuber’s partner on the right side of the defense. badstuber, like schweinsteiger and lahm, plays for bayern since the junior team and will be a fixing point in central defense. breno, at bayern since the age of 18, is currently being tested and might just pass – i surely hope he does, since he has great quality, but needs to be more firm. daniel van buyten and martin demichelis are history, the latter might even leave the club in the winter. so new signings are needed, probably two.

 

just like schweinsteiger, lahm has a contract from 2016.

defensive wings: there is probably no right back in the world better than phillipp lahm, and he has another advantage: the captain of the german national team is never injured and always plays the full 90 minutes in very match. it could be a big blow for bayern if he is ever injured, since there would be no one to actually replace him;  new signing is needed there, someone young and who can play both in central defense and right back, ideally. the left side has been the problem since lahm moved to the right, but this season there are actually two players doing a great job there: daniel pranjic, brought by van gaal from holland, and diego contento, from the bayern junior team. no problems there, for the future (which should belong to contento).

defensive midfield: van bommel, the captain, and bastian schweinsteiger, the true captain, had a very successful season in 2009/10 on this position. but things have changed. schweinsteiger has been so effective that van gaal put him one position forward, and toni kroos has been playing in his place now. which i think is a great decision, mostly for kroos, who’s talent really florishes from that important position. van bommel, for me, is history and probably won’t get a new contract; anatoliy tymoshchuk should take over for van bommel, but maybe schweinsteiger will come back and become make up a german duo with kroos – who, yes, you guessed is, has been owned by bayern since his junior team days. daniel pranjic and andreas ottl are good options for the bench, so no real need for new signings.

 

ribéry has contract until 2015... and is getting back to top form!

offensive midfield: franck ribéry also has a 5-year contract, and he’s a star and starter on the left side. arjen robben has been injured all of this season, but was the player of the last season and will be a star and starter on the right side. schweinsteiger is playing in the middle, but if he ever moves back to his preferred position, thomas müller should take over that role – and he really can, another great talent, and, yes, at bayern since he was 11. altintop has shown to be a valuable player, but it is not known if he will get his contract renewed. toni kroos is actually an offensive player and could play any position, too. if another talent (maybe from the junior team) is added, that should be enough; mehmet ekici, currently on loan at nürnberg, would be a candidate for that. ivica olic can also play on the left wing.

attack: mario gomez. i’ve always had faith in him and he has been showing his importance for the team. he’s got another good 4 to 6 years in front of him, so he’s the number one; currently, klose is at bayern, but if he doesn’t want to be a bench player, he’ll have to leave. ivica olic is a great option, thomas müller can play the position, too. so bayern only needs replacement if klose leaves, and that replacement could come from the amateur team. let’s see.

this team could be a future european powerhouse, comparable to barcelona, real, and manchester:

neuer – lahm, breno, badstuber, contento – kroos, schweinsteiger – ribéry, müller, robben – gomez

with tymoshchuk, pranjic and olic really close to the first team.

to end this post, bastian schweinsteiger’s answer to the question why he didn’t want to go to real madrid:

[to the reporter] “let me ask you a question: for whom do you think i’d like to win the champions league, for madrid or here? this is my home, winning that title with this club would mean infinetely more to me.”

this is why bayern will have the strength to become great in europe again: players identify with the club because they just feel well there (robben, ribéry) or because they’ve played their since their teens (lahm, badstuber, breno, contento, kroos, schweinsteiger, müller).

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Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 18:10  Comments (3)  
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2010’s best player: who is it?

some might think: wait, 2010 is not over yet! why should we discuss this topic already?

i’ll tell you why: for the selection of football’s greatest player in 2010, the season is already over. traditionally, the national and european club competitions decide the trophy, it is the spring form that really counts, the time where trophies are handed out and stars or born or transformed into myths. and, of course, if there is summer football (this year it was more winter than summer), then that will decide the race even more.

so who is it? who has left their mark, and who has lifted those trophies? here a quick look of a possible top ten for the season.

xavi & iniesta, the dream duo in barcelona, and also at the world cup.

xavi

ok, fc barcelona lost to internazionale in the semifinal of he champions league, and we still have no defending champions in the champions league era. but xavi had a pretty good season and once again lead fc barcelona to the spanish title – and he was the maestro of a great spanish side, the true captain and boss in midfield. with his elegance and intelligence, he was one of the stars of the last world cup, and as world champion, he has a shot on the biggest price in individual football glory.

andrés iniesta

how long have we known him now? as a very young player always getting some playing time at barcelona, and showing his technical ability. iniesta was only a super-sub, now he’s the heart of barcelona and the spanish national football team. raul wanted to play, but iniesta took away that position – and he scored the decisive goal in extra time, to give spain their first world cup title. iniesta had a really good world cup, but was injured in the decisive phase of the champions league – a reason why barca didn’t defend their title?

messi tries to do his best against germany... wasn't his day.

lionel messi

he was already the best. there was no-one really near him before this historical night in april. fc messi 4×0 arsenal fc, maybe the best ever performance of any football player in a match of that magnitude, ever. am i exaggerating? then try to remember a counter-example. not even maradona against england in 86 played the kind of game that we saw from lionel. and until argentina’s 0x4 against germany, he was on his way to become the world cup star – somewhat surprinsingly, since his performances for argentina had never been impressive. no title this year, but messi was the main goal scorer in the uefa champions league season – and there was this incredible game against arsenal. enough for the 2010 best player title?

not his day, either... cristiano ronaldo after the match against spain.

cristiano ronaldo

maybe he has not shined the way he used to for manchester united, but cristiano ronaldo has been bery effective for real madrid, and one can speak of a all in all succesful first season. but he wasn’t able to avoid another real madrid waterloo in the champions league; in the league, even a record amount of points wasn’t enough to end barcelona’s reign. and the world cup will not be one of his fondest life memories, either.

wesley sneijder

what a season for the short dutchman! sent away from real madrid in humiliating fashion, sneijder went to the international looser team of internazionale. and he ended the season as a winner, saving inter from the embarrassment of group elimination in the last minute (ok, that was december of 2009), leading them to the title (and eliminating top favorites chelsea fc and fc barcelona) in the uefa champions league. with holland, he threw brazil out of the competition with this two goals and reached the nation’s third final; but he wasn’t able to avoid the third defeat…

sneijder & robben celebrate the victory over brazil, with kuyt.

arjen robben

he was a bit of an mvp, maybe even more than his compatriot. for bayern munich, which he joined after also being dismissed by spanish giants real. robben scored the decisive goals in the win-losses at fiorentina and manchester (both 2-3, but qualifying goals), and they were beautiful. even after injury in not in top form, he played a pretty good world cup and threw away the chance to be the star of the final, almost giving the netherlands an unjust victory in two occasions. but he did win the internationally growing bundesliga and the german cup (scoring another impressive goal in the semis), and he did reach the final with bayern munich.

quite a match for schweinsteiger against mascherano & co...

bastian schweinsteiger

what a change, from “schweini” of world cup 2006 and euro 2008 to schweinsteiger in 2010. louis van gaal, his dutch coach at bayern, has finally given him his favorite position in he center of the defensive midfield, and schweinsteiger payed it back – for bayern and for germany, who without doubt played the most impressive football in this year’s world cup. as robben, schweinsteiger almost achieved the treble, and he ended up bronze medal inner at the world cup. but he did have a memorable game, when germany beat argentina 4×0. surely, that was one of he best performances of a single player in a big match, this year.

forlan scores a goal against host south africa; that country will be a fond memory for he uruguain.

diego forlan

that was a pretty impressive season by the aging uruguaian superstar. he’s had some pretty good seasons before, but the europa league title with atletico madrid finally gave him some silverware to hold. to win a european title with such a traditional team is already big, and scoring both goals in the final, one of them the winning goal in extra-time, is even bigger. can that be topped? yes it can, by 5 goals in the world cup, a semi-final spot for uruguay (doing better than continental opponents brazil and argentina) and the golden ball as the best player of the tournament; the first one of the kind to leave the competition without medal. respect, diego!

hasn't scored for england in a year... but he had some great months earlier in 2010.

wayne rooney

up to the first quarterfinal match in the uefa champions league in munich, it seemed like a simple question. who is better, lionel messi or wayne rooney? the argentinian, current holder, was having another great season, but rooney seemed to make people in northwest england forget about “cr7” with great performances and a whole lot of goals, some of them spectacular and important. and in the beginning of he match in munich, he scored the first goal and seemed to move on into the direction of best player in the world. but in the last minute, he was injured, bayern scored the 2-1 winning goal, fergie let him back to early, and he has not reached his top form since. the world cup was his personal waterloo, not only the 1-4 loss to germany in the round of 16. but he was having a good season, and he was the number two man at the time.

two goals in the champions league final, decisive in all titles, historical treble with inter - that's diego milito.

diego milito

it’s possible that some people knew his brother gabriel, defender at barcelona, better than him, although he has always been a pretty prolific goal scorer. but he hadn’t played at a top team yet, until “the special one” mourinho called him to inter duty at age 31. diego answered with goals, quite a few, and many very decisive. diego milito scored the decisive goal that gave inter their fith scudetto in a row, he scored the decisive goal in the coppa italia final against roma, and he scored both goals against bayern in the uefa champions league final, making the difference in that match. unfortunately for him, higuain was the starter for argentina in the world cup, but it was still an impressive season for diego milito.

so, who is it? answer the poll, choosing up to four who you think would deserve to be called the best of 2010, at the end of the year. my votes go to diego forlan, diego milito, andres iniesta and lionel messi, any of these would have the merits to deserve the price…

who would deserve the best player award in 2010 (you may choose up to four)?

(polls)