Irrespective of where you go in Germany, starting from the dense forest of Freiburg to the icy harbor of Flensburg, you are going to come across mad German football fans who are always too willing to talk about this sport. However, with two matches in a year, this fanaticism might reach its peak with the oldest and storied rivals of football come head to head.
Forget about Dortmund versus Bayern Munich or others against RB Leipzig. The biggest rivalry in German football is Schalke versus Borussia Dortmund in Revierderby. Schalke hosting Dortmund in ninety-third Revierderby by the era of Bundesliga. Even though these days the matches come with friendly banter instead of hooliganism and fights like years before, there isn’t any love lost in between the biggest clubs of German football.
German head coach Joachim Loew admitted that it was a difficult decision to exclude Sandro Wagner from his provisional squad for the summer World Cup. The Bayern Munich striker has been one of the top performing German strikers in recent years but Loew decided to omit in place of uncapped Nils Petersen from Freiburg.
Speaking to reporters, Loew stressed that he had to look upon the welfare of the team and he took the responsibility of informing the key players who were excluded from the World Cup squad. He said:“My job as national manager is unfortunately also to shatter dreams and make hard decisions. It is never against a player, but always in the interests of the team. Sandro showed his class when he was with us. He played for us with full commitment and he has a very, very good character. In the end, minor factors were decisive.”
Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes is confident Manuel Neuer will return to full fitness ahead of this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. The Germany international has yet to feature for the Bavarian giants due to a broken foot, but he is likely to make a comeback before the end of the season.
Speaking to reporters, Heynckes admitted that there is no hurry for Neuer to make his return, and the club are prepared to wait for his full recovery, he said: “We are not pressuring him. There is no timeframe, there is no deadline. Personally, I am convinced that he will play for us and will play in the World Cup but in the end that is something he has to decide, together with the medical team, when he returns. He can’t afford to take any risk and I don’t think he will.”