Is German Football All That?
Over the last few weeks Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have left the entire footballing world in their wakes as they have marched to the Champions League final. Dortmund beat Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate to get to the final whereas Bayer Munich beat the so called best team of all time Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate to emphatically march into the final. This left footballing fans all over the globe in shock as they watched in awe Munich humiliate Barcelona home and away not by a small margin but absolutely destroying them, whereas Dortmund destroyed Madrid 4-1 at home but nearly threw it away at the Santiago Bernabeu when they conceded twice late on and Madrid nearly scored a winner at the death but Dortmund just held on to the end. In the wake of both these German sides getting the Champions League final many people have claimed that the Bundesliga is the best league around today especially after the two Spanish giants were humiliated by them. It is easy to agree out of hand that this is now the strongest league in the world but if you look over the entire league is it really the strongest around?
The Champions League finalists are both the top two German football sides who have come first and second the last three years in a row. This year Munich has destroyed all in their path domestically and in Europe to storm to the verge of a treble.
Whereas Dortmund has been poor so far this year in domestic competitions but in Europe have been superb so far and has impressed many neutral supporters so far this year. Both sides play great fluid attacking football, which has been unstoppable for the majority of teams that they have faced this season.
However it is easy to judge how good a league is on just two teams but to get a real reflection of how good a league is it is vital that you look at the entire league and teams. The Bundesliga has two dominant teams in Munich and Dortmund but after that they have nothing. Whereas in Spain you have a very good team fighting for third in Athletico Madrid and in the Premier league you have four if not five very strong teams but the top two of Manchester United and Manchester City are just too strong for them to keep up. In the German league after Dortmund you have Bayer Leverkusen who is not an overly strong side that could challenge in Europe for example, whereas Athletico Madrid last season won the Europa League and Chelsea won the Champions League last season and the Europa League this season. Germany appears to have two very strong teams but not much depth after this for sides that are really going to challenge at the highest of levels with the rest of Europe. To make matters worse for German football it is highly expected that Dortmund will lose stars Lewandowski and Mario Gotze who are a vital part of Dortmund’s success over the last few seasons and are a vital part of Dortmund’s European journey so far. Without them the Bundesliga may now become the biggest one team league in Europe with Munich storming to glory for many years to come domestically, leaving all the other sides trailing in their wake.
I think we are blessed to see two very strong teams challenging for the Champions League as it adds another two teams into the mix that for now on could win it instead of the usual names such as Barcelona. But I think it is very premature to claim the Bundesliga is the strongest league in the world because if you look at the Bundesliga table thye really only have two strong teams in comparison to the Premier League which has four to five teams that could do well in the Champions League. I think the German league holds the two greatest powers in football at this moment in time and if Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp can keep their teams going in this dominant fashion and carry on to bring through their own youngsters but splash the cash when needed I think that we have our two new dominant forces in Europe for many years to come as I cannot see many teams being able to cope with them, particularly Bayern Munich who look insanely good so far this year and if they play like this for several years they could win multiple Champions leagues. As for Dortmund it all depends on how they cope without Gotze and Lewandowski if they can get good replacements, the rumours being Edin Dzeko is one of them, then they will have the ability to dominate Europe side by side with their fierce rivals Bayern Munich.
Do Germany have the strongest two teams? Yes they do. But do they have the strongest league? No I do not think they do I think that the Premier league holds onto that title just because of the fact that it has so many sides that would do well in Europe compared to the La Liga and the Bundesliga.