Sovereign of German football, Bayern Munich have a new challenger candidate. This Saturday, at 15:30 (Brasília time), RB Leipzig welcomes the current ten-time champion of the Bundesliga in the German Supercup, a game that marks the opening of the season in the country – O ge monitor the decision in real time.
Carousel RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich — Photo: Arte: Infoesporte
A match that pits the tradition of the Bavarian giant against a team that has the natural defiant spirit of teenagers. After all, RB Leipzig has only 13 years of existence, and is already capable of facing the German champion. Or at least try.
– Bayern are the biggest team in Germany, but we’ve been getting closer and closer in recent years.. Tomorrow’s game (Saturday) is just another game, the important thing is that we have been doing well in the Champions League, we were semi-finalists in the Europa League and we have already won the German Cup – commented this Friday the Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen.
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Yussuf Poulsen, RB Leipzig forward — Photo: Allan Caldas
Player with the most appearances for RB Leipzig (326), Poulsen has been with the club since 2013, when RB Leipzig was still playing in the German third division. He saw up close, and with important participation, the growth of the club until it reached the first division, shine internationally and lift its first title in the elite. But a thigh injury prevents him from being on the field in Saturday’s decision.
– It’s hard, it’s always worse not being able to help the team. I get more nervous cheering in the stadium than playing,” he said.
As ten-time German champions, Bayern have played in the German Super Cup in succession since 2013. They have won five of the last six editions. Lost star Robert Lewandowski, who went to Barcelona, but hired the also renowned Sadio Mané, ex-Liverpool.
Having recently played in a pre-season tournament in the United States, Bayern preferred to train in Munich and travel to Leipzig only on Friday night. Former RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann feels at home in the city, so much so that he took advantage of his return to go to a local ice cream shop on the eve of the decision.
Only city of former East Germany at World Cup
Leipzig indeed has its charm. In 2006, it was the only city in the former East Germany to host World Cup matches. The stadium built for the World Cup became the home of RB Leipzig after it was founded in 2009. But only now has it taken on the colors of the club, which took advantage of the pre-season to paint the bleachers red.
Former goalkeeper formed at the base of an old team in the city, Lokomotive Leipzig, Perry Bräutigam has been goalkeeping coach at RB Leipzig since the team’s founding. Born in Altenburg, in the former eastern part of the country, he played for clubs in the region such as Carls Zeiss Jena and Hansa Rostok. At 59, he knows that RB Leipzig’s success goes beyond the sporting side.
– Leipzig has always been very important in East Germany, it has always been very successful in sports, but after the reunification of the country (in 1990), our sporting force disappeared. The creation of RB Leipzig in the city has had a big impact on the whole region, people have come back to say that we have sporting success againthat we have a great team in the Bundesliga, and that was very important for the people here – said Bräutigam at a press conference for foreign journalists on the eve of the final.
Claudio Pizarro celebrates a goal for Bayern with Thomas Müller, in 2014 – Photo: AP
Also present at the press conference, former Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro could speak with property about Bayern’s strength. Between 1999 and 2020, he was split between the Munich club and Werder Bremen, with two brief departures to play for Chelsea and Cologne.
Although he played ten seasons for Werder (in four spells), it was only with the Bayern shirt that he won titles in Germany (16 in nine seasons).
– The difference between Bayern and the others is consistency. The other teams sometimes get big wins and then draw against smaller rivals, those games you have to win. That doesn’t happen with Bayern. It’s a question of mentality, of the team’s identity, that’s why they continue to be champions every year – commented the Peruvian, who now works as an ambassador for the Bundesliga.
Stopping Bayern Munich is the challenge for the other 17 teams in the German first division. The season starts this Saturday, and RB Leipzig have their first chance to change the country’s football landscape.
* The reporter travels at the invitation of the German Football League (DFL)