On this week’s main listening report we catch up with the Bundesliga with Hans von Dietze our German correspondent. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support appears at the foot of the report.
The Bundesliga – teams and players
After several weeks of Christmas, followed by training camps in warmer climates, the Bundesliga players have returned to the pitch and games have resumed for the second half of the season. So what do we have in store?
Firstly, it is crowded at the top of the table. Three teams are separated only by goal difference, with another just a point back, making this the closest title race in years. Of course Champions Dortmund are there, as are Bayern and Schalke, but surprisingly Borussia Moenchengladbach are also mixing it with them, having already claimed the double over Bayern. You might remember that Gladbach had to survive a tense relegation play off last season to survive the drop to the second Bundesliga.
And they have Marco Reus to thank. Have you heard of him? He is 22, plays in midfield for Gladbach, is blessed with pace and great vision and is scoring goals regularly. Nicknamed “Rolls Reus” by the press, he will be moving to Dortmund in the summer.
Dortmund have also returned in full force, even beating Hamburg 5-1 away last week. Their ‘find of the season’ in 2011- Shinji Kagawa – who is also 22, is again putting in superb displays and scoring goals, much to the delight of the many Japanese Bundesliga fans.
Bayern have made a slowish start, losing to Gladbach but beating Wolfsburg, but will feature strongly, as always. And so will Schalke, who seem to be having a love affair with Raul, whose goal last season was voted goal of the year.
Meanwhile in the basement no less than 11 teams are battling to avoid relegation, amongst them such teams as Hamburg, former champions Stuttgart and my team Freiburg.
It is shaping up as an exciting season. My pick is Dortmund. What is yours?
Auf Wiedersehen und viel Spass.
(the) pitch: the field of play, the park (casual), the surface
goal difference: the number when goals against a team are taken away from goals scored (Example: goals for = 35, goals against = 30, goal difference = +5)
mixing it with (someone): competing well against, trying hard against
play off: a special match to decide which team goes up or down a division etc.
vision: the ability to ‘read’ the game, to be able to make a good pass or run
find of the season: best signing, the best player a team bought
the basement: the bottom of the League, the relegation zone