In Europe the football seasons are coming to a close, but in the Bundesliga in Germany the last games are more controversial than normal. There is a transcript below, while explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post, while other key phrases (in blue) also have meanings explained.
Welcome to the Bundesliga, where losing might be much more important that winning? This weekend is the last round of Bundesliga games for this season. Dortmund are already champions, St. Pauli are relegated, and several teams are already preparing for next season. This is true for players and coaches, which is why Saturday’s game between Leverkusen and Freiburg is so interesting.
The situation is this: Leverkusen is second and hoping to keep their automatic champions league place. A win against Freiburg will secure this. Bayern Muenchen, is in third. Staying in third place means a play-off is required to enter the Champions League. Bayern is hoping Leverkusen lose so that they can leapfrog them. Freiburg is midtable and safe.
But everything gets complicated when you look at the managers. You see, the current Freiburg manager, Robin Dutt will be the new Leverkusen manager next season, and the current Leverkusen manager, Jupp Heynckes, will be at Bayern Munchen next season. Therefore Dutt, the Freiburg manager, must be hoping that Leverkusen win, and Heynckes, the Leverkusen manager, must be hoping that Freiburg win.
Of course they are not saying this. All talk is of ‘fighting to the end’ and ‘loyalty to the club’. But it might be true. Might both managers be hoping that their own team loses? So what should they do? Some suggestions have been that they simply stay at home on the day, and let their assistants deal with the game. Or that they swap teams for the day. Dutt leads Leverkusen and Heynckes leads Freiburg. Clearly a unique situation. Enjoy the games, and see you again in the Bundesliga next season. Auf Wiedersehen.
play off: A game to decide the winner of (a tie) by playing in an additional game or series of games.
leapfrog: Go one above another team in the league, jump another place higher than another team