On this week’s main report, Hans, our German correspondent, takes a look at the Bundesliga. The German league takes a long break in winter – over three weeks – and last week they were back in action, so it’s a good time to see what’s going on in one of Europe’s biggest leagues. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
Listen to the report here
Welcome back to the Bundesliga. The winter break is over, and despite snow and ice, games started on schedule last weekend. And there has been plenty going on.
Leverkusen remain unbeaten this season and sit on top of the table. They are a young team with no big stars who are playing beautiful attacking football. Many people however think that they will not be able to keep winning. Keep an eye on Toni Kroos as a player for the future.
Bayern Munich started with a victory against Hoffenheim and have promised to “scare” all their rivals. They will have to do this without Luca Toni, who returned to Italy, and with Frank Ribery spending more time injured than actually playing. But they are now in third place, and coach Van Gaal seems to be settling in to his work – finally. This week they visit Bremen and a very angry Torsten Frings who has officially been dropped from the national team.
Schalke, in second place, are also playing well and striker Kuryani is starting to score goals. In fact one of the best known stories of failure is the year Schalke almost won, but somehow lost the title. Neutrals are hoping it is their turn this year.
At the bottom, Hertha Berlin are starting a long and desperate battle to avoid being relegated. They are nine points from safety at the moment, but did win on the weekend. It was only their second victory of the season.
So my predictions for 2010: Champions will be Leverkusen, ahead of Bayern and Bremen. Hertha will go down. And my team Freiburg? Fingers crossed! Auf Wiedersehen and please enjoy the Bundesliga. Tschues.
plenty: lots, a lot
keep an eye on: watch closely, remember this person
to settle in: to get used to, to be more comfortable with, to gain experience
to be dropped: to lose your place in a team, when a coach decides a player is not good enough to play in a team
desperate: hopeless, urgent, with little hope of success
be relegated: drop down a division
ahead of: before (something happens)