Bayern Munich and Borussion Dortmund maul Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League Semi Finals, just days after Bayern Munich president, Uli Hoeness is accused of being a tax cheat by the German media.
When the Spanish National side defeated the Germans in the 2008 European Championships it felt like there were new pretenders on the throne. The efficiency and physicality of the Germans finally being pushed aside by the brilliance and movement of the little Spaniards. Victory in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa followed, before they retained their Euro trophy in 2012. It was no coincidence that national pride rubbed of locally with the kings of Catalonia also bringing home two Champions League trophies during the same time period.
But after the midweek mauling at the hands of the Germans, the sporting media are suggesting that the old guard are back, and they after their old trophies, starting with the Champions League. It was Bundesliga 8, La Liga 1 in the first leg of the semi-finals that saw first Barcelona succumb to the might of Bayern Munich 4 v 0, before Real Madrid did likewise 4 v1 at the home of Borussia Dortmund. For once the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had to play second fiddle to the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Bastien Schweinsteiger.
Those stunning victories turned the oddsmakers into a ditsy. Everyone was expecting El Classico to top the bill when the Champions League final is played out at Wembley on May 25th, but now it seems a certainty that the world will see the first-ever all German Champions league final instead. For Bayern in particular it was much needed positive news, after their president Uli Hoeness had pitched the club into the limelight for all of the wrong reasons in the build up to the most important match of Jupp Heynckes season.
A member of the team that won the 1974 World Cup, Hoeness, is being investigated for tax evasion after reports broke out of the German media that he deposited around €3 million in a Swiss bank account. Money that was made through the family sausage making company and through ventures on the Stock Exchange. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkal, has turned her back on the 61-year old at a time when her opponents have said she had gone ‘soft’ when it came to tax cheats.
“I have realised that I made a grave mistake, for which I am trying to at least partially make amends by voluntarily turning myself in,” Hoeness told the Sport Bild magazine. It’s just a shame that quote came after he allegedly threatened legal action against the media outlets that first broke the story.
It’s a vibrant time to be involved in German football and especially at the league leaders Bayern. The man responsible for building the Barcelona legacy, Pep Guardiola, will replace Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season and rumor is abound the Dortmund striker who smashed four past Madrid, Robert Lewandowski, might soon be following his teammate Mario Goetze to the Allianz Arena.
So there are some people on the pitch, and there are some that think it’s all over, and when it comes to the immediacy of the Champions League they may be right. But even the best teams int he world have a mauling every now and again.
Barcelona will be back don’t you worry about that.