Coming up in this week's edition of GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine...
It is twenty years since an arson attack in the town of Solingen which killed five members of a Turkish family, prompting Germany's professional football clubs to respond with a campaign tagged "My friend is a foreigner." Matchday 3 of the 2012/13 season was dedicated to a new initiative aimed at further fostering integration in a country which is home to some 16 million people with an immigrant background. A report on the Go Your Way project, carried out under the auspices of the German Integration Foundation with across-the-board support from all 18 Bundesliga clubs, their sponsors and the DFL.
Two of the three German teams in Champions League group stage action this week go head-to-head days later in Gelsenkirchen, as Schalke 04 play host to Bayern Munich. Both sides have started well into the season, with the Royal Blues one of four sides on seven points, two shy of pace-setting duo Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Bayern themselves. While the men from Munich were also hitting the headlines with some spectacular new signings over the summer, Schalke's current transfer policy is studiously low-key. Huub Stevens's young team have nonetheless already shown that their hunger for success has not diminished in the slightest as a result and this will undoubtedly be Bayern's toughest domestic challenge to date.
One of Schalke's brightest starters this season has been attacking midfielder Lewis Holtby. Indeed, the Royal Blues' number 10 has stepped up to the mark admirably in the immediate post-Raul era in Gelsenkirchen and has already chipped in with a couple of goals of his own in the opening three matches. 22 this week, Holtby's breakthrough with Schalke has been a roundabout one, taking in loan spells at Bochum and Mainz. It was with the latter, under Thomas Tuchel, that he really rose to national prominence and now, in his second season back in the Ruhr district, Holtby looks ready to take on a leading role for Schalke as well.
3 Minutes with...
...Aaron Hunt. He only recently turned 26, but the versatile wide midfielder is now one of the old hands in coach Thomas Schaaf's rejuvenated Werder Bremen side and, as such, finds himself taking on ever more of a leader's mantle out on the pitch. Hunt broke into the first team as a teenager in late 2004, the season after Bremen last won the Bundesliga title. In the eight years since Werder have rarely threatened to re-attain those dizzy heights, while Hunt himself has battled back from more than one personal injury low. Now though, he and the team are looking forward to brighter times ahead.