Munich - GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine is the DFL's weekly TV programme, offering a global audience a unique perspective on Germany's top flight throughout the season. In-depth previews of the upcoming action feature alongside exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes reports, the best goals from the latest league encounters and much more besides. Coming up this week...
Germany's top two clubs feature heavily on GOAL! this week - and hardly surprisingly given that alongside their exploits in Europe and the news of Mario Götze's imminent move from one to the other, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich also go head-to-head in the Bundesliga on Matchday 32. There are interviews with a top coach who knows both clubs from highly successful first-hand experience and a boxing world champion who is an avid fan of one of them, as well as a look ahead to the rest of the key action at both ends of the table. Be sure to tune in!
First up, THE transfer of the coming summer, dramatically revealed as Borussia Dortmund were gearing up for their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg meeting with Real Madrid: Mario Götze will be swapping the Ruhr district for Bavaria and the yellow-black of BVB for the red of FC Bayern Munich next season. Widely regarded as the greatest of a golden generation of German footballers, Götze's meteoric rise to the very top has gone hand-in-hand with that of Dortmund over the past three years. Now, the gifted all-round attacking talent aims to take his game to an even higher level under the tutelage of incoming FC Bayern coach Pep Guardiola - himself of course no stranger to working with some of the finest players on the planet.
Top Game I
That backdrop only serves to add a further dash of intrigue to the meeting of Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich in the late Saturday kick-off at the Signal Iduna Park. In terms of the Bundesliga, there is relatively little at stake this time, certainly in comparison to the duo's often title-defining clashes over the past couple of years. The championship plate is in the bag for the visitors, and the hosts are already guaranteed their berth in the group stages of next season's UEFA Champions League. All that remains for Dortmund is to wrap up second place ahead of Leverkusen, while Bayern have the opportunity here to equal their own all-time top-flight best-mark of 15 consecutive single-season victories - as well as extending their new record points total, having topped Dortmund's own 81-point tally from just last season with their latest victory over Freiburg. Added incentive enough, then, should it be needed, for both sides - each of whom, of course, goes into this one on the back of respective midweek trips to Spain, aimed at securing a season-crowning final meeting at Wembley Stadium on 25 May.
The New Champions
FC Bayern's unparalleled Bundesliga season has been founded on numerous cornerstones. Last week, we looked at three new signings who have effectively firmed up the backbone of the Munich team this season. This time around, in the second of a four-part special, the spotlight is turned on three longer-term habitués of the club's Säbener Straße training ground - Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery. In a team not exactly short of players with leadership qualities, this trio are right to the fore. Indeed, hometown hero Lahm occupies the position officially, as skipper, with Schweinsteiger his nominal deputy. In truth, the full back and midfield general automatically assume the roles required of them out on the pitch - as does Ribery, now coming to the close of his sixth season on the books with the Bavarian giants. The French wing wizard's rise to onfield seniority has been far from plain sailing and is particularly noteworthy. He, like his aforementioned teammates, has earned it the only way possible at Bayern - through leading by example.
3 Minutes with...
...Ottmar Hitzfeld. As FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund rise in inexorable tandem to the very top of the European game, who better to ask about the bigger picture than a man who has taken them both there before? Ottmar Hitzfeld led Dortmund to victory in the 1997 Champions League final and repeated the trick with Bayern four years later - as well as accumulating seven Bundesliga titles all-told along the way. The current Swiss national team coach spoke with GOAL! about what the latest European success of his two former sides means for the domestic game, Mario Götze's move from the one to the other - and the latest upcoming instalment of Germany's very own clasico.