Munich - Off the Ball,’s latest feature, casts an eye over the weird, wonderful and sometimes controversial tales to have emerged from Germany's top flight in recent days.

Today, we show Borussia Mönchengladbach some love, allow Eintracht Braunschweig's Karim Bellarabi to excite us ahead of the Lower Saxony derby, and congratulate a Bundesliga stalwart on a well-deserved call-up.

FC Bayern München stars Claudio Pizarro and Xherdan Shaqiri were in Berlin on Thursday night to collect GQ magazine's prestigious 'Men of the Year' award on behalf of the entire squad. The Bavarians' quadruple last season still clearly resonates worldwide, and the two injured stars were delighted to be honoured...

Borussia Mönchengladbach are flying. After their first away victory of the season at Hamburger SV on Matchday 11, the Foals reside in fourth - but what makes them so good? Well, for a start, they're clinical in front of goal - converting a remarkable 38.5 per cent of their 65 chances for the second-most goals in the Bundesliga: 25. An impressive 23 have involved their fantastic front four of Max Kruse, Raffael, Juan Arango and Patrick Herrmann. They've also scored eleven of those goals in the last half-hour of matches - real European contenders?

Karim Bellarabi is excited. The Eintracht Braunschweig winger will line up against Hannover 96 tonight in the the Lower Saxony derby, one of the biggest of its type in German football. "It'll be a very special game," he told sports daily Kicker. "The fans are obviously looking forward to it, but so are we. We've got to concentrate, but we know we can. It'll be a tough nut to crack." Hannover might only have lost at home once all season, but lifted by their 1-0 win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen last week, Braunschweig are harbouring lofty dreams.

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has been called up to Joachim Löw's Nationalmannschaft for the with Italy and England. It's the first call-up for the 33-year-old, who has been at Dortmund since 2002, and has kept four clean sheets this season. "I'm very happy and pleased about the invitation," he said. From all of us here at, congratulations, Roman!