Munich - Off the Ball, our daily weekday feature, casts an eye over the weird, wonderful and sometimes controversial tales to have emerged from Germany's top flight.

Today, discovers which animal Manuel Neuer has been compared to by FC Bayern München chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, gets you to grips with Borussia Dortmund's latest talent, and spots an FC Augsburg star dressed up as Santa Claus...

To think of FC Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as a bear may be an imusing image, but that's exactly what club chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called him. "If he's referring to my presence in goal, then it's very much a compliment," commented Neuer. "After all, it's definitely not got anything to do with my chest hair. The thing that puzzles me, however, is that normally bears are a bit fatter than I am." Quite, Manuel.

Dortmund have a new star on their hands in the form of Marian Sarr. The Germany Under-19 defender highly, rated highly by BVB boss Jürgen Klopp ("I was nowhere near as good as him at that age") popped on the scene in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League win over Olympique de Marseille, but it didn't take sports magazine Sportbild long to do some resourceful digging, informing the public today that 18-year-old Sarr doesn't only still live with his mother, but also possesses no driving licence - which shouldn't hold the defender back from travelling to Sinsheim to play 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday however.