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

Today we put our maths heads on to work out whether Borussia Dortmund can look forward to a better seeding in European draws next summer, hit the piste with Bastian Schweinsteiger's friend and discover why Sidney Sam feels a weight has been lifted.

The mathematicians at Borussia Dortmund have been busy calculating their co-efficients and predicting a potential rise up the UEFA rankings for next season. Those currently show the Westphalians moving up to 16th, and while that would mean a place among the second pot in the UEFA Champions League next season - should last year's finalists qualify - teams like Manchester City FC, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who like BVB are all still in the current edition, are hot on their trail. Most of the groundwork has already been done, however: no other club since 2008 have made as big a leap as Jürgen Klopp's men have in the past five years, rising from 109th to 16th. Now they need to cling on or, better still, climb higher up the charts.

While Dortmund are looking for the quickest way to rise, FC Bayern München and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger had downhill thoughts of a winter kind. His friend Felix Neureuther (pictured) won Tuesday's slalom in Bormio, Italy, much to the delight of the Bayern midfielder, who was able to follow the action on TV in his Doha hotel room. "It would have been stupid if he'd not won it," said the budding skier who, as a youngster, was faced with the choice between becoming a footballer or a skier. We think he made the right decision.

Some secrets are pretty hard to keep, but when they are revealed, it can come as a relief. That is how Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Sidney Sam felt on Wednesday when his transfer to Schalke 04 in the summer was confirmed. "I'm just glad it's out and the issue is through, both for me and the fans," Sam said from Leverkusen's training camp in Lagos. Leverkusen fans clealy need not question his integrity, though. "I'm going to perform to my best here until the summer," the 25-year-old added. "My aim is to go to the World Cup so I need to impress with a really strong second half of the season."