FC Schalke 04's talent production line is widely regarded as one of the best-run football academies in Germany, if not Europe. Max Meyer is just one of the many talents to progress through its ranks, and with such success that the up-and-coming attacking midfield ace made his senior debut for Germany last May when still aged 18. A glimpse behind the scenes at the model football school that upholds the core values of one of the country's most tradition-laden clubs.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen aim to maintain their push for a top-three placing over the winter break at 1899 Hoffenheim's expense on their midweek road trip. Easier said than done, of course, despite the hosts' rather of late following a promising season start. But with two of the Bundesliga's most innovative new-generation coaches pacing the touchline in the form of Hoffenheim's Markus Gisdol and his Bayer counterpart Roger Schmidt, the chances are that one way or another, the fans will get their money's worth in this one.
One of the Bundesliga's most dangerous full-backs when he shifts into top gear, Ricardo Rodriguez is every bit as dashing behind the steering wheel given half a chance. Alongside football, fast cars are one of the great passions in the life of VfL Wolfsburg's 22-year-old Swiss international. Ahead of the big game at Dortmund, we accompanied Rodriguez on a hair-raising spin as he undertook a special off-road training session in Germany's motor city.
Haris Seferovic has hit the ground running in his debut Bundesliga campaign at Eintracht Frankfurt, forming a deadly attacking partnership with Eagles old-timer Alex Meier. With the winter break fast approaching, the Switzerland international with Bosnian roots took a seasonal time-out to go for a stroll around Frankfurt's Christmas market, where he reflected on his first few months in German football and where it might go from here with Eintracht.
As of this season, Shinji Okazaki is the Bundesliga's all-time top-scoring Japanese player. Not content with that as a legacy, the 28-year-old 1. FSV Mainz 05 sharpshooter has now also co-founded a locally-based amateur club with an old school friend. As well as offering young Japanese players in the region a platform on which to perform, the guiding philosophy behind FC Basara Mainz is equally focused on promoting inter-cultural understanding among their teammates from Germany and elsewhere. The Preview Show went along to check it out.