Former France left-back Bixente Lizarazu won five Bundesliga titles over two periods with FC Bayern München.
Former France left-back Bixente Lizarazu won five Bundesliga titles over two periods with FC Bayern München.

Lizarazu: 'Der Klassiker is unmissable'

On Saturday evening, Bixente Lizarazu will be glued to the television as his former side FC Bayern München take on Borussia Dortmund. "Der Klassiker is unmissable," says the ex-France defender, who played for the Bavarians between 1997 and 2006.

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- © gettyimages / Vladimir Rys / Staff

In an exclusive interview with, the 1998 world champion discusses the importance of Saturday's showdown between the Bundesliga's two giants – winners of the past seven titles – and the development of former France-based players Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Anthony Modeste. Can BVB inflict a first Bundesliga defeat of the season on Bayern?

Lizarazu: Dortmund have an incredibly talented team. They have fantastic potential in attack, but Bayern have more experience and are more ruthless. Borussia need a perfect day to do Bayern any damage.

Watch: Bayern's FIFA 17 challenge: Is there a lot more Bundesliga coverage in France nowawdays?

Lizarazu: It's definitely a lot better than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but it can still improve. When Willy Sagnol and I played for Bayern back in the day, that did a lot for Bundesliga coverage in France, but I also think there's been a greater interest in the Bundesliga since the 2006 World Cup. More French players have moved to Germany. Everyone knows the Bundesliga is an attack-minded league and almost every game is guaranteed to be a spectacle. Its image is getting more positive all the time. Each year the Bundesliga is becoming more and more attractive, but it deserves more coverage.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Hofmann It's also an attractive proposition for young players like Bayern's Kingsley Coman or Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele...

Lizarazu: That's definitely the case. They're two brilliant examples. For 10-20 years, the Bundesliga wasn't the favoured destination; instead it was England, Spain and Italy. England's still the first choice today, but the Bundesliga comes next on the list for young players because that's the best place for their development.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA For Dembele, on the other hand, it's going very well. Are you surprised by how quickly he has established himself at Dortmund?

Lizarazu: When news broke of his transfer last summer, I knew BVB would be the perfect club for him. He can make great strides in his development there and gain experience. He's getting chances and he's taking them. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also done a great job of helping him settle in. He can achieve big things at BVB. And just a word on Anthony Modeste, who currently sits joint-top of the scoring charts alongside Aubameyang on 11 goals...

Lizarazu: To be honest, I haven't seen much of him at Köln, but he's forging a fantastic career for himself in Germany. Now it's down to him to consistently live up to his potential so that he continues to write positive headlines.

Watch: All 11 of Anthony Modeste's Bundesliga goal so far this season:

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