Cologne - As the league of the world champions and the best-attended division in professional football, the Bundesliga has a reputation to uphold, not just in Europe but also across the globe.
Champions head to China
Therefore, ahead of the 53rd Bundesliga season four clubs will be representing the league far and wide in the coming weeks as part of the Bundesliga World Tour 2015.
FC Bayern München will be in China between 16 and 24 July where Pep Guardiola’s collection of world stars will perform in front of thousands of supporters in friendly matches against Valencia CF (18 July), FC Internazionale de Milano (21 July) and defending Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande FC (23 July).
“FC Bayern have around 90 million supporters in China,” explains Jörg Wacker, the club’s director of globalisation and strategy. “Throughout the duration of the tour, these fans will have the opportunity to experience one of the world’s best teams up close and personal.”
Dortmund in the Far East
Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, have an arguably even busier schedule as bearers of the Bundesliga World Tour standard. Thomas Tuchel’s charges have a six-day trip to Japan and Malaysia on the agenda, with a friendly against Tokyo-based Kawasaki Frontale on 7 July to be followed by a match at Malaysian champions Johor Southern Tigers two days later.
“In Japan we’ll be welcomed by long-standing friends of ours and people who've taken a keen interest in all things Borussia Dortmund, not just since Shinji Kagawa’s transfer to BVB in 2010, but since the 1997 Intercontinental Cup final [a 2-0 win for Dortmund against Boca Juniors in Tokyo],” says club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. As an added thrill for their Asian fans, Dortmund will also be accompanied by Lars Ricken and Karl-Heinz Riedle, goalscorers in Borussia's 1997 UEFA Champions League final win against Juventus.
Wolfsburg and Hannover touring Poland
The final two clubs in this year’s line-up - VfL Wolfsburg and Hannover 96 - are representing the league a little close to home in neighbouring Poland. While Hannover face AS Monaco (4 July) and one of KS Lechia Gdansk or FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the Lublin Cup, Dieter Hecking’s Wolves will face off against KS Lechia Gdansk at the PGE Arena Gdansk on 12 July.