Der Klassiker is disrespectful to German footballing history. Editor Axel Falk explains why.
So, it's time. It's time for the most cringe-worthy of all Bundesliga-holidays, the one and only "Der Klassiker", a game which magnitude is completely made up by the marketeers of Bundesliga and distributed to the perhaps less knowing parts of the world. Dieses Ding has poisoned our Bundesliga for too long and it's been time for a while to stop the madness.
While the game itself is a gem in many apects. It's the most well-fed teams in Germany, arguably the two most sucessful, even though both Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach might be willing to dispute Dortmund's role in the Klassiker. The two clubs have amassed great squads with decent depth and both play woonderful football, even though the games between these two are often tight affairs with few or few good chances and with often dominant goalkeepers.
But let's take a minute to analyze this exact game, the very one that will kick off tonight, between FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern are in great form, and will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing performance against Hoffenheim which saw them lose for the first time since their away game against Dortmund. Bayern have struggled, Iwithout a doubt, but considering the quality of Bundesliga, it's not more than natural. And considering the quality of Bayern München, it'n not more than natural that thay still pick up points when they struggle away against Mainz or Hertha or Frankfurt.
Dortmund have not done that, which is a monument to their weaknesses. Their mental strength and their depth isn't as good as their superior rivals Bayern, their top players aren't at the level of Bayern's, at least not this season with Aubameyang actually looking a bit stale at times. And another clear weakness at Borussia Dortmund is the goalkeeper. I never thought Roman Bürki would be good enough for Borussia and while he is a great goalkeeper, Dortmund need an upgrade if they are to challenge Bayern next season. That being said, Manu Neuer is injured, Ulreich was a great goalkeeper a few years back when he played regularly and that position poses as an opportunity for Borussia. One might recall a game a few years back when few people believed in Dortmund away at Bayern and they won 3-0.
But it's not a classic, not at all. There are so many games that are closer to classics than this game. The Revierderby between Schalke and Dortmund, that's a classic. Borussia Mönchengladbach-FC Köln, that's a classic. Hamburg-Bremen, that's a classic. Bayern München- Schalke 04, that is a classic much more worthy of the tag "Der Klassiker" than Bayern-Dortmund. But the marketeers of Bundesliga have had it their way and now most people consider this game a classic, which it certainly is not. Due to Borussia Dortmund having their most successful spell ever in the 2010s, a real rivalry between Bayern and Dortmund has never had time to grow. Instead teams that were big during the 70s and 80s, Gladbach and Hamburg mostly, have more of a reason to hate Bayern. Schalke, who were big in the 50s, have a good reason to dislike them as well. To seriously call Bayern-Dortmund a classic is to disregard the German footballing history and all the teams who have been Dortmunds before Dortmund. It's blatantly wrong.
I personally don't hate Bayern at all. I genuinely only dislike three teams in Germany. Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Hansa Rostock. The latter is due to Frankfurt's 91/92 campaign which should have ended in a title.
And nobody likes VFL Osnabrück.