Leipzig (dpa) – In the midst of the livelihood-threatening coronavirus pandemic, the German quartet has secured a good moment in the Bundesliga with the closed participation in the second round of the Champions League.
In this way, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach not only provided hugely important bonuses in times of crisis. With this coup, which was last successful in 2014, the clubs also gave German football an international appearance.
“You can say that we have improved enormously in quality in Germany and the Bundesliga. Ultimately, it is an upgrade of the Bundesliga. You can be satisfied with the development,” said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. His team achieved the second best German result in history with 16 points in the group stage, surpassed only by the six wins in the 2019/20 season.
Dortmund had also clearly triumphed in the end. “The competition is competitive. We are on the right track,” said sporting director Michael Zorc. Hertha manager Michael Preetz spoke of a wonderful moment that is good for German football. Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter mathematically analyzed the round of 16. “That a quarter is from Germany, with all due respect, it shows that the competition is very strong,” said the Austrian. Mainz sports director Rouven Schröder praised the Bundesliga representatives as “international figureheads”.
Apart from the German clubs, only the Spanish clubs managed to enter the knockout phase as one club. With this, Germany extended its lead in the five-year ranking above France, which is only represented by Paris, and secured four Champions League participants in the near future. Gladbach made it to the round of 16 for the first time in the third attempt, which even thrilled Toni Kroos. The former Real Madrid world champion is “very happy that Gladbach made it to the last sixteen. You play good football and have a very good coach.”
However, huge opponents await Leipzig and Mönchengladbach in the draw that will take place on Monday in Nyon / Switzerland (12 noon). Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus Turin and Real Madrid are possible RB opponents, as Borussia Real Madrid is replaced by Paris in the lottery pot. On the other hand, Bayern and BVB should start the week more relaxed in the face of potential opponents such as Porto, Bergamo, Seville or the weak FC Barcelona.
In order to demonstrate the quality of the Bundesliga that Flick called sustainable, it should run better from mid-February than in the 2014/15 season. At that moment Bayern, Dortmund, Leverkusen and Schalke reached the eighth finals. However, it was closed to all clubs except the later semi-finalists from Munich.
Regardless of how things progress, the clubs’ cash is already well stocked with bonuses. For each point in the group stage, there was 900,000 euros, previously an entry fee of 15.25 million. Moreover, participation in the knockout round is rewarded with 9.5 million euros. In a season in which the Bundesliga, according to head boss Christian Seifert, is threatened with “a turnover drop to a billion euros”, in addition to the already generous marketing revenue, the prize money of the royal class will also gain in importance.
National coach Joachim Löw may also be happy with the success. Because more national players will get more endurance tests at the highest European level, which should not be an obstacle in view of the upcoming EM. “I think it’s important that the majority of players play internationally. I know that from my time at the DFB,” said Hansi Flick. “For a big tournament it is important to have experienced players who are challenged in big matches. That strengthens a team.”