Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2013 Contents A63
Friday, August 9, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---Former France and Manchester United
striker Louis Saha has announced his retirement
from professional football.
Saha made his announcement on Twitter yesterday,
his 35th birthday. He thanked "all managers, all staffs,
all team-mates, all opponents, all fans, for all support
and love towards me during my football career."
Saha started his career at French club Metz. He
spent most of his career in England, with 3 ½ years
at Fulham and a 4 ½-year stint at Manchester United
that started in 2004. He also played for Everton and
Tottenham, and had brief spells with Sunderland
and Italy's Lazio last season.
Saha made 20 appearances for France and scored
four goals. (AP)
Few expect any side but defending
champion Bayern Munich to be celebrating
the title again next year.
Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola
has been charged with improving the side
that swept to the title in record-breaking
fashion before adding the Champions League
and German Cup trophies.
His side has also been bolstered by Borus-
sia Dortmund's best player---Mario Goet-
ze---and Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona.
But Dortmund has reinvested the US$49
million it received for Goetze (and a little
more) on highly-rated Henrikh Mkhitaryan
and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while so
far denying Robert Lewandowski's desired
move to Bayern. Germany coach Joachim
Loew says Bayern and Dortmund are on a
different level to the others.
The question is whether Bayern is yet
another level above Dortmund.
Overseas ownership of German clubs has
been avoided so far thanks to the so-called
"50+1" rule. It states that clubs in the coun-
try's top two divisions must keep a majority
of their own shares among members. Clubs
can transfer a majority of their voting shares
to an outside investor---but only after 20
There are exceptions to the rule for teams
backed by companies before it came into
place---Wolfsburg is owned by Volkswagen
and Bayer Leverkusen by the company that
gives its name to the club. Hoffenheim has
also been bankrolled by software billionaire
Guardiola is facing his first Bundesliga
game in charge when Bayern hosts Borussia
Moenchengladbach for the league's opening
game. Werder Bremen is facing its first season without
Thomas Schaaf as coach, with former Freiburg and
Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt now in charge.
And Eintracht Braunschweig coach Torsten
Lieberknecht has not coached in the Bundesliga
before. Braunschweig is back in the top division after
28 years. Hertha Berlin is the other promoted side,
and will be hoping to avoid a repeat of its fate the
last time it was promoted---relegation.
Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt arguably over-
achieved last season, both reaching the Europa League
qualification places. Frankfurt, which was back in
the Bundesliga after promotion, has reinforced its
side in the offseason, but Freiburg has lost important
players and will have to contend with the added bur-
den of European football. Wolfsburg, Hamburger SV,
Borussia Moenchengladbach and Stuttgart will all
hope to improve on disappointing seasons.
Freiburg would be defending Bundesliga champion
if the title was awarded on the cost per point earned,
according to an alternative table published by Die
Welt newspaper yesterday.
Freiburg, which had a player budget of 16 million
euros (US$21 million), finished fifth with 51 points
last season, meaning each point cost 320,000 euros
(US$430,000). Mainz was runner-up, with each
point costing 400,000 euros (US$535,000), while
Eintracht Frankfurt was third on 490,000 euros
Bayern Munich finished second from bottom despite
a record-breaking season. With a player budget of
125 million euros (US$167 million), Bayern's 91 points
cost 1.37 million euros (US$1.83 million) each. Only
Wolfsburg's points were more expensive, costing an
average 2.09 million euros (US$2.8 million). (AP)
No reason to doubt Bayern in Germany
striker Saha retires
Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola arrives for
a public team presentation in the Allianz Arena
stadium in Munich, southern Germany, on Tuesday.
Links Archive August 8th 2013 August 10th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page