Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 23rd 2013 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, August 23, 2013
FRANKFURT---Borussia Dortmund and
Werder Bremen kick off the third round
of the Bundesliga today, almost to the day
when the two teams met 50 years ago on
opening matchday of the new league.
The Bundesliga celebrates its 50th
anniversary tomorrow and the first round
in 1963 featured Werder s 3-2 win at home
over Dortmund. The match saw the newly
established league s first goal when Dort-
mund s Timo Konietzka scored in the first
Now, the Bundesliga is riding on a wave
of success, with record attendances and the
two Champions League finalists of last sea-
son---winner Bayern Munich and runner-
Despite losing the championship and the
German Cup title, Dortmund s run to the
final was a windfall for the club and its rev-
enue reached €305 million (US$408.21 mil-
lion) for the fiscal year 2012-13, with a €51.2
million (US$68.53 million) profit.
By finishing second in the Bundesliga---
a massive 25 points behind Bayern---Dort-
mund made sure of playing in the lucrative
Champions League again.
While Bayern is also a perfect 2-0 at the
start, the winner of the unprecedented treble
for a German club has failed to inspire under
new coach Pep Guardiola.
Dortmund already has scored six goals
in two games, leads the standings on goal
difference and appears ready to challenge
Bayern for the title again.
Bremen, surprisingly, is also among the
leaders---and is the only club not to have
conceded a goal so far.
After narrowly escaping relegation, Bre-
men has a new coach in Robin Dutt and
has reshuffled its defense.
"Our intention is not to build a wall but
after giving up 66 goals last season it was
the defense where we had to start," Dutt
Bremen beat both Augsburg and new-
comer Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0, but Dutt
said Dortmund would be a different mat-
"With all due respect for Braunschweig
and Augsburg, Dortmund is a different cal-
iber. We play in a different league from a
financial and sporting aspect," Dutt said.
Bremen s job could be made more com-
plicated if defenders Luca Caldirola and
Clemens Fritz have to sit out the match
Dortmund boasts an attack that appears
to have shrugged off the departure of Mario
Goetze to Bayern Munich.
With Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus,
Jakub Blaszczykowski and newly signed
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick
Aubameyang, Dortmund has the weapons
to crack any defence.
Still, coach Juergen Klopp is cautious,
although Dortmund has won the last six
home games against Werder.
"Bremen now has more confidence and
we ll feel it," Klopp said. (AP)
BARCELONA---For the first time since
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in
2009, the talk in Spain doesn t revolve
around either the Portugal forward or his
main rival at Barcelona, Lionel Messi.
Arguably the two best players in the world
have been overshadowed by what appears
to be the imminent arrival of Tottenham
winger Gareth Bale to Madrid and Neymar s
good start at Barcelona.
With Messi hurt and likely unavailable for
Sunday s match at Malaga, Neymar may get
his first start for Barcelona after coming off
the bench in his first two games.
The 21-year-old Brazilian scored a header
on Wednesday to earn a 1-1 draw at Atletico
Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super
Cup after Messi was substituted at halftime
due to pain in his left thigh.
After rising to the occasion for his new
team with Messi injured and its attack stalled,
now may be the moment when Barcelona
coach Gerardo Martino picks Neymar for his
Messi and Neymar only played together
for seven minutes during last weekend s 7-
0 rout of Levante in the league opener.
And they may not get a chance to play
together at La Rosaleda Stadium after
Barcelona s team doctors said that the Argen-
tine had bruised a muscle in his left thigh,
with the speed of his recovery determining
Neymar has been recovering from anemia
following surgery on his tonsils, but he looked
to be in top form when he raced in to nod
home Dani Alves cross against Atletico.
"It s bad not to play with Messi. He s the
best in the world and everyone wants to play
with him," Neymar said.
The Spanish media is buzzing with spec-
ulation that the offseason s longest transfer
saga will finally become a reality, making
Bale a Madrid player in possibly a record
deal that could surpass the £80 million
(US$131 million) that the Spanish club paid
Almost lost in this is Madrid s game at
Granada on Monday when coach Carlo
Ancelotti will again have to choose if he sticks
with Diego Lopez in goal or gives team captain
Iker Casillas his first start since former coach
Jose Mourinho benched him.
Athletic Bilbao will be seeking a second
straight win when it hosts Osasuna today,
while Almeria visits Getafe.
Tomorrow, Real Sociedad visits Elche with
the second leg of its Champions League play-
offs with Lyon looming next week. Valencia
is at Espanyol, and Villarreal welcomes Val-
ladolid. Also on Sunday, it s: Atletico vs Rayo
Vallecano; Levante vs Sevilla; and Real Betis
vs Celta Vigo. (AP)
PSG defender Thiago Silva
signs new deal to 2018
Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has ex-
tended his contract with the French champions by a
year, tying him to the club until 2018.
PSG announced the deal yesterday and president
Nasser Al-Khelaifi says Silva "symbolises PSG's de-
sire to construct one the most successful teams in
Silva joined PSG from AC Milan last year and
swiftly became a key player for the French club,
making 22 league appearances to help PSG win its
first league title since 1994.
Sebastian Coates out
for 'most of the season'
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says
Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates will miss "most
of the season" with a knee injury.
The 22-year-old Coates, who has made 24 appear-
ances for Liverpool, picked up the injury playing for
Uruguay against Japan last week.
Rodgers said Liverpool is now "looking at ... a
player to come in, in that position" and that a new
arrival would "allow some of our younger players to
develop" as Rodgers would then allow Andre Wis-
dom to leave on a loan deal.
West Brom signs Scott
Sinclair on loan from City
Scott Sinclair has ended his miserable spell at
Manchester City by joining fellow Premier League
side West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan
West Brom said yesterday the club has the option
to sign the former Chelsea and Swansea winger on a
permanent basis at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old Sinclair, who played for Britain in
the Olympic football tournament at the London
Games, signed for City for £6.2 million (US$9.6 mil-
lion) last summer but only started two league
games last season.
Madrid's Xabi Alonso has
surgery on broken foot
Real Madrid says midfielder Xabi Alonso has un-
dergone surgery on a broken bone in his right foot.
Madrid did not indicate how long the Spanish in-
ternational is expected to be out.
Alonso's backup, new signing Asier Illarramendi, is
The 31-year-old Alonso underwent surgery in the
offseason on his back, causing him to miss the Con-
federations Cup with Spain, Madrid's preseason and
its Spanish league opener last Sunday.
UEFA bans 2 Armenian
officials for life for fixing
UEFA has banned two football referees from Ar-
menia for life for trying to fix a Europa League
match in a betting scam.
UEFA says referee Andranik Arsenyan and assis-
tant Hovhannes Avagyan admitted trying to corrupt
Vikingur's 1-0 win at Inter Turku in Finland.
UEFA investigated after its betting monitoring
unit "detected suspicious betting patterns" on the
July 11 match. Both officials, who were expelled by
the Armenian football federation, had been ap-
proved by Fifa for international matches since Janu-
ary 2012. UEFA can ask Fifa to apply the bans
worldwide. Arsenyan awarded two penalties late in
the then-scoreless match, reportedly to help ensure
both teams scored.
Sahin , left,
challenges for the
ball with Dennis
during the German
Barcelona's Neymar from Brazil,
second right, celebrates his goal
with Cesc Fabregas, right,during a
Spain Super Cup soccer match
against Atletico de Madrid at the
Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid,
Spain, Wednesday. AP PHOTO
Werder, Dortmund aim
to keep perfect records
Neymar's start, Bale rumours rule Spain
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