Shortly before the start of the new bundesliga season, the two most powerful coaches in german soccer met in good spirits. Joachim low paid pep guardiola a visit at the FC bayern club grounds.
"It was a pleasure for me to get to know him. It was very, very nice, very polite," guardiola reported of low’s flying visit. "We have talked about various topics, one of which was of course bastian and his state of fitness. We have no doubts about his qualities. He is one of the best players in the world. But he was injured for more than a month – he needs time to get a good fitness."
Schweinsteiger is therefore not part of the national team’s lineup next wednesday against paraguay. The "pre-glow for the world cup," as low called it. The competition between bayern’s professional players has long been a hot one. And playing time is doubly important in a world cup year. One and a half dozen national players – from the DFB protagonists to foreign stars such as arjen robben, franck ribery or thiago alcantara – want to recommend themselves for their selection teams on the way to brazil and even more so for the tournament itself. As in the season opener on (today’s) friday evening against borussia monchengladbach, professionals with an immense market value will always have to sit on the bench or even in the stands.
"What is clear is that all these players want to go to brazil. A world cup must be the goal of every soccer player," explained bayern’s CEO karl-heinz rummenigge in "kicker. He sees no problems for club and coach in the toughest competition in 50 years of league history. "I’m convinced there won’t be a single player who steps out of line."The impetus provided by the signing of players such as thiago (FC barcelona) or record-breaking purchase mario gotze (borussia dortmund) had been important, rummenigge repeatedly emphasized. However, they have "some difficult decisions to make when all the players are healthy," sporting director matthias sammer. But one had certainly "not only ten regulars".
With an eye on his chances of playing under guardiola – and, by extension, his world cup opportunities – mario gomez slipped away to italy. "He needs to have confidence with a club and a coach that he is playing. Therefore the step to florence was good for him. He needs game rhythm", low explained. Brazilian luiz gustavo doesn’t want to jeopardize his prospects for the home world cup with a role as a benchwarmer and is therefore toying with a change of club. Schweinsteiger, on the other hand, doesn’t have to worry about his place in the DFB ensemble, but he shouldn’t lose his rhythm in the course of the season either.
"Of course, he will always find a place with the bavarians when he is fit. He is an outstanding strategist," low stressed and also praised the visiting spanish star coach. "The ideas of guardiola are outstanding. It’s all well thought out and structured. Therefore schweinsteiger, mueller and kroos will play a very important role with him. And if someone doesn’t play, that’s only legitimate."
There are just a lot of games to play at bayern, low also pointed out the necessities in the million ensemble of munich. "In view of the great breadth, there is of course competition. But for us, the development of a player is crucial."And in the year leading up to the title fight in brazil, it is precisely the performances at the highest level that should also help his selectors further. "The champions league is particularly good, of course, because the players there have to compete at the highest level all the time. This is good for us in view of the world cup," said low.