Created on 04-12-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern versus Hoffenheim is the most eagerly-anticipated clash in German domestic football this year. The top-of-the-table showdown has generated miles of video footage and yards rather than inches of column space in recent days. Even the faraway New York Times carried a preview of “the biggest game of the season“. Rarely has a Bundesliga fixture inspired such far-reaching and intense interest, particularly with the season less than halfway to completion.
“It’ll be a terrific match, I’m sure of that, and then we’ll see who has the better team,” declared FCB general manager Uli Hoeneß ahead of a game set to be broadcast in 168 countries. Bayern could have sold more than 150,000 tickets for Friday evening’s encounter at the Allianz Arena, but the last of the 69,000 places was snapped up weeks ago. “It’s a genuine big match. The crowd at the Allianz Arena will see a tremendous game,” promised Luca Toni.
After weeks spent playing catch-up following a patchy start to the campaign, the stars representing the country’s most successful club are determined to put the top flight newcomers, sensationally leading the standings after 15 matches, firmly in their place. “We have a point to make. It’s our chance to show them top spot belongs to us,” World Cup winner Toni stated, billing the match “a trial of strength” between the nation’s top two. “I’m assuming Bayern will show Hoffenheim which side their bread’s buttered,” smiled FCB President Franz Beckenbauer. “We’re a better team than Hoffenheim, and I’m really looking forward to the match,” said German international Philipp Lahm.