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News in brief

Happy birthday, Uli Hoeneß!

The players handed the club president the best possible early birthday gift back in December when they crowned an extraordinary footballing year with the FIFA Club World Cup triumph in Morocco, but on Sunday 5 January Uli Hoeneß officially celebrated his 62nd birthday. The former player and general manager has not joined the squad as they travel to Doha for the winter training camp, but is marking the milestone with his family instead. wishes the club president all the very best on this special day!

Bayern men dominate kicker rankings

At the start of every new year, authoritative football weekly kicker publishes its traditional rankings of the best players in German football. The latest rankings are dominated by Bayern stars.

Lahm world-class as midfielder
For many years Philipp Lahm has dominated the rankings in the full-back category, and the FCB captain now represents the gold standard in the holding role, where Lahm is the only Bundesliga player labelled ‘world-class’ by the kicker experts. “With breathtaking consistency he has shaped Bayern’s play in a central role,“ the magazine said, commending Lahm’s “lightning-quick transitions, exceptional passing and ball control, outstanding vision, and a feel for the rhythm of a game which cannot easily be trained.” Lahm topped the ranking significantly ahead of Simon Rolfes (Leverkusen), Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin (both Dortmund), who were placed in the ‘international class’ bracket.

Ribéry and Robben also world-class
also awarded its highest accolade to Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, both rated ‘world-class’ as attacking wide players. “Nuances mean Ribéry just about comes top,” declared the magazine. Thomas Müller (international class) came third, followed by Marco Reus (Dortmund) and Sidney Sam (Leverkusen).

Recognition for quality defenders
Bayern’s defenders also swept the board in the kicker rankings. Jérôme Boateng and Dante led the centre-back category as ‘international class’ players, with David Alaba earning the same recognition at full-back.