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FCB number one in China

Bayern enjoy great success both on and off the pitch these days. There’s more new evidence of that from China, where the treble winners and reigning Club World Champions are number one on the social networks. That stat comes from the annual Red Card report by the Mailman Group, one of the leading digital consultants from Shanghai. The analysis covered the social media performance of top European clubs in China from November 2013 to January 2014. Points were awarded in four categories - followers, commitment (activity of fans in the shape of likes, comments and retweets), number of official accounts, and buzz (mentions of clubs beyond official accounts). The result: First place for Bayern (114 points) ahead of Manchester United (105) and Liverpool (92). FCB, represented on the three Chinese platforms Sina Weibo, Tencent and WeChat, were in third place last year.

Kircher to referee in Hannover

Knut Kircher is the referee for Bayern’s away game at Hannover 96 on Sunday. It will be the second FCB game officiated by the 45-year-old mechanical engineer from Rottenburg in the current campaign. He took charge of the 1-1 draw at Leverkusen in the first half of the season. Robert Kempter and Thorsten Schiffner are the assistants in Hannover. Christian Gittelmann is the fourth official.

Hannover include Diouf

Hannover 96 welcome back striker Mame Diouf just in time for the game against FCB on Sunday. The front man took part in full training on Friday. Before that he was restricted to training on his own on the exercise bike due to a thigh problem. There is a question mark for Sunday over Andre Hoffmann who was unable to train on Friday due to a bout of flu.

Best wishes for Depeche Mode

Even the Depeche Mode superstars could hardly believe their eyes. A package from Bayern awaited the trio backstage after their concert in Dresden last week. Dave Gahan (bottom left) received a number 31 shirt with best wishes from Bastian Schweinsteiger – two leaders together. Martin Gore (centre) creates some magic moments, as his number seven shirt reflects. And Andrew Fletcher (right), probably the band’s biggest Bayern fan, was chuffed with the number 19 shirt signed by his favourite player Mario Götze. “FC Bayern – what a great club,” said manager Jonathan Kessler after taking delivery of his shirt from Philipp Lahm. The band handed in a short wish list that FCB were happy to fulfil. One common theme sums up both parties: “We Just Can’t Get Enough!”