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FCB among world’s most valuable clubs

No other top football club is growing as rapidly as FC Bayern. American business magazine Forbes has reached that conclusion in its annual list of the 20 most valuable football clubs in the world. A growth rate of 41 percent over the previous year sees the treble winners increase their value to 1.8 billion US dollars and move up one place in the rankings from fifth to an impressive fourth. The list based on the 2012/13 campaign puts FCB behind Real Madrid (3.4 billion US dollars), Barcelona (3.2) and Manchester United (2.8). FC Bayern are the only Bundesliga club in the top ten, Borussia Dortmund (0.60) are eleventh, Schalke (0.58) twelfth and Hamburg (0.33) eighteenth. The magazine bases its assessment on turnover, operating results and the debt status of the clubs.

Thiago on the ball, Ribéry on his feet

Five and a half weeks after tearing a ligament in his right knee Thiago took the next step on the road to recovery this Thursday. The Spaniard completed his first drills with the ball under the watchful gaze of fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura. Franck Ribéry, who missed out at Hamburg due to a back problem, also returned to the training ground on Thursday for a 20-minute running session. Xherdan Shaqiri and Julian Green completed light training.

Stuttgart’s Niedermeier rated doubtful

Ahead of the away game at FC Bayern, VfB Stuttgart look likely to be without the services of ex-FCB reserve Georg Niedermeier as well as Daniel Schwaab and Martin Harnik. “Georg injured himself yesterday and he didn't train today,” said coach Huub Stevens on Thursday. He hopes for a recovery by Saturday but is rated doubtful. Niedermeier injured a knee in training, Harnik is out following an operation on his shoulder and Schwaab has an ankle injury.