Bundesliga resumes in Germany with Bayern win

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard's goal against Union Berlin on May 17, 2020, when the German championship was resumed.
Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard's goal against Union Berlin on May 17, 2020, when the German championship was resumed. HANNIBAL HANSCHKE / AFP

Like the victorious return of Bayern Munich on Sunday, May 17, the Bundesliga won this weekend its bet to be the first major championship to resume in times of pandemic, a health feat praised by the world of football.

Stars still poorly insured on the field, a goal by Thomas Müller canceled for offside, a penalty transformed by Robert Lewandowski and a goal from the head of Benjamin Pavard … Bayern's unpleasant victory against the Berlin Union (2- 0) however had a taste of caviar for football fans, weaned from matches for more than two months because of the coronavirus.

What to temporarily put in the background the risks inherent in the pandemic and the persistent threat of contamination of players on a large scale, which would demonstrate the flaws in the very strict health protocol imposed on the teams. A “Dance on the razor's edge” summed up former international Dietmar Hamann, star consultant for Sky broadcaster.

In camera, it is in the strange frame of an empty stadium that the Union received Bayern, far from the excitement that usually arouses the coming of the "Rekordmeister", five-time European champion. At Alten Försterei stadium, only 300 people, including a handful of journalists, were allowed to enter the compound, at the cost of having their body temperature checked at the entrance.

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And shortly before kick-off, the police dispersed a group of dozens of supporters who had come in the hope of spotting their idols. "We were right outside the stadium and the police told us to get around"Norbert Kuerzner, a Union supporter who walked with his wife, told AFP.

Despite everything, and in spite of the obvious lack of rhythm of the Bayern players, viewers were again able to see a beautiful poster, big names and beautiful gestures, emotions long overshadowed by the health crisis. In pursuit of an eighth consecutive German championship title, Bayern resumed its season as it stopped in mid-March, with a sixteenth win in 17 games across all competitions.

Hearings to meet

The Bavarian giant is four steps ahead of his runner-up Dortmund, who returned to a point on Saturday after his big success in the derby against Schalke (4-0), which promises a great poster during the "Klassiker" between the two teams on May 26.

And also good audiences: the German channel Sky recorded more than six million viewers in Germany on Saturday and broke its audience ratings for the championship, according to the specialized site DWDL. of. The recovery has also been widely commented around the world, where football has so far only existed in second-tier championships, from Belarus to Turkmenistan.

"This is how the world celebrates our Bundesliga! ", the big popular daily Bild enthuses, noting the many messages of encouragement broadcast by big names in football. "The Bundesliga and we as Germans have shown once again what we can do. From the point of view of discipline, organization and cohesion ", commented world champion Lukas Podolski.

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In health matters, football's "duty to set an example"

In the international press, it is also the enthusiasm of a return to life "Normal" who dominates. "Wunderbar" (("Wonderful"), headlined the German newspaper Mirror on Sunday in German. “They say it, they do it. Thank you the Bundesliga! ", writes forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, currently under contract with AC Milan.

But this recovery remains fragile and subject to the discipline of players and clubs, as shown by some epidermal reactions of hugs to celebrate a goal. These images jumped up in the German political class, on behalf of the "Duty of exemplarity" of football: the powerful head of the Bavarian regional government Markus Söder suggested to the German Football League (DFL) "Strengthen your instructions" to avoid these unwelcome braces.

However, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, boss of Bayern, is positive after this 26th day, which must end on Monday evening with a duel Werder Bremen-Bayer Leverkusen. "The League has done an exceptional job from the medical and organizational point of view", judged the leader at the microphone of Sky. “We are satisfied and happy with it but we must not relax. It will be necessary in the future to follow scrupulously the instructions of the public authorities. "

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The World with AFP


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