Football: Bundesliga will still attract talent, say ex-Germany players Neuville and Owomoyela

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti talks with Arjen Robben during a match.
Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti talks with Arjen Robben during a match.PHOTO: EPA

Ex-Germany players Neuville & Owomoyela won't dwell on loss of big-name coaches

The departures of big-name managers like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola for the English Premier League have been a loss to the German Bundesliga.

But while it is painful to lose such top coaches to other leagues, Germany's top football league is not drained of talent, insist two former Germany internationals.

Former striker Oliver Neuville said: "For sure, it's a loss when you lose great coaches, but you always get someone else in return.

"For example, you have Carlo Ancelotti, who has come and taken over at Bayern Munich."

Ancelotti is the only coach to have won the Champions League three times and the Italian has helmed some of the biggest clubs - Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Added former midfielder Patrick Owomoyela, who played under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund: "You see young German coaches coming up, like Hoffenheim's coach Julian Nagelsmann. He's doing a great job now. (The departure of big-name managers) gives these newer and younger coaches a chance to shine."

IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN

I'm disappointed that he came for just three years, won the league for three years, and left. Maybe it was too easy for him?

OLIVER NEUVILLE , former Germany striker, on former Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola's three-year stint at the Bundesliga club.

Nagelsmann was just 28 when he took over the reins at Hoffenheim in February and became the youngest coach in Bundesliga history.

He saved them from relegation, and this season, they are unbeaten in 10 league games and are currently third in the standings.

But Guardiola's departure irked Neuville, who expressed disappointment that the Spaniard, who won a record 14 trophies in four years in charge at Barcelona, did not stay longer with Bayern.

Guardiola joined Manchester City at the start of this season after clinching a hat-trick of Bundesliga titles, lifting the German Cup twice, and winning the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

Neuville, 43, who played at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals, said: "I'm disappointed that he came for just three years, won the league for three years, and left.

"Maybe it was too easy for him?"

Klopp tasted success in Germany too as he won the league twice with Dortmund before joining Liverpool last year.

Neuville and Owomoyela are in Singapore for tomorrow's Battle of Europe between the England Masters and the Germany Masters.

The duo, along with their English counterparts Luke Young and Michael Thomas, took part in a football clinic organised jointly by the Lutheran Community Care Services and Masters Football Asia.

Around 60 primary school pupils from five schools (Cedar, Canberra, Yew Tee, Westwood and Tanjong Katong) attended the hour-long session at Premier Pitch at Turf City yesterday.

They were put through football drills under the watch of the former internationals.

But while some were no doubt aiming to pick up some skills on the pitch as they dreamt of glory, Owomoyela noted that it takes more than just technique to become a champion.

Asked why Germany always seem to perform their best at major tournaments including the World Cup, which they have won four times, he cited discipline as a big factor in the Germans' success.

The 37-year-old said: "I was kicked out of the team before the 2006 World Cup because I lacked focus. It hurts.

"Germany is a 'tournament team'. Whenever it comes to a big tournament, even though we might struggle before the tournament starts, we'll always find a way to get ourselves into a right mood and mental shape."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline ''Bundesliga will still attract talent''. Print Edition | Subscribe