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Talking football with Xabi Alonso

Bundesliga 1 day ago
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 By Mark Lovell
22 hours ago

Player Ratings: Robben and company cruise against Hoffenheim

Bastian Schweinsteiger marked his comeback from injury by setting up Bayern Munich's final goal as the defending champions stretched their Bundesliga lead with a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim.

Bayern Munich moved to seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a routine 4-0 victory against hapless Hoffenheim.

If you thought Bayern would struggle after the loss of captain Philipp Lahm due to injury, think again. Two goals in each half sealed a never-threatened ninth league win, with the added bonus of Bastian Schweinsteiger's long-awaited return to the fray. Bayern's goal difference stands at a not-too-shoddy 28. Pep Guardiola's charges will be crowned champions; the only question...

1 day ago

Talking football with Xabi Alonso

ESPN FC's Raf Honigstein sits down with Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso where he talks about his move from Real Madrid and the similarities between the Bundesliga and Premier League.

It's sounds odd to call a World Cup, European championship and Champions League winner a revelation, but that's exactly what Xabi Alonso has been since swapping the white of Real Madrid with the red and white of Bayern Munich this summer. The Spaniard has emerged as the most influential player in the Bundesliga in the space of only three months.

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein sat down with the 32-year-old at Bayern's club centre last week to talk tactics, manager Pep Guardiola and Bavarian architecture.

How...

 By Mark Lovell
2 days ago

Philipp Lahm's fractured ankle forces Bayern Munich to look at depth

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has been ruled out for three months with a broken ankle.

Losing someone of Philipp Lahm's caliber would be a crushing blow to every single club on the planet. Even to this buoyant Bayern Munich side, unbeaten in all competitions this season, losing their skipper and talisman is more than a slight inconvenience.

The 31-year-old went under the knife on Thursday morning after his untimely ankle fracture suffered in training on Tuesday which will rule him out for three months. He will spend a few days in hospital after having a surgical plate and screw...

 By Mark Lovell
4 days ago

Bayern will be able to cope without Lahm

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has been ruled out for three months with a broken ankle.

Philipp Lahm surprised many by retiring from Germany just five days after lifting the World Cup. In an opening gambit for ESPN FC, I pondered the positive effect Lahm's sudden international retirement would have on Bayern Munich, and it certainly has proved a blessing for the Bavarians.

A fit, fresh and firing Lahm has started every competitive game this season, and the Reds march on in their customary fashion, unbeaten in all competitions. Naturally, Bayern will also safely winter in the final...

 By Chris Atkins
5 days ago

Bayern youngster Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ready to fill Philipp Lahm void

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has been ruled out for three months with a broken ankle.

As a 19-year-old at one of the biggest clubs on earth, decisions can be difficult to make. On the one hand, players are normally understandably confident of their own ability to eventually make first-team level -- self-belief being a prerequisite to reach the very top level. Yet, for many, there is also a stark understanding of the realities of the challenge they face.

For Bayern Munich's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, that time has come. Once of Brondby, the Denmark international midfielder is now in his...

 By Mark Lovell
6 days ago

Xherdan Shaqiri shining for Swiss but needs to move from Bayern Munich

Xherdan Shaqiri has impressed for his country, but not his club.

Xherdan Shaqiri's impudent back-heel goal for Switzerland in the 4-0 win over Lithuania on Saturday is a timely reminder of the undoubted quality of a player who has been languishing for too long on the fringes at his club Bayern Munich.

Shaqiri is already in his third season in Bavaria with 11 goals in 51 Bundesliga appearances. But sadly for the Swiss midfield star, he remains little more than a bit-part player at the German champions, and the signs are that the situation won't change any time...