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Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich stay top as Barcelona make their move

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth delves into Shaka Hislop's power rankings where Manchester City fell off the map, while Lyon, Benfica and Southampton all made moves forward.
Barcelona's talisman Lionel Messi scored a decisive goal against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey match.
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique insists that his side fully deserved their 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

The top four remain the same in Shaka Hislop's latest countdown but Barcelona's improved recent form sees them return to the upper echelon.

1. Bayern Munich (no change)

Mercifully, the Bundesliga season restarts in just over a week so this space will soon be filled, once again, by comments about actual games. In the meantime, why not catch up on Pep Guardiola declaring love for one of his players, Arjen Robben claiming he was bitten by a crocodile and a busy week for Pepe Reina

2. Real Madrid...

 By Mark Lovell

Best of the British at Bayern Munich: Owen Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves' career was cut short through injury but he is still fondly remembered by Bayern Munich.

With the Bundesliga's winter hibernation finally drawing to a close, our Bayern Munich "Best of British" trilogy also concludes this week with a look at England's Owen Hargreaves.

Yes, it's England's and not Canada's Owen Hargreaves. It's still a moot point for many Canadians as "Hargo" was born and bred in Calgary to an English father and a Welsh mother.

He was desperate to carve out a career in Europe and impressed Bayern as a raw Calgary high school kid on trial in 1997. He was talented enough...

 By Chris Wright

Pep Guardiola shouts 'Badstuber, I love you!' during Bayern Munich training

An amazing snippet of footage has emerged from one of Bayern Munich's recent open training sessions in Doha that captures the absorbing manner in which coach Pep Guardiola motivates his players to improve their passing game.

During a lightning-paced game of "piggy in the middle," Pep can be heard making known his pleasure at the sight of his players manoeuvring the ball with such skill, even yelping "[Holger] Badstuber, I love you!" at one point.

The man's enthusiasm is infectious!

Indeed, it's...

 By Jack Lang

Ex-Bayern Munich defender Breno seeking redemption with Sao Paulo

After serving two-and-a-half years in prison for aggravated arson, former Bayern Munich defender Breno joined Brazilian giants Sao Paulo to restart his football career.
One boy's dream to meet Kaka turned into an experience of a lifetime.
Brazilian stars past and present were in action on Saturday for the annual 'Friends of Zico' charity match.

He calls it an accident, but that was not how the court in Germany saw it in July 2012. Nine months earlier, the luxury villa he rented in a suburb of Munich had burned to the ground. A grave error, surely, but not unintentional, according to judge Rosi Datzman, who handed him a sentence of three years and nine months in prison. Prosecutors had pushed for more.

So it was that Breno, once viewed as one of the most promising young defenders in world football, arrived at his lowest ebb. A career that...

Pepe Reina has had a busy week

Pepe Reina might not have played a football match since Jun. 23, 2014 but the Bayern Munich reserve goalkeeper has been keeping himself busy and, this week, has had plenty to celebrate. 

First, he displayed remarkable agility to pull off a superb overhead kick during a training session (1:48 in the video):

And then, the next day, he tweeted the happy news that he had become a father for the fifth time.