Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has hit out at Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp over the pair’s row regarding the state of the Bundesliga.
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About a fortnight ago, Sammer lashed out at Germany’s top flight and put Bayern’s dominance of the division down to its other teams not working as meticulously as the European champions.
“We are superior not only in quality but also in mentality,” Sammer said.
He suggested that some responsibility must lie with the other clubs who lack the drive and intensity to match Pep Guardiola’s side, who can win the Bundesliga title as early as Saturday when they travel to Mainz.
Klopp was the first to hit back at Sammer, and his words were supported by a number of Bundesliga clubs. The Dortmund boss said that he does not know what exactly Sammer does at Bayern, while he should “thank God every day that somebody had the idea” to bring him to the Bavarian club.
“I think that Bayern would not have less points without Matthias Sammer,” Klopp added.
Sammer, speaking to Sky Deutschland a day later, played down the row, and said: “It is the strength of FC Bayern that we are only focused on. That is my answer [to Klopp].”
Less than a fortnight on from those comments, however, the former Dortmund player and coach has moved to hit back at Klopp in an interview with Sport Bild.
“I don’t really get all the excitement. Just look at what the league has done on the European level,” Sammer said. “One of the strongest leagues in the world, as it is sometimes said, will only have a maximum of two clubs left in the international competitions. That’s just not enough.
“Content-wise, my ‘message to the outside’ was principally right, but I could have done without one sentence. And that was ‘that other clubs might not do that [work as hard as Bayern].’ That was redundant. My message was a different one.”
Sammer then elaborated on what he believes is a “Neid-Debatte,” -- a debate on unequal opportunities.
"Considering the performance principle in football, I don’t get this,” he said. “I stated that quality is one thing, but to train as if there was no tomorrow is another thing, that is the most important point.”
Sammer then turned his attention to Dortmund and Klopp, saying: “I don’t have to stew over what others give thought to. My starting point was a grudge, performance and consistency, which all influence the development of German football. I also know that once I voice my thoughts others will reply.”
Sammer added that he never directly addressed any Bundesliga club, and that he is surprised that Klopp, who was asked for his opinion during a news conference, took it to a personal level.
“That was the only thing that really surprised me,” he said. “My statement was very broadly speaking. You might think the content is not right. But I never addressed anyone personally. That it is taken to a personal level and that this gets relatively good feedback, I found noteworthy. I for my part have no problem [with Klopp].”