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BVB opponents Bruges Honest work

Those were still times under Ernst Happel. The legendary coach of Hamburger SV and the Dutch national team, the biggest grantler football has ever known, he was also a coach at FC Bruges. And like everywhere where Happel was, there was also success.

The team stormed into the European Cup final of the national champions in 1978 and only failed there at FC Liverpool. The year before, the Belgians had demanded everything from German champions Borussia Mönchengladbach in the quarter-finals, with a back-head goal from Gladbach’s Wilfried Hannes deciding the return leg. No Gladbach fan has forgotten that.

That was a long time ago, and Club Brugge KV, as it is officially called, has experienced many lean years since then. But the club is slowly moving from the picturesquely beautiful Belgian city back to the European level. FC are back in the Champions League for the first time in 13 years, and once again it is a Borussia who crosses their path there. In the evening, the home Jan Breydel stadium will play against the Dortmunders, and the hosts are ready to give the favourite a big fight just like in 1977.

Under Croatian coach Ivan Leko, Bruges became national champion in May, and the start to the new season was almost perfect. Six of the first seven games were won, a draw was added and Bruges are once again the leaders of the league. And even more important: The eternal rival RSC Anderlecht was defeated 2:1. The world in Bruges is fine at the moment.

Both clubs have a lot in common

The coach has his share in this. Leko knows the Belgian league very well, he has played there for years, with Bruges, Beerschot, SC Lokeren. He has already coached the VV Sint-Truiden in the league before Bruges, since last year he has been in charge in Bruges. Already in his first year the championship was a success.

FC Bruges and Borussia Dortmund – both clubs have a lot in common. Tradition is written in capital letters, FC can look back on 127 years of club history: as early as 1920 they were the first Belgian title holder, 14 other championships and twelve national cup victories were added afterwards. The derby with the local competitor Cercle is taken almost as seriously as the district derby, it is the duel of the Flemish FC against the French-speaking Cercle. However, the derby was cancelled recently. Cercle spent bad times in the second division, and this season the club has managed to regain its place. On Saturday the league duel will be played out.

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Almost as popular as the cyclists

FC Bruges is an old workers’ club, which is one of the reasons why it stands out from the bourgeois RSC Anderlecht. The club has managed to be almost as popular as cycling in Flanders. René Vandereycken, Gert Verheyen, Jan Ceulemans or Frankie Van der Elst, the former idols of FC, have a sound almost like the Flemish heroes on the bike, like Johan Museeuw, Roger De Vlaeminck, Lucien Van Impe, Eddy Planckaert. Only the great Eddie Merckx is enthroned above everything. LVBET is one of those casino games that doesn’t need deposit.

It is rather doubtful that one of FC’s current squads will make the leap into the hall of fame of Flemish sport. Nevertheless, Leko has built a team that is capable of at least annoying the BVB, if not defeating them in front of 30,000 euphoric fans in its own stadium. The storm with Brazilian Wesley and his Iranian counterpart Kaveh Rezaei does not necessarily meet the highest European standards, but it is backed by a midfield that is strong in both play and battle, with Dutchman Ruud Vormer and Krépin Diatta from Senegal. Not names that enjoy an international reputation, but a team that performs as one. Determined to do everything.

One of them at BVB has Belgian experience. Midfielder Axel Witsel has been away from home since 2011, from Lisbon to Petersburg to China, but before that he had been competing with FC Bruges for Standard Liège for six years. The final battle with his old club against Bruges took place in the 2011 Champions Round.


FC Liverpool in the Champions League Klopps team dares to do the splits

“We are Liverpool – This means more”, is written on the glass facade of the “Kop” grandstand. Songs are hymns here, the fans are a family, the stadium is a home and the coach a saviour, according to an accompanying advertising campaign. The club is offensive with the folklore that surrounds it, it plays out its own exaggeration. In the end, however, it’s also about winning for him. Goals and points, titles and trophies.

Last season, the team of coach Jürgen Klopp almost had the greatest success that European club football has to offer. In the Champions League it was only in the final against Real Madrid that the match ended, under unfavourable circumstances, after the two failures of the German goalkeeper Loris Karius.

FC Liverpool have upgraded to the new season. The club have invested more than 180 million euros in fresh staff and strengthened their squad in key areas. The Brazilian Alisson has recently taken care of the goal. The previously solid midfield was refined with Naby Keïta from Leipzig and the Brazilian Fabinho. Former Bayern professional Xherdan Shaqiri was an additional option for the offensive. There is therefore little reason why Liverpool should not be considered one of the closest candidates to win the Champions League.

Loris Karius Honours

Liverpool

  • UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2017–18

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Gary Neville advises to give away in the European Cup

The start of the competition on this Tuesday in his own stadium against Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain (9 pm, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE; TV: DAZN) is, however, surrounded by the question of how seriously Klopp’s club should take the European Cup. Ex-national player and TV expert Gary Neville has suggested in the Times that Liverpool should neglect the Champions League and concentrate on the Premier League title.

This proposal is based on the assumption that it is only possible to be successful in one of the two competitions – but not in both at the same time. Keyword multiple burden. And because Liverpool started the league with the maximum yield of five wins from five games and can hope to end the wait for the first championship since 1990, Neville believes that the priority should be on the national business.

The idea is not entirely absurd. The title fight in England is tougher than in Germany, Spain or France. This is because the Premier League, at least in theory, has four to five contenders for the championship. Manchester City also set new standards in the past season. It is an ambitious undertaking to dethrone Josep Guardiola’s team. Any additional competition could be detrimental. It’s a balancing act with the risk that it could tear the team apart.

“How is that supposed to work?

For Klopp, however, it’s out of the question to tackle the Champions League with only half the force. Just because he has no idea what it should look like in practice, that’s all. “How is that supposed to work? Shouldn’t we compete? Should we let our youth play? That would be fun,” says the coach. He’s also driven by the defeat in the finals in the previous season: “We’re not satisfied at all”. None of us thinks: “That’s all. It was good to make it to the final. But we want to do better – for the club and the people here.” Probably the club of the European Cup could not care less, even if it told itself that. Slotsmillion casino is only focusing on slots game unlike any other casino games where they offer various types.

Hardly any other club draws so much identity from its long and successful history in international business as Liverpool, for hardly any other club are matches against teams from abroad so important. When the floodlights are lit on Anfield Road, when the smell of frying fat mixes with that of Bengal torches in the narrow streets around the venue and the spectators sing their songs in the stadium well before the start of the match, while in the league they are not comfortable until the whistle blows to their seats, then the club is completely on its own. Then the impossible is possible, as was the case last season, when Manchester City were run over in the quarter-finals and AS Rome in the semi-finals on Anfield Road.

The league did not suffer as a result. Liverpool reached their goal and qualified for the Champions League for the second time in a row. And this despite the fact that in the final phase of the season, due to injuries and wear and tear, the team had “only twelve professionals” left at their disposal, as Klopp says in a more pointed way.

In the new season, the squad is better and wider. The trainer has more possibilities and has not yet shown a lot of potential to advantage. Captain Jordan Henderson, for example, has so far only played a minor role, Keïta’s playing times have been carefully adjusted, Fabinho is still waiting for his first appearance for the new coach.


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Inter Milan back in the Champions League off the hook

When the summit is reached, only the descent remains. Inter Milan was at the top of European football in 2010. The Champions League victory, the Italian championship, the cup – under the leadership of José Mourinho, the team grabbed everything, won the historic triple. Samuel Eto’o was in the storm, Wesley Sneijder conjured up the magic, Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Lúcio – what a team!

This was followed by a fall into international insignificance. In the 2010/2011 season, Inter were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals – a 2-5 humiliation against Schalke 04, the following year it was already in the last 16. After that, the Milanese were unable to qualify for the premier league for six consecutive seasons.

Almost seven years have passed since Inter played against Tottenham in the premier league on Tuesday. A long time, almost an eternity in the fast-moving football business. Real Madrid won the title four times during this time, the Bavarians were also able to cheer, as was FC Barcelona.

During these years, Inter Milan was in the upper midfield of Serie A, finishing sixth, ninth and fifth. And he was kicked out in the Europa League against VfL Wolfsburg.

Lukas Podolski was also once with Inter

With time the glamour vanished more and more. Little remained of the former star ensemble. They wanted to get Arturo Vidal, Marcel Sabitzer, Antonio Rüdiger, but they didn’t get any. Lukas Podolski was here once, but he was quickly gone again. A misunderstanding. Also the coach position was hardly occupied by a big name like Mourinho anymore: Antonio Conte, Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink? The Kl made the headlines.

The club still made the headlines, but most of the time it was financial matters. Inter accumulated debts, 140 million euros in the 2014/2015 season and 60 million in the following season. Owner Erick Thohir, an Indonesian businessman, rarely showed up and obviously had no vision for the club.

In 2016, the Chinese billion-euro group Suning took over the majority stake in Inter Milan. The company paid 270 million euros; it was the first Chinese takeover of a large European club. Suning promised itself a good return, but above all also a showcase for the company in the West. The announcement of the new management was clear: the Champions League was to be entered as quickly as possible. To know more about Fun casino, take a look at their review.

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Marcel Sabitzer Honours

  • Austrian Bundesliga: 2014–15
  • Austrian Cup: 2014–15

“Crazy Inter”

But the sporting success didn’t want to happen overnight, Suning provided a lot of money, but also irritated with the open ignorance of local customs. So they parted company with coach Roberto Mancini and soon after with his successor Frank de Boer – without having a replacement in the back. Instead, a bizarre coaching casting was organised in a hotel.

The supporters of the club didn’t find these escapades very funny. Over the years, fewer and fewer spectators came to the historic Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in San Siro. “Pazza Inter” is the name of the club anthem, “crazy inter”. Sometimes, however, it was a bit too crazy for Inter conditions, an episode between parts of the infamous Ultras and captain and superstar Mauro Icardi caused a stir in 2016.

The Argentinean had reported in a book about an argument that started when the fans fired back his shirt thrown into the crowd. A heated battle of words followed, in the cabin Icardi was warned of the infamous fans, but that didn’t scare him. He threatened to bring criminals from the Argentinean town of Rosario, where he comes from, to get them to take on his critics. In the end, Icardi deleted the passage from his book, paid a fine, but remained captain.