May. 09, 2020
Bundesliga to Return?
Hello! Now that my classes are done and I have about a month until I leave for my internship, I am going to try to improve my sports journalism skills by writing on here every day. I primarily focus on European football/soccer, but I cover all sports. If you have any suggestions on what I should write about or tips to improve, my email is [email protected] To start, I decided to start with the Bundesliga planning to return on May 16th.
As of Thursday, May 7th, the German top flight is going to resume next Saturday after the government gave them the go-ahead Wednesday. For many people, including myself, this could be the start of things finally getting back to normal. The past few weeks have been filled with reports of how all of these leagues are planning to restart, including a "World Cup" style Premier League return. However, none of these reports have panned out and they never even seemed like a real possibility. I began to stop paying attention to new "updates" or "plans" when it came to league restarts. There was no need to get my hopes up. The reports have been from "finishing the season before June 30th" to "there may be no football played in 2020" and with the Eredivisie and Ligue Un already being canceled, things were starting to look worse. The Bundesliga, however, finally gave us a definite answer on returning and it was much sooner than expected.
The first thing that came to mind when I heard the news was the importance of the Bundesliga pulling this off. All of Europe and possibly the world will be monitoring the situation in Germany closely. If they are able to get into June with no serious increase in COVID-19 cases, the rest of the leagues may not be done after all. However, if players and staff start testing positive and the cases in Germany increase, we could have to wait until 2021 to see European football. As of now, there is no Champions League or Europa League. This will allow the clubs to focus solely on the league and get it done as quick as possible. As of now, it is scheduled to conclude on June 30th with the playoff game. This will obviously allow players with expiring contracts to officially leave the club on July 1st and not have to worry about confusing contract negotiations until the season is completed.
If you aren't a big Bundesliga fan or you just haven't been paying much attention this year, here is what you should watch for as the season gets back underway.
Every team except for Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt have played 25 games, meaning nine games remain for most teams as the Bundesliga only has 34 games in a season. At the time of writing, Bayern are four points clear of second-placed Dortmund, with Leipzig, Monchengladbach, and Leverkusen following close behind. The teams fighting for the final Europa League spot include Schalke, Wolfsburg, Freiburg, and Hoffenheim. If relegation stories are more your thing, Bremen are four points away from 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf with a game in hand. 16th doesn't guarantee safety. but it gives them a chance to stay up with the promotion playoff game with the third-placed team in the second tier. Bremen have only spent one season outside of the Bundesliga (1980-81) since the league was founded in 1963. The club has also won four Bundesliga titles in their history. Seeing how they end up will definitely be worth paying attention to, especially if it's the only league on.
It's a two-horse race for the Golden Boot with Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (25) leading Leipzig's Timo Werner (21) by four goals. Jadon Sancho of Dortmund is in third place with 14. Lewandowski needs 15 goals to equal Gerd Muller's record of 40 goals in a season. A record that was set nearly 50 years ago. Speaking of legendary Muller's, Thomas leads the league in assists with 16, leading Sancho by one. It has been a bounce-back season for the German international as he attempts to lead his club to its eighth title in a row.
We have plenty to look forward to as the league gets closer to returning. The league has something for everyone. If you would love to see a seven-year streak come to an end, there is a big possibility of that happening. If you want to root for a big club to escape relegation, you have that as well. Let's just hope the long break does not cause injuries to players. I believe this league can pull it off and we will have a great month and a half of football no matter what happens with the other leagues. So go ahead and pick a team to root for now and get ready to watch the excitement unfold.
If you would like to read stuff I have written previously for class, click on my profile. I have stories on the history of the Premier League, how to understand the Champions League if you are new to the sport and much more. I will be back every day with a new story. Follow if you enjoyed and be sure to email me with suggestions. Thank you!