Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN (10) of Bayern Munich left-foots the ball past Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Belgium international goalkeeper LOGAN BAILLY (30), who has since been sent out on loan by die Fohlen to Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax, for the only goal of the Bundesliga match contested last spring at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
Considering the new trainer the Bavarian club have hired for this season, perhaps it is most appropriate that BAYERN MUNICH will begin its 2011-12 campaign against BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH on the road in western Germany near the border with Belgium.
Even though the old Boekelbergstadion has since been demolished and replaced by apartment buildings, the North Rhine-Westphalian town is still the scene where West Germany international striker JUPP HEYNCKES — a European champion in 1972 and World Cup winner two years later — scored boatloads of goals (218 in leauge play alone) for die Fohlen.
Back then, Borussia Moenchengladbach, who won five league championships and two UEFA Cups in a ten-year span, and Bayern Munich, who captured three domestic titles in addition to three European Cups during that same span, were both very powerful clubs consistently battling at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Three regulars last season — Belgium international defender FILIP DAEMS (3), Venezuela international midfielder JUAN ARANGO (middle) and former Germany U-21 international midfielder THORBEN MARX (14) — all return to Swiss trainer LUCIEN FAVRE’s Borussia Moenchengladbach side to begin this 2011-12 Bundesliga season.
Just like their scheduled opposition to open the new Bundesliga season on Sunday, BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH and Swiss trainer LUCIEN FAVRE won its first competitive match of the new campaign with the 3-1 victory in the first round of the D.F.B. Pokal on the road opposite SVV Jahn Regensburg, who finished 8th in the German third division last side, in Bavaria.
Belgium international IGOR DE CAMARGO, a transfer last summer from Jupiler League side Standard Liege, finished as die Fohlen’s top forward with seven goals and will feature up front with Germany 2006 World Cup striker MIKE HANKE, who scored one goal and laid on six others for Borussia Moenchengladbach following a free transfer from Hannover 96 last winter. Also at the disposal of Favre is 31-year-old veteran Cameroon international MOHAMMADOU IDRISSOU, who notched five goals in the Bundesliga a year ago. And Argentine striker RAUL BOBADILLA, who had three goals in 14 Bundesliga games last fall, has returned to North Rhine-Westphalia after finishing last term out on loan with FC Aris Thessaloniki in Greece.
Attack-minded MICHAEL REUS, who led die Fohlen wih 10 goals in 32 Bundesliga games last season, will anchor the midfield for Borussia Moenchengladbach along with the experienced 31-year-old international JUAN ARANGO, who recently won his 100th cap for Venezuela at the Copa America tournament this summer. Former SC Hertha Berlin man THORBEN MARX has 210 Bundesliga matches under his belt in his career while United States World Cup midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY, who tallied three goals in 19 Bundesliga games before heading to England for a bench-warming spell with Aston Villa, is now back with Borussia. Another to watch is 21-year-old Norway international HAVARD NORDTVEIT, who made 16 Bundesliga appearances after the Winterpause with Moenchengladbach last term following his transfer from English club FC Arsenal in London.
25-year-old Sweden international OSCAR WENDT has signed on a free transfer from Danish club FC Copenhagen to join a Borussia backline corps that already includes aging Belgium international FILIP DAEMS, the Brazilian cult hero DANTE as well as experienced Austria international MARTIN STRANZL, the one-time Vfb Stuttgart defender who was purchased last winter from powerful Russian side Spartak Moscow for 800,000 Euros.
CHRISTOFER HEIMEROTH, the man who conceded three goals to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga draw at Borussia Park last November, is the likely first choice between the sticks for die Fohlen now that Belgium international LOGAN BAILLY has been farmed out to Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland.
With Germany World Cup reserve goalkeeper HANS-JOERG BUTT lying beaten and Belgium international defender DANIEL VAN BUYTEN (5) of Bayern Munich surveying the damage, 22-year-old attacking midfielder MARCO REUS (11) of Borussia Moenchengladbach runs away after scoring a goal during the 3-3 Bundesliga draw at the Stadion im Borussia Park on Hennes Weisweiler Allee in North Rhine-Westphalia last November.
fw – Raul BOBADILLA – Argentina —— fr FC Aris Thessaloniki (Gre)
fw – Joshua KING – Norway —————- fr Manchester United (Eng)
mf – Michael BRADLEY – USA int’l —— fr Aston Villa (Eng)
mf – Yuki OTSU – Japan ———————- fr Kashiwa Reysol (Jap)
mf – Mathew LECKIE – Australia ——— fr Adelaide City (Aus)
mf – Lukas RUPP ——————————— fr SC Karlsruhe
df – Oscar WENDT – Sweden int’l ——– fr FC Copenhagen (Den)
df – Matthias ZIMMERMAN —————- fr SC Karlsruhe
mf – Karim MATMOUR – Algeria int’l ——– to Eintracht Frankfurt
mf – Marcel MEEUWIS – Holland ————– to VVV Venlo (Hol)
df – ANDERSON BAMBA – Brazil ————— to Eintracht Frankfurt
df – Sebastien SCHACHTEN ———————– to FC St. Pauli Hamburg
df – Jens WISSING ————————————- to SC Paderborn
gk – Logan BAILLY – Belgium int’l ————– to Neuchatel Xamax (Switz)
(Bobadila and Bradley had both been sent out on loan by Borussia Moenchengladbach in January of 2011, King is out on loan to die Fohlen from English club Manchester United for this season; Meeuwis had been out on loan to Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam since February of 2011, Bailly is out on loan to Swiss side FC Neuchatel Xamax while Anderson Bamba has been farmed out to 2.Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt)
Sweden international defender OSCAR WENDT of Danish club FC Copenhagen, who has earned 16 caps for Tre Kronor and will soon be making his debut in the Bundesliga for Borussia Moenchengladbach this season, slide tackles debutant Germany midfielder LEWIS HOLTBY (8), at the time out on loan from Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen to FSV 05 Mainz, during the goalless draw in Gothenburg last November.