Bayerischer Derbyspiel For 50th Bundesliga Opener


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Holland international winger ARJEN ROBBEN of Bayern Munich, who has racked up 40 goals in 62 Bundesliga games since arriving from Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, hops over the sliding tackle of since-departed SpVgg Greuther Fuerth defender KIM FALKENBERG during the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal quarterfinal match at the Allianz Arena on February 10, 2010.
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Proud record German champions BAYERN MUNICH will kick off the 50th Bundesliga season with a historic, first-ever meeting in the top flight with the newly-promoted, intra-state Bavarian rival to the north, SPVGG GREUTHER FUERTH, on the road this Saturday at the little TROLLI ARENA with its capacity for 15,200 spectators.

The two clubs have not met in any league competition in almost half a century dating back to an Oberliga Sued contest in January of 1965. SpVgg Greuther Fuerth, of course, have just been promoted to the Bundesliga for the very first time ever. There have been two relatively-recent derby matches between the two sides in the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal, though.

Outgunned but brave SpVgg Greuther Fuerth did manage to hold mighty Bayern Munich to a 0-0 draw during the 1998/99 Cup competition only to see the traditional German giants triumph 4-3 on penalty kicks. Only just a few years ago, however, Bayern Munich rolled to a 6-2 win in the quarterfinals of the D.F.B. Pokal over die Kleeblaetter (clover leaves). And, all of Bayern Munich’s goal-scorers from that particular contest — captain Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben — are still menacingly on the books of the typically-successful club from southern Bavaria.

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Germany international winger THOMAS MUELLER netted two goals for Bayern Munich against Ivory Coast international goalkeeper STEPHAN LOBOUE, who has since moved to South Africa and signed with Lamontville Golden Arrows, in the lopsided 6-2 victory over SpVgg Greuther Fuerth at the quarterfinal stage of the 2010 D.F.B. Pokal.
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SpVgg Greuther Fuerth were knocked out of the 2012/13 D.F.B. Pokal only just last week, as a matter of fact. Interesting enough, neither of the two most expensive players purchased by the club with three German national championships to its credit appeared for veteran trainer MIKE BUESKENS’ side in the 2-0 loss to third division Kickers Offenbach. Hungary international midfielder ZOLTAN STIEBER was bought from FSV 05 Mainz for a fee of 900,000 Euros and Senegal international striker BAYE DJIBY FALL comes from Belgian club KSC Lokeren at a cost of 800,000 Euros but both have yet to make their official debut.

One of the summer acquisitions who has gotten his feet wet with his new employers in the German Cup already is Denmark international TOBIAS MIKKELSEN, the 25-year-old winger and veteran of Euro ’12 who arrived at SpVgg Greuther Fuerth from FC Nordjaelland in lieu of 500,000 Euros.

Canada international striker OLIVIER OCCEAN, the former Southern Connecticut State University collegiate All-American who led die Kleeblaetter with 17 goals in the 2.Bundesliga last term, was sold off to Eintracht Frankfurt this summer for the transfer fee of 1.3 million Euros but striker CHRISTOPHER NOETHE, the 24-year-old, one-time Borussia Dortmund prospect who notched 13 goals for SpVgg Greuther Fuerth in the second division last season, returns as does youthful Turkey international winger SERCAN SARARER, (9 goals).

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Current SpVgg Greuther Fuerth first choice MAX GRUEN is a 25-year-old, former Bayern Munich youth product who transferred north to the Bavarian club then in the 2.Bundesliga after making three appearances in the 3.Bundesliga for the Bayern Munich II reserve side during the 2008/09 season.
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All three of the German national titles earned by the club first founded in 1903 and originally known as Sportvereinigung Fuerth were earned in the early part of the twentieth century (1914, 1926, 1929); many years later, this club eventually merged with the football club of Turn-und-Sportverein Vestenbergsgreuth in July of 1996 and, appropriately re-named, has now worked its way up the ladder to the domestic top flight.

The century-old site where the little Trolli Arena stands has been hosting football matches since 1910; the location was originally referred to as “Sportplatz am Ronhofer Weg gegenueber dem Zentral-Friedhof” — this translates literally into the amusing ‘Sport place on Ronhofer Way (lane, etc.) opposite the Central Cemetery”.

The can be no question, SpVgg Greuther Fuerth would love to celebrate its historic Bundesliga debut by pulling off the proverbial ‘giant-killing’ of visiting Bayern Munich this Saturday.

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Aging international GERALD ASAMOAH, the soon-to-be 35-year-old native of Ghana and long-time Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen striker who was capped 43 times (6 goals) for Germany, registered five goals in ten 2.Bundesliga contests after signing for SpVgg Greuther Fuerth last January.

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