Soccer: A classic clash that could decide young talents Bellingham and Musiala

DORTMUND – He is the highly respected national captain who led West Germany to World Cup glory in 1990, but even the normally composed Lothar Matthaus lost his cool one fiery afternoon in April 1997.

Frustrated by the antics of his national teammate Andreas Moller during their Bundesliga clash, Bayern Munich’s Matthaus stood in front of his rival and rubbed his eyes, as if to mock the Borussia Dortmund attacker for being a crybaby.

Moller responded by slapping his opponent’s face.

“I wanted to tell him to keep playing, to prove that you are a man,” Matthaus said.

The match ended 1–1, but the rivalry between the two clubs, known as Der Klassiker, intensified from then on.

While famous football battles are drawn along political (Real Madrid-Barcelona), religious (Rangers-Celtic) and geographical (Manchester United-Manchester City) lines, Der Klassiker is simply a showdown between two of the world’s greatest clubs. successful from Germany.

On Saturday, the German giants are set for their 107th Bundesliga clash when they meet at Signal Iduna Park.

The game has been lopsided in recent seasons: Bayern have won their last seven league games and 14 of 20 in lifting the last 10 Bundesliga crowns. But this season’s clash looks to be the most competitive yet, with the top six teams within three points of surprise leaders Union Berlin after eight games.

Both Dortmund and Bayern are packed with established stars, but this tie could be determined by their talented and highly sought-after youngsters who are also former England youth international teammates and friends off the pitch.

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In the yellow corner, Jude Bellingham has already been entrusted with the captain’s armband despite still being a teenager. Able to slot deeper into midfield or play as an inverted winger, the Englishman is capable of marrying aggression with fluid passing and movement, which can cause problems for opponents.

In the red corner, 19-year-old Jamal Musiala, who has since switched his allegiance to the German national team, is a more attacking midfielder who loves to dribble and already has five goals and three assists in seven games.

The players will not be the only ones who will influence the outcome.

With this match played in Dortmund without Covid-19 restrictions for the first time in three years, its famous south terrace, nicknamed Die Gelbe Wand or The Yellow Wall in German, will come to life again. This will see some 25,000 fans form the largest and probably the most passionate and picturesque independent grandstand in Europe.

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