“In Germany, too many clubs behave with an element of fear against Bayern, both verbally and on the pitch.”
That’s the opinion of Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who believes that the other 16 teams in the Bundesliga are scared of Bayern Munich before, during and after stepping onto the field with the three-time defending league champions.
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Bayern, who this term could become the first club to win the league in four consecutive seasons, benefit from teams that wave the proverbial white flag before the first whistle even blows and simply aim to limit the damage when facing Pep Guardiola’s side, says Hummels, a 2014 World Cup winner with Germany.
Hummels, on the grossly excessive respect given to Bayern, from Kicker (translation via Soccerly):
“You often get the feeling that many other teams have already written off their matches against Bayern before the game even starts. … They would do well to cut that out.”
As for his own team’s prospects this season (Dortmund finished seventh in 2014-15 after a miserable start to the season), Hummels insists Thomas Tuchel’s first season in charge (Jurgen Klopp resigned at the end of last season) must result in a top-four finish at minimum, but much more ideally a place in the top three.
“For us players, it’s clear that what counts is places one to three (in the league), with fourth place as a bare minimum. That’s what we’re working for.”
Dortmund also have a home-and-away Europa League qualification playoff with Austrian side Wolfsberger AC that kicks off this Thursday, June 30, before their domestic campaign begins on Aug. 15, at home against Borussia Monchengladbach, third-place finishers last season.