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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Football

‘Pep proof of Bundesliga’s growing reputation’
Ajai Masand, Hindustan Times
Frankfurt, April 07, 2013
First Published: 00:02 IST(7/4/2013)
Last Updated: 01:37 IST(7/4/2013)

The world might believe that the Spanish coach with the magic wand Pep Guardiola’s move to Bayern Munich is the best thing to happen to the German giants. But the Bundesliga managing director, Andreas Rettig, said it's the growing reputation of the club that has drawn the former Barcelona manager to Bavaria.

“It is because of the real good work done by Bayern. The coming of Guardiola is a big sign that the reputation of the Bundesliga has grown. People (coaches and managers) like him think that in the future the Bundesliga will have the economic power similar to other top European leagues,” said Rettig.

After spending a good two decades with Bayer Leverkusen in various capacities, Rettig took a sabbatical from coaching. But a call from the German Football League president, Reinhard Rauball, one fine morning asking him to take up this job brought him back to football.

“It’s not that (the current Bayern coach) Juup Heynckes (who is retiring at the end of the season) wasn’t good enough. He won the Champions League title with Real Madrid (1997-98). But in today’s situation, Guardiola is a really big coach and this development is really good for the Bundesliga’s reputation,” said Rettig.

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Market called India
Talking about the success of German football, Rettig feels it’s got to do with teams doing well on the international stage. “The most important thing is the success of (German) teams in international arenas such as the Champions League. That has enhanced the reputation of German clubs all over the world, and, hopefully, India too will be a big market for the Bundesliga soon. But that will take not days but years as the Bundesliga has come to the party a bit late as compared to the English Premier League and the Spanish League clubs," he said.

“Of course, there could be historical reasons too as India was a British colony and is part of the Commonwealth. Perhaps, that could be a reason why the Premier League is more popular there,” said Kay Dammholz, vice-president sales, audio visual rights. But Rettig is sure the Bundesliga has not missed the bus. “Our success on the field will translate into increased presence in India,” he said.

His message to Indian football though needed a bit of coaxing: “You have to care about some basic points and one of them is financial stability. Don’t spend more money than you actually have and always spend on youth academies. Build your own players and do not depend on other markets,” though he is quick to add “I am not the right judge sitting thousands of miles away from your country.”

The writer's trip has been sponsored by Neo Sports.


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