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Bayern II to visit Kolkata again

sports Updated: Jan 09, 2009 23:05 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Less than one year after Oliver Kahn played his last match in a Bayern shirt in Kolkata, the German giants are returning to the city.

This time with their second team but one which has the legendary World Cup winner Gerd Mueller as assistant-coach.

“The Bayern II team is now training here and it is very cold so they would be looking forward to practising in more comfortable temperatures,” Martin Haegele, the club’s director international affairs, told HT from Munich on Friday.

They are likely to be here for at least one week and could play two friendlies, one of them against East Bengal.

This team comprising juniors is currently eighth in the 20-team third division. They have won six matches and drawn 12. The league went into the winter break on December 20 and will resume on February 6.

Given that the Juergen Klinsmann-coached first team is second in the Bundesliga, that seemed disappointing, Haegele said: “It’s become tough for our young team because this league has a number of teams rich in football history.”

The second team visited Kolkata in December 2005 for the IFA Shield which they won. Along with skipper Christian Sabah, three players from that team who are coming, Heagele said.

Like then, coach Hermann Gerland is with this team. “Gerland played for FC Bochum and visited Kolkata as a player too,” Heagele said.

The visit continues Bayern’s association with the city and state, one where they are committed to building an academy in Bardhaman for which Karl Heinz Rummenigge, their chairman, came visiting last November.