The rustiness on display in Germany since play restarted shows how valuable regular drilling is but Dortmund v Bayern was an overtly modern game of exceptional quality

 Following their heavy defeat of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern dished out the same treatment to Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday. 

All sporting events have their myths, the useful narratives hung on them as the flags are lowered on the final day and we have to work out what the past month, all that effort, all that emotion, all that money, was for. Remember how the 2012 Olympics in London brought us together as an open, multicultural nation inspired to a more active future? The 2006 World Cup, we were told, was about the patriotic celebration of a new Germany. And perhaps it was.

However immersion in the Bundesliga over the past three weeks suggests the most tangible legacy was the wholesale adoption of pressing.

It is hard to believe that even 20 years ago Germany was a footballing culture sceptical of pressing. That when the then Hoffenheim manager Ralf Rangnick tried to explain zonal marking on television he was dismissed as a boffinish crank. That the grand old men of German punditry insisted the game was all about character.

Then, as the national team of Jürgen Klinsmann and Jogi Löw reached the semi-final playing bright modern football and Jürgen Klopp explained it all on TV, the nation underwent mass revelation. Continue reading

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