Hitzfeld: Bayern and Dortmund will usurp Spanish football

The Switzerland national coach believes the Bundesliga giants will displace Barcelona and Real Madrid as the teams to beat in Europe

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld says Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will overthrow Real Madrid and Barcelona to become the best teams in the world.

Barcelona have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for two years running, before previous wins in 2009 and 2011, while Real Madrid are nine-time European champions.

However, Bundesliga pair Bayern and Dortmund reached the final of the Champions League last season, beating both Spanish clubs en route to that Wembley showdown and Hitzfeld believes that was a sign of things to come.

“I predicted that a year ago – Spanish football is going to be supplanted at the top of the world game by Bayern and Borussia Dortmund,” he told the official Bundesliga website.

The former Bayern coach added that he feels the Bavarians are in a strong position to retain their Champions League title, which would be an unprecedented achievement.

“Well, the odds have never been as good as they are this time. Bayern have not only a world-class first team, the term applies to their whole squad,” he continued.

“Nobody else can absorb the absence of four or five key players without any drop-off in quality. That’s something new in world football and it speaks volumes for Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola.”

Meanwhile, Hitzfeld also had his say on this year’s Ballon d’Or and he thinks Bayern’s Franck Ribery, who is on the three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and four-time winner Lionel Messi, deserves the accolade for helping the club to an historic treble.

“In light of everything Bayern have won, Ribery thoroughly deserves it,” he said. “Even though Cristiano Ronaldo has consistently finished second behind Lionel Messi in recent years, which has been a marginal call in itself sometimes.

“But Ronaldo hasn’t enjoyed the same title success, and Ribery has become synonymous with Bayern, being incredibly strong, a real team player and exemplary on and off the pitch.”

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