Ralf Rangnick Reveals How Thomas Müller & Mats Hummels Almost Joined Hoffenheim in 2008

?Former Hoffenheim manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed that the club came incredibly close to sealing bargain deals for Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber from Bayern Munich back in 2008.

At that time, both Müller and Badstuber were yet to make their senior debut, while Hummels had just to brief senior appearances to his name.

Mats Hummels,Thomas Muller

All three would go on to become Germany internationals and core parts of the ?Bayern senior setup, with ?Müller and Badtstuber remaining with the club for the majority of their careers, but Rangnick revealed to ?Sport1 that they could have been shining for Hoffenheim if he had got his wish.

“In 2008, we agreed with Thomas Müller and his advisor Ludwig Kögl and absolutely wanted to borrow him at that time,” Rangnick revealed.

“We could have signed Müller for €3m. Uli Hoeneß relayed this amount to the then-manager Jan Schindelmeiser at the time. However, [Bayern assistant] Hermann Gerland vetoed it and so Müller stayed with Bayern. At that time we were also in advanced talks with Holger Badstuber.”

Thomas Muller

Müller remains at Bayern to this day, having made 521 appearances for the club, while Badstuber chimed in with 177 of his own before leaving for ?Schalke in 2017.

As for Hummels, he did leave Bayern in 2008, instead joining ?Borussia Dortmund on loan with a view to a permanent move. He did return for a spell between 2016 and 2019 but has since returned to Dortmund.

“It was similar with [Hummels] at the beginning of 2008. We also wanted to bring him in on loan and there was already an agreement,” Rangnick said.

Ralf Rangnick

“However, Uli Hoeneß put his foot down with Hummels. He didn’t want him to be loaned to Hoffenheim but to Dortmund.”

Instead of signing the three future stars, Hoffenheim had to settle for the likes of, erm… Andreas Beck? 

They did actually manage to land Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Corinthians that year, and they sold him on to Bayern for a huge profit just a few years later, so at least they got some form of revenge.

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Paul Pogba’s Priority Remains Real Madrid – Juventus, Bayern & PSG Monitoring Man Utd Star

Exclusive – Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba’s priority remains to join Real Madrid when the transfer window opens, due to his desire to link up with Zinedine Zidane.

Pogba has spent the majority of the season stuck on the sidelines through injury – with the World Cup winner only managing to start five league games in 2019/20.

Paul Pogba

Meanwhile, the likes of Real and Juventus have retained interest in Pogba for months. 

The 27-year-old is out of contract in the summer of 2021, but ?United do have the option to extend his stay by a further year – something they will look to do if necessary in order to avoid losing the player for free. 

With ?Pogba’s future still unclear, a source has reaffirmed to 90min that his priority is to join ?Real Madrid, and the Spanish giants do still hold an interest in him. Pogba and his representatives made it clear to United in 2019 that his wish was to depart, and this remains his ambition. He is very keen to work with Zidane, an idol of his.

Former club ?Juventus, as well as Paris Saint-Germain and ?Bayern Munich are also monitoring his situation, but Pogba’s first choice is – and always has been – Real Madrid. 

Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid

Los Blancos had drawn up plans to lure French trio ?Kylian Mbappe, ?N’Golo Kante and Pogba to Madrid over the next couple of summers, but the coronavirus pandemic has complicated matters. Clubs are encountering financial difficulties due to the postponement of matches, and Real are no different. Despite interest, Kante is seen as the least likely signing of the three.

United’s price for Pogba will prove to be a stumbling block. The Red Devils remain hopeful he could yet stay and sign a new deal – this is not impossible, as agent Mino Raiola has hinted in recent interviews – but it is not Pogba’s preference.

A recent report has stated that United are ‘optimistic’ he will stay, as they doubt any of Europe’s elite could afford their star man, though time will tell if the move is to be pulled off.

Paul Pogba

?Real would need to offload players before they are able to sign anyone in the next transfer window, and the club have already indicated to the likes of ?Luka Modric and ?Gareth Bale that they are free to leave. 

Elsewhere, Toni Kroos, ?Karim Benzema and Isco are also at risk of being sold as they look to raise funds.  

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Bayern Munich’s Greatest All-Time Bundesliga XI – But Only Picking One Player From Each Country

?Bayern Munich have enjoyed domestic superiority for almost a decade since Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing demise at Dortmund.

And despite Covid-19 swooping in all pandemic-y, it’s fair to say the Bayern faithful – whose side are currently on course for an eighth consecutive Meisterschale – are less panicked over the potential of a null and void campaign than those who are constantly waking up in a cold sweat on the red side of the Mersey. 

Nevertheless, since the turn of the century, Die Roten have boasted some of Europe’s finest outfits, possessing some of the greatest modern talents.

So here at 90min, we’ve decided to conjure up an all-star Bayern side made up of 11 different nationalities, which let me tell ya, is bloody hard considering every generational German has strutted their stuff on the Olympiastadion/Allianz turf at some point in their career.

*And please note: we’re focussing on 21st-century players. There’s a reason the greatest defender of all-time, Franz Beckenbauer, doesn’t make the cut.

Manuel Neuer (GK)

Manuel Neuer

A goalkeeping revolutionary.

There was a time when Neuer was untouchable in the shot-stopping world, his cat-like reflexes but more significantly his ball-playing ability altered the craft he mastered for good. 

An iconic and imposing figure amid Bayern’s reign of domestic terror, Neuer has won 13 major honours at the club – racking up 374 appearances and an endless list of individual triumphs.

Hasan Salihamidži? (RB)

Bayern Munich's Hasan Salihamidzic (R-Bo

The Bosnian was the ultimate utility man during his nine-year career in Munich. He certainly wasn’t the most talented, but he could play a number of roles to a good enough standard – one being at right-back.

A fan-favourite who notched an impressive 365 appearances in Bayern colours, Salihamidži? is now the Sporting Director at the club – a post he’s occupied since July 2017.

Samuel Kuffour (CB)

Sammy Kuffour of Bayern with the trophy

Although much of his success at the club came in the 1990s, Kuffour continued to play a vital role at the heart of the Bayern backline up until 2005.

The Ghanaian icon ended his long career as one of Africa’s most decorated footballers – collecting 11 major honours at Die Roten in what was an incredibly successful period for the club.

Daniel van Buyten (CB)


Van Buyten was much more than a mere centre-back you’d want to avoid on FIFA 14 due to his 29 pace.

Between 2006 and 2010 the Belgian was a mainstay in two Bundesliga triumphs before the emergence of Jerome Boateng saw Van Buyten’s minutes dwindle up until he called it quits on a career in 2014.

But hey, how many can say they’ve actually hit a ball so hard that it burst during their professional career? Very few, right.

Well, Van Buyten did with a thunderbastard of a free-kick against Koln in 2011. Bosh.

David Alaba (LB)

German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"

Following Champions League success with Jupp Heyneckes in 2013, Alaba went on to become the best left-back in the world under Pep Guardiola – with the Spaniard’s innovative idea of inverted full-backs setting the Austrian up for unrivalled success.

He’s still one of the most versatile and complete footballers around and after literally winning it all at Die Roten, the 27-year-old – yes, he’s still that young – looks like he could soon be on his way out of the club.

It just wouldn’t look right, however, for one of Bayern’s modern-day greats to don the colours of another European superpower while he’s still got the latter half of his peak to enjoy. 

Ze Roberto (DM)

Bayern Munich's Brazilian midfielder Ze

Known for being a part of Bayer Leverkusen’s notorious capitulation in the 2001/02 campaign, Ze Roberto went on to claim the domestic double three times at Bayern between 2002 and 2006.

A versatile player who could play down the left and would play in a more creative role later on his career, the Brazilian thrived as a defensive midfielder alongside Mark van Bommel during his second spell at the club.

His ability to read the game and sniff out opposition counter-attacks were second to none, while he ended his 20-year career as one of the underrated Seleção stars of his generation.

Owen Hargreaves (CM)

Owen Hargreaves,Felix Magath

The Owen Hargreaves breed is an extremely rare one. He’s the only Englishman to don the Bayern shirt…ever.

He took some time to adjust to life in Munich following his move from Canada as a teen, but he soon became a pivotal part of Ottmar Hitzfield’s side – winning the Champions League in 2001 and making over 200 appearances for Die Roten.

While a mightily talented midfielder, injuries infamously blighted his career and he left Bayern following a leg break in 2006 – just months after an impressive World Cup campaign with England.

Thiago (CM)

German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"

The diminutive Spaniard just oozes class and is simply a joy to watch when he’s on it.

The ultimate technician, Thiago has endured an up and down career at Die Roten since his 2013 move from Barcelona but nevertheless, the deep-lying playmaker has found his best form under the tutelage of Hansi Flick in recent months.

And with a couple of his prime years ahead of him, Thiago undoubtedly has the chance to cement himself as one of Bayern’s finest foreign exports.

Arjen Robben (RW)

Arjen Robben

Hairline aside, Robben was one hell of a player.

The Dutchman was a key cog in Bayern’s 2013 Champions League-winning campaign, where he scored a late improvised winner in the final, and established himself as one of the best wingers in the world following a mixed spell at Real Madrid.

Even though the whole world knew what he was trying to achieve when he picked the ball up down the right-hand side, the imperious Robben was just that special he’d execute his trademark move without fail on almost every occasion.

Robert Lewandowski (ST)

Robert Lewandowski

The Pole’s tremendous ability to lead the Die Roten line had almost gone unnoticed before his outright ludicrous goalscoring form this season.

Since his move to Munich in 2014, Lewandowski has established himself as a great modern-day forward, a player who possesses the efficiency and ruthlessness to be a prolific goalscorer as well as fine technical qualities and hold-up play to be an effective creator – a ‘nine and a half’ sort of striker.

The definition of a smooth criminal.

Franck Ribery (LW)

Franck Ribery

The Frenchman was the second half of of the iconic ‘Robbery’ duet that occupied the Allianz Arena flanks for so many years.

During his pomp, Ribery was one of the most elegant around. His weaving runs and bursts of acceleration down the left flank were almost unstoppable, while his exceptional technique and vision allowed him to become an effective playmaker as he made 124 Bundesliga assists in Bayern colours.

Described by Zinedine Zidane as someone who simply ‘loves life’, Ribery was the ultimate crowd-pleaser on the pitch.


Bayern Chairman Voices Opposition to European Super League & Says Idea Won’t Take Off for 10 Years

?Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has voiced his opposition to the formation of a European Super League, claiming that the concept would not get off the ground for at least 10 years due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The idea of a breakaway competition containing Europe’s top clubs has been discussed on numerous occasions over the past two decades. 

The most recent plans proposed the creation of 32 team division that would replace the current knockout format of the Champions League. The idea is opposed strongly by the Premier League but retains significant support from the likes of ?Juventus and ?Real Madrid.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Now, Bayern chairman Rummenigge has given his thoughts on a breakaway competition, saying that any such plans will likely be put on ice for a decade due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

My advice is to deal with these types of issues when we have overcome the crisis. Of course, regarding one aspect I am very convinced: there will be no Super League in the next ten years. It does not matter which screw is tightened or loosened,” he claimed (via ?AS).

“At this point there can be no interest in this. This idea only had one goal, that of earning more money. These kinds of reflections have been reduced to absurdity by the crisis we are going through.” 

Rummenigge went on to throw his support behind the current composition of elite European club football.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

“I consider the current static, with the Bundesliga and the possibility of qualifying for the Champions and Europa League through it, does not require modifications,” Rummenigge added.

“Perhaps it will provoke the crisis that we, as clubs, no longer continue to chase money with so much momentum. Above all, I want us to overcome it, without suspending the season.”

Bayern have been active in supporting the coronavirus relief effort. Recently, the club’s players took a ?20% pay cut in order to help non-playing staff members get paid, while Die Roten have also ?donated €20m to prevent smaller German sides going bust.

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Selecting a Bundesliga Best XI – Using Only One Player Per Club

?Football might be over for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of fun while we’re self-isolating.

For you gamers out there, we’ve already looked at which players could make FIFA 20’s Bundesliga Team of the Season, while fresh out our DeLorean we’ve also picked the German top flight’s all-time XI – but only using one player from each club. 

Now, with those same rules, we’re going to dive into the Bundesliga’s current best possible starting lineup by only picking one player per team.

And don’t just take our word for it. Get yourselves on Google, create your own team and you show us where we went wrong on Twitter!

GK – Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg)

Koen Casteels

You don’t always have to be as flashy as Manuel Neuer or Yann Sommer to be considered one of the best in the business, as the ever-reliable Koen Casteels has shown time and time again over the last three or four years.

A solid, solid start.

RB – Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin)


No, we didn’t pick a player from one of the promoted clubs because we were running short of options.

Christopher Trimmel hasn’t just been one of the best players at Union Berlin this season, the 33-year-old has arguably been the best right-back in the entire league.

After more than nine years away from the Austrian national team, his performances at club level earned him another call-up earlier this season, and he’s played in their last four competitive games.

CB – Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)

Dayot Upamecano

Some of the names in this team might not be household names (yet), but RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano certainly is.

The Frenchman is one of the most exciting defensive talents in Europe right now, having made over 100 appearances for the Bundesliga club alone.

Upamecano has spent the last five years within Red Bull’s web of clubs – he’s also played for RB Salzburg and FC Liefering – but he now looks set to move to one of the continent’s biggest clubs once the transfer window re-opens.

CB – Ozan Kabak (Schalke 04)

Ozan Kabak

Even as a youth player at Galatasaray, Ozan Kabak didn’t draw comparisons to World Cup-winning defender Fabio Cannavaro for nothing.

Before Kabak even moved to Germany in 2019, scouts across Europe knew he was going to be a fantastic player, and although it was relegated Stuttgart who initially snapped him up, the Turkey international is now making quite an impression at Schalke. 

LB – Philipp Max (Augsburg)

Philipp Max

He’s only ever made three international appearances for Germany, but given Nico Schulz’s performance over the last two years in comparison, Augsburg’s Philipp Max could have a big breakthrough just around the corner.

Max has been directly involved in 12 goals alone this season, while his ability from set pieces have been crucial for Augsburg as they continue to fight against relegation most seasons.

CM – Denis Zakaria (Borussia Mönchengladbach)


Chances are you want Denis Zakaria to sign for your team, even though you probably haven’t seen the Switzerland international ever kick a ball before.

But don’t worry, you’re right to want Zakaria at your club.

The 23-year-old was an instant hit in the Bundesliga when he arrived from BSC Young Boys in 2017, while Zakaria’s become one of the most in-demand midfielders under the tutelage of new manager Marco Rose.

CM – Christoph Baumgartner (TSG Hoffenheim)

Christoph Baumgartner

Even some Bundesliga fans will be thinking ‘what, really?’ when they see Christoph Baumgartner’s name ahead of his teammates Dennis Geiger and Florian Grillitsch, but the 20-year-old is on course to become of the best playmakers in Germany.

Baumgartner only broke into Hoffenheim’s first team at the back end of last season, but the Austria Under-21 international has already scored four goals and picked up five assists in 21 appearances for the club.

CAM – Kai Havertz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

Kai Havertz

Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz hasn’t been at his best this season, but the 20-year-old is still one of the most talented players in Europe.

Even if we didn’t have to pick one player from each club to make up our current Bundesliga XI, Havertz would still walk into the team.

He might not be at the BayArena next season, but Havertz’s impact on the Bundesliga has already been immense and he’ll be a regular in the national team for the next 10 years at least.

RW – Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho

The Bundesliga actually has quite a decent history when it comes to importing players from England, but even the likes of Kevin Keegan, Tony Woodcock and Peter Hobday struggled to shake Germany’s foundations quite like Jadon Sancho.

The former Manchester City forward has become a global superstar during his short time at Borussia Dortmund, where he’s been breaking club and league record for fun.

ST – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Robert Lewandowski

While Sancho might be an impressive foreign player in the Bundesliga, Robert Lewandowski is Germany’s best import of all time.

The Poland international might have made 174 fewer appearances than cult hero Claudio Pizarro, but Lewandowski is the Bundesliga’s best foreign goalscorer ever, sitting behind just Gerd Müller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268) in the scoring charts.

LW – Milot Rashica (SV Werder Bremen)

Milot Rashica

Milot Rashica certainly isn’t well known across Europe, but that will all change over the next two years when he eventually joins one of the biggest clubs on the continent.

The Kosovo international isn’t just his country’s best player, but Rashica is one of the most dangerous attacking players around, at times even matching the Bundesliga’s headline makers like Leon Bailey and Serge Gnabry.

Rashica doesn’t just walk into this team, but he’d be starting at almost every clubs across the world.

For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!