Bayern Munich players hit back against legend Kahn’s criticism

A war of words has broken out between current Bayern Munich stars Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philip Lahm and former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn over leadership of the Bavarian football club.

Bayern Munich players hit back against legend Kahn's criticism
Photo: DPA

On his blog, the 42-year-old Kahn has charged that the pair’s lack of aggressive leadership is the reason Bayern hasn’t brought a Champions League title to Germany since 2001.

“Does the lull in titles not perhaps lie with a generation of players like Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who vehemently deny a team needs players to lead it?” Kahn, who won the Champions League with Bayern and retired three years ago, wrote on his blog.

But Lahm hit back at a press conference on Tuesday.

“What a former player says or writes in some blog doesn’t interest me, Bastian or the team,” he said, adding that he felt “no anger” toward Kahn and was “very calm about the whole thing.”

Schweinsteiger also criticized Kahn in a conversation with the German newspaper Bild.

“I can still remember how Oliver Kahn used to hate nothing more than criticism from ex-colleagues which were expressed through the media,” he told the newspaper. “From such a great player, I expect that he remembers his words.”

The controversy has erupted as Bayern Munich prepare to play FC Zurich in the first match of this year’s Champions League campaign on Wednesday.

The team, which is widely thought to have the potential to win the competition this year, has come under intense pressure since the final will be played at Bayern’s own stadium in Munich.

Lahm and Schweinsteiger are also feeling pressure from fans of Germany’s national team who want to see the squad easily qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

The Local/DPA/mdm

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.