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Sports

Bundesliga News: Week Four

Bayern stars blasted by raging Magath; "Rehhakles" calls for limits on foreign stars in the Bundesliga, Ailton punished for red card, Hamburg sign flying Dutchman.

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Felix Magath laments his team's defending and penchant for hair gel

The 4-1 routing by Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday left Bayern Munich with four points from the opening three Bundesliga outings and coach Felix Magath fuming. "Our opponents played fantastic but we afforded them too much space," raged Magath. "My players just gave up after they scored the second goal." With the German press quick to attack the stuttering Bavarian giants, Kicker magazine labeling them "the Golden Girls" in reference to their gold kit for this season, Magath is already under pressure with the season barely a month old. And his new charges are feeling the heat too, most of it directed at them by their volatile coach. "They stand for so long in front of the mirror, smearing gel into their hair, not thinking about the game," Magath spat. In a bid to get his vain superstars performing on the pitch, Magath has demanded that the highly-paid players report for extra training at 9:00 a.m. on the morning after their defeat.

Rehhagel advises Bundesliga on foreigner rule

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel has reopened the debate in his native Germany into quotas on foreign players, claiming the national team will not prosper unless Bundesliga sides are forced to field at least six German players. Under the guidance of Rudi Völler, Germany crashed out of the Euro 2004 finals at the group stage and Rehhagel, who guided Greece to glory in Portugal, is in no doubt that a limit on the number of foreigners needs to be implemented. "The Bundesliga is overcrowded with foreigners, that is the problem," Rehhagel said in an interview with magazine Kicker. "It is bad news when Gerald Asamoah is the only player with a German passport in the starting eleven of Schalke 04."I have informed Sepp Blatter (FIFA president) about this. Five foreigners per team is enough."

If that rule was in place last weekend Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund would have had to seriously reshuffle their starting line-ups. Dortmund started with nine foreigners against Hannover on Sunday - three Brazilians, two Czechs, two Frenchman, one Dane and a Nigerian - while Schalke began with eight non-Germans. Champions Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich would have narrowly survived as they fielded six German players from the off.

The foreigner debate is nothing new in Germany. The 44-year-old Völler, who has now left the Germany, set up after their Euro 2004 debacle, called for a restriction prior to the Portugal finals. Since the Bosman ruling in 1995 which allows professional football players in the European Union to move freely to another club at the end of their term of contract with their present team, German top flight has been flooded with foreign players from Angola to Zambia. Indeed in 2001 Energie Cottbus became the first Bundesliga side to field 11 foreigners in a league match.

Ailton Banned for Four Games

Fußball Bundesliga 2004, Schalke 04, Werder Bremen

Ailton stormed out of the stadium after seeing red.

Schalke 04's Brazilian striker Ailton has been suspended for four matches and fined €15,000 for striking an opposition player and nearly missing a random drugs test, the German Football Federation's sports tribunal said on Wednesday. The star striker received a red card after an altercation with two opposition players in the 45th minute of the 2-0 loss to Rostock on Saturday. The 30-year-old, still furious after the incident, left the stadium immediately, unaware he had been chosen for a random drugs test. However he returned to the stadium after a call on his mobile phone from Schalke general manager Andreas Muller. The Brazilian ace, top-scorer in the Bundesliga last season, would have been deemed as having returned a positive result if he had not returned. After shooting Werder Bremen to the league and cup double last season things have gone awry for Ailton who has struggled to settle at Schalke and has yet to score this term.

Hamburg Complete Boulahrouz Signing

Entlassung bei Leverkusen - Klaus Toppmoeller muß gehen

Toppmöller gets his man.

Hamburg SV have completed the signing of RKC Waalwijk defender Khalid Boulahrouz on a four-year contract, the Dutch club announced this week. "He is an enormously talented player and I am very pleased that we were able to sign him" Hamburg coach Klaus Topmöller said on the club's official website. The versatile 22-year-old Boulahrouz was recently named for the first time in the Netherlands squad by new coach Marco van Basten for their opening 2006 World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic on September 8.

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