Steve McClaren lost his first match in charge of Wolfsburg last night after a last-minute goal from the German World Cup star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The midfielder who destroyed England in South Africa won the match after the German champions Bayern Munich had been pegged back to 1-1 in the Allianz Arena.
Bayern missed narrowly missed out on the treble last season, winning the league and cup and losing the Champions League final to Internazionale, and their team included five players who made it to the semi-finals of this summer's World Cup.
The Germany striker Thomas Müller scored after just nine minutes but Edin Dzeko equalised 10 minutes into the second half and it looked like being a satisfactory start for McClaren until the death.
Today two more pretenders for Bayern's crown go head to head in a match which brings together the top two all-time Champions League scorers. There will be the scorers of 126 Champions League goals on the pitch when Hamburg kick-off their season against Schalke 04, when Real Madrid legend Raul makes his debut against old strike partner Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Raul started 15 straight seasons for Real Madrid and, after not fitting into the new manager Jose Mourinho's plans, will line-up against former United striker Van Nistelrooy. The former Spain forward has already asked for patience from his new supporters. "I ask for people to give me time. It was only two weeks ago that I played 90 minutes for the first time in eight months. I need match practice," said the man who spent almost of last season on the bench for Madrid.
Raul has promised the Schalke coach, Felix Magath, that he will be 100 percent fit by next month. The new signing will have a tough first match against Armin Veh's Hamburg.
Michael Ballack will make his second Bayer Leverkusen debut tomorrow, returning to his former club in their opener against Borussia Dortmund.
In Spain, the Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, admitted yesterday that the club had not finished signing players. Still fuming that his new president has failed to deliver Cesc Fabregas, Guardiola yesterday denied his veto had prevented Werder Bremen's Ozil from switching to the Nou Camp, but said: "We will sign another player and I have made my preference as to who that player is known."
A prickly Guardiola responded to questions about Barça's summer transfer activity with a stream of one-word answers until he was asked about Javier Mascherano, who Liverpool insist is going nowhere. "We will have to wait and see," said Guardiola, refusing to rule out the arrival of Leo Messi's international team-mate. Guardiola, who signed only a one-year deal this summer instead of the three year contract he was offered, also seems to be unhappy with striker Zlaten Ibrahimovich.
Asked about the former Inter striker's position at the club he said recently that it was best for him not to comment. Yesterday he refused to clarify his comments and Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola said: "To me it seems more straightforward that Guardiola goes than Ibrahimovic goes. Guardiola has one year left on his contract and Zlaten four years."
In contrast to Barcelona, Real Madrid are understood to have reached the end of their summer spending spree. The newspaper paper Marca yesterday claimed Mourinho was demanding a No 9 be bought before next weekend's big kick-off against Mallorca, but yesterday defender Alvaro Arbeloa said: "It's up to the manager but we have two fantastic centre-forwards in Gonzalo Higuain and Karem Benzema, and Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Angel] Di Maria can also play in that position."Reuse content