Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about Bayern Munich … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about German soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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Breaking News

Robert Lewandowski
(© Topps, Inc.)

What’s up with F.C. Bayern Munich

August 23, 2020: Bayern won the Champions League final 1–0 over Paris Saint-Germain. Manuel Neuer played a great game in goal and Paris native Kingsley Coman headed in the only score of the night. The club did not lose a single match during the competition, which started on September 19th of 2019 and was delayed five months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Robert Lewansowski scored 15 goals in 10 Champions League games and midfielder Serge Gnabry scored 9.

July 4, 2020: Bayern beat Bayer Leverkusen 4–2 to win Germany’s national championship tournament. Superstar Robert Lewandowski scored twice in the game. He would finish the year with an amazing 55 goals in 47 games.

June 27, 2020: Bayern beat Wolfsburg 4–0 in the final match of the Bundesliga season. The club finished 26–4–4 to win the league title and was unbeaten in 2020, finishing with 19 wins and one draw in the final 20 games.

May 18, 2019: Bayern finished one win ahead of Borussia Dortmund to win the Bundesliga title. Robert Lewandowski scored 22 goals in 33 league games.

May 18, 2019: Bayern finished one win ahead of Borussia Dortmund to win the Bundesliga title. Robert Lewandowski scored 22 goals in 33 league games.

February 9, 2019: Robert Lewandowski scored his 119th goal for Bayern, becoming the #3 scorer on the club’s all-time list in just his fifth season.

July 11, 2017: The club signed James Rodriguez to a two-year contract. Rodriguez is the captain of Colombia’s national team and one of the finest attacking wings in all of soccer.

May 20, 2017: Bayern Munich completed the 2016–17 season with 25 wins, 2 losses and 7 draws (ties) to finish first in the Bundesliga. Robert Lewandowski finished second in the league with 30 goals. He scored three hat tricks (3 goals in a game) during the season.

Bundesliga & German Cup

Bundesliga Sticker Collection
(© Topps, Inc.)

  • Bayern Munich plays in the Bundesliga, which is German for Federal League. It is the top league in German soccer. There are 18 teams in the league’s top tier. Each club plays 34 games—a home match and an away match against the other 17 clubs. The first-place team is crowned Bundesliga champion. The teams with the poorest records are moved down (or “relegated”) to the second tier of German soccer, 2. Bundesliga. Bundesliga clubs have the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world. The only sports league with more fans per games is the National Football League in the United States.

  • Each season, every member of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga are invited to compete in the German Cup tournament. Other clubs in Germany can also enter. The tournament begins in August and ends in June. In all, 64 teams compete for the DFB-Pokal. Pokal is German for Cup. The letters DFB stand for Deutscher Fussball Bund, which means German Football Federation.

Collector’s Corner

Hans-George Schwarzenbeck
(© Panini)

Mehmet Scholl
(© Panini)

Philipp Lahm
(© Panini)

More treasures from the author’s collection!

  • Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck — Defender
    1966–1980
    “Katsche” Schwarzenbeck was born in Munich and played every game of his pro career for his hometown team. He teamed with Franz Beckenbauer to give Bayern Munich an airtight defense. Schwarzenbeck scored a dramatic goal during the 1974 European Cup final. His club went on to win the championship.

  • Uli Hoeness — Forward
    1970–1979
    During the 1970s, Uli Hoeness was one of the most feared players in Europe. His shooting and passing from the left wing helped Bayern Munich win three European Cups in a row.

  • Paul Breitner — Midfielder
    1970–74 & 1978–83
    Paul Breitner was equally good as an attacker or defender. He and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were the best midfield duo in Europe during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

  • Klaus Augenthaler — Defender
    1976–1991
    “Auge” Augenthaler was smart, fast, and tough. He was the heart of the Munich defense on seven Bundesliga champions. Augenthaler also played for his country in the 1990 World Cup.

  • Mehmet Scholl — Midfielder
    1992–2007
    Mehmet Scholl was a very popular and creative player known for his goal-scoring. He scored 10 or more times in eight seasons for Bayern Munich, and finished with a total of 129 goals.

  • Bastian Schweinsteiger — Midfielder
    2002–2015
    Bastian Schweinsteiger was nicknamed the “Midfield Motor” because he was always pushing his club forward. He used his great soccer skills and smart positioning to create goals for himself and his teammates. Schweinsteiger was especially good on free kicks.

  • Philipp Lahm — Midfielder

    2002—2017
    Philipp Lahm began his soccer career as a defender, but became a star as a defensive midfielder. He was named captain of Bayern Munich and later captained Germany’s victorious 2014 World Cup team. Although Lahm was often the smallest player on the field, no one “played bigger” in important matches.

Fun Facts

Manuel Neuer
(© Panini)

Did You Know?

• Sometimes you see Bayern Munich’s name written as Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V. The ß character in Fußball is pronounced as a double-s. Bayern is the German word for Bavaria and München is the German word for Munich. The letters e.V. stand for eingetragener Verein, which is German for registered association.

• Bayern Munich is the only German club to win a “treble”—league title, league cup title, and European (Champions League) title.

• In 2013–14, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer set a new Bundesliga record with 20 clean sheets. Clean sheet is another word for shutout (no goals allowed).

• In 2014, Germany won the World Cup. Seven of the 11 starting players in the final were current or past members of Bayern Munich.

• The club scored an amazing 101 goals during the 1971–72 Bundesliga season. There are 101 soccer balls hanging from the ceiling of the Bayern Museum to celebrate that record.

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