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[FM17] Hans Kaiser- Baldness Über Alles!

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The Ruhr Derby- Chapter Acht
"A Feeling Deeper Than Hate"
Bundesliga Week Twenty-Three- The Pre-Game

The Tunnel- Signal Iduna Park
Derby day had been relatively uneventful so far. There had been no forced treaty signings, no terrorist attacks, and no assassination attempts. Better than most days, Hans Kaiser supposed. With the title race in full swing and their opponents in annoyingly good form since the hiring of new manager Sergiy Rebrov, this derby was more important than most. Therefore, Hans' team talk had reflected the severity of the match ahead. A keg of Red Bull later, and Hans was pretty sure he had gotten his point across. Yet as he walks down the tunnel, he's dreadfully apprehensive. A nagging terror had crept into the deepest recesses of his mind, one that was never going to trust anyone in blue and white garments again. Nearly getting your head chopped off does that to a person, he figured.

The man in the blue tracksuit is who he's looking for. There was an air of mystery, a frightening uncertainty about the new Schalke boss. The man was Soviet born and bred- treachery was more than likely- but Hans had to try and play it cool. As he approaches Rebrov, Kaiser mumbles a coded message into a concealed radio; Dortmund security were on the other end, primed to mobilize if danger appeared. But once Rebrov turns to face him, he immediately begins walking away. Hans follows him, his suspicions definitely piqued now, but Rebrov looks like he could enter the Olympic competition for race walking. Just seconds after he had started moving, he's already turned a corner heading towards the visitor's locker room. Hans tries a further pursuit, but once he turns the same corner, Rebrov is out of sight. Clearly, his new enemy had no interest in exchanging pleasantries... or even unpleasantries. As Hans moves back towards the tunnel, he speaks into the radio again.

"Are you still there, Fabian?"
"Yes sir. *loud rustling and slamming noises in the background* Of course."
"Have we got eyes on him? Where'd he go?"
"Well, um, it appears he sort of...disappeared after he entered the hall."
"What do you mean, disappeared?!"
"I mean that he turned the corner, took five steps, and then vanished from the camera feed."
"What the hell!?" Hans figured he shouldn't have been surprised by anything anymore considering some of the strange events that had occurred over the past year, but this sounded especially weird.
"I swear I'm telling you the truth, Hans. Some of the stuff going on around here reminds me of that time I hit DMT..."
"Alright... thank you Fabian. Let me know when he pops back up."
"Oh, cheers."

Ah, good old Fabian Schulz.
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It's not until minutes before kickoff that Rebrov reemerges. Of course, Fabian had somehow forgotten to give Hans the notification. He had only clearly seen Rebrov for a few moments beforehand, at least with his own eyes, but now Hans has a full view of the new head Smurf. Rebrov had certainly aged since his storied playing days, but he's maintained the short, sand-colored hair and stubbly beard he had usually sported. But the eyes... they tell a different story. They're cold, distant, hardly moving. When they take a cursory glance over to Hans, they seem probing, examining, judging. Hans fires back a grim look in an attempt to match wits, but it doesn't seem to affect Rebrov in the slightest. Once Hans has finished firing up the Kahle Armee with his usual derby day energy, the moment comes at which the two managers are expected to shake hands. Hans doesn't want to, but the weight of obligation carries his legs over to Rebrov, whose blank expression has not wavered. Hans wasn't sure he had said a word to anyone the entire time he had been on the pitch, not even his coaching staff. The handshake goes by in the same vain. It was wordless, emotionless, hollow. Hans may as well have been watching a movie of himself as he did it. Each manager slowly strides back to their technical area, Hans none the wiser as to his enemy's intentions. But he couldn't wait around to find out for himself. His battle with Markus Weinzierl was certainly a hot war. A trophy heist, a coal attack, and an assassination attempt, not to mention all the coarse language... it couldn't get much hotter than that. But his battle with Sergiy Rebrov would have to be different. A cold war, perhaps? With the man from the Ukraine? Yeah, it couldn't get much more fitting than that. Let's tear down this wall.

Los! Los! Los!

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The Ruhr Derby- Chapter Acht
"A Feeling Deeper Than Hate"
Bundesliga Week Twenty-Three- The Post-Game

6ca2d701f3f75d1908d2843d7ddd92ff.png

YES!
Another emphatic victory over the Smurfs that replicated the scoreline from our meeting at the end of last season. We dispatched an impotent Schalke soon after the big turning point that was their red card. However, they did take the lead against the run of play on 28', when Yevhen Konoplyanka's free kick was blasted in to silence the crowd. Christoph Kramer's dismissal for a second yellow just two minutes later, however, gave us what we needed to reply. And we replied in spectacular fashion, as on 39', a partially cleared cross fell to the outstretched boot of Wylan Cyprien, who thundered home the volley to bring the scores level and bring the crowd back to life. Shortly after the break, we got our second, as Nadiem Amiri's free kick hit the bar, only for Sebastian Rode to win the race for the ensuing rebound and knee the ball into the open net. Things seemed like they might have been headed back towards parity when we lost our man advantage on the hour mark, as Rode would also get himself sent off for a second yellow. It didn't hurt us at all, however, and we continued to score after the red card. Francisco Geraldes' handball in the box set up Felix Passlack to score our third from the spot on 67', and then the final blow of the afternoon came from a rampant Alex Isak on 79', who wasted no time in applying the finish to Jacob Bruun Larsen's square ball to make it a resounding four on the scoreboard. A massive result that should do a world of good for our already sky-high morale and further establish us as serious title contenders with three months left on the calendar. Maybe getting tossed from Europe is the best thing that could have happened to us this season. It's certainly working out so far!

The Signal Iduna was absolutely bouncing by the end of the match, prompting Hans Kaiser to crowd-surf in the Gelbe Wand straight after the final whistle. There was no feeling better than getting lifted and passed through the air by a ton of sweaty Dortmund ultras, Hans knew that for certain. As he enjoyed another moment of derby day magic, he couldn't help but notice that Sergiy Rebrov and his staff took a potentially record-setting time to leave the pitch, as all of them were down the tunnel in no more than 30 seconds, the coaches forming an unsettling straight line as they marched out behind their boss. He couldn't ever underestimate Rebrov and his robotic army, but the first proxy war had gone to baldness, and at that moment, nothing else mattered.

Los! Los! Los!

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On 4/16/2018 at 17:44, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Andreas Vogel

Andreas Lerche

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Seriously though, he looks incredible. Definite star of the future.

That's a rather dangerous comparison, innit? ;) 

Cheers though, I had wanted Andreas' services ever since I first saw him, and I couldn't be more delighted that it's all worked out.

On 4/17/2018 at 09:44, wynter said:

Liked Cyprien for years, hope he does a great job for you. 

 

BALDNESS UBER ALLES!

Like I said, Cyprien's definitely the player we need in the midfield right now. I think that the goal against Schalke may have made him a fan favorite already!

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Dortmund.png.a685d4c8b9f816554a3cc75df56c0d77.png
Borussia Dortmund
February 2020
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There were some good results this month, but we started and ended poorly.

Beaten by ****ing Köln, again. ****!!! This was a rare defensive collapse, as we allowed six CCCs and five HCs to an energized Köln side who always seem to recognize their good record against us on the save. We went behind on 11' to Michele Fornasier's header straight off a corner. They doubled their lead on 39'- again from a corner - when Wylan Cyprien misplayed the ball into the path of Anthony Modeste, who easily slotted home from close range. Alex Isak pulled one back for us five minutes later, drilling in a low volley from Nadiem Amiri's delivery. I thought we were on our way back, but Daniel Baier crushed those hopes on 56', taking a pass in open space and roofing his finish from just inside the box. Sokratis was sent off on 78' to make matters worse, and they responded with a fourth goal on 83', Modeste again taking care of business from close range. Marco Reus' late penalty was nothing more than a consolation, and we once again left the RheinEnergieStadion with our heads in our hands.

We did respond well against Hertha at home, however. On 16', Andreas Lerche opened his scoring account with Dortmund by slamming a finish into the bottom-left from the edge of the area, which was followed by a crowd dive and cartwheels from the exciting young Dane. We eventually got our second near the hour mark, as Isak rolled one past the keeper following Lerche's delivery. We smothered Hertha defensively, hardly allowing them a chance in a comprehensive victory.

Even better was a 4-1 away drubbing of Stuttgart. I figured we would have trouble away from home against a team in mid-table, but we smashed them through two great performances from our wingers. OusCrane opened the scoring on just two minutes, as a horribly fluked backpass from Hans Sarpei gave our man wide open space on the right, where he proceeded to smash home the finish from a tight angle. Following a slew of near misses in the first half, we doubled our lead in the second, as on 61', Christian Pulisic fired in his first goal since November from Isak's assist. Stuttgart did pull one back on 64', as Marcel Schmelzer's tackle on Berkay Ozcan in the box was given as a penalty, which Borja Mayoral put away easily. We made sure we weren't complacent though, as OusCrane dropped in another on 71', dashing onto an Isak cross and volleying it home in style. We made victory a certainty ten minutes later, as Pulisic applied an easy finish from OusCrane's square ball. We were very clinical on the night and absolutely deserved the three points.

See above for our Ruhr Derby victory over Schalke.

But of course, we followed up that emphatic derby win with a loss against Bremen away from home. To be fair, they are a good team this season, but we were extremely unlucky to get nothing out of this. It was all Bremen early on, but we defended well and then went on the attack in the second half, with Cyprien hitting the post from long range on 66. Yet against the run of play, they got their winner on 77', with Laszlo Kleinheisler striking one into the bottom left from thirteen yards out. We didn't roll over after that, but Michael Esser continued a superhuman performance in net, making another big save on Cyprien to keep us restrained. Unlucky, but we should have been able to find a way through.

Table
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We got lucky after that loss to Bremen; both Bayern and Leverkusen lost on the same matchday to keep us just a point off the top. GD is very close too- this could be a really tight finish to the season, assuming no one can pull away. We're four points clear of nearest chaser Leipzig, but it could have been more had we not lost twice in the month. Ingolstadt have done well to rise to 9th, whilst Wolfsburg's good form has evaporated and seen them fall out of the EL race. The relegation battle is also very tight, as all three clubs in the zone are within a point, and Hamburg are only two points clear as well. This might be the most exciting finish to a season across the entire league, but I don't think anything will top Leverkusen taking the title in the last minute two seasons ago.

Next month sees just three games, and they're all against teams currently in the bottom half... but that hasn't stopped some very unlikely teams from beating us this season. I hope we can cut that **** out in the second half of the season. The title might depend on it!
Los! Los! Los!

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Dortmund.png.e7288f705792ad65a767703d1417e7be.png
Borussia Dortmund
Youth Intake 2020
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Probably the most talent in a single intake since the first season, but hardly much depth off the top. Not signing anyone below Huber, as our U19s are currently flooded with low-potential players as a result of being too liberal with the contracts over the past few seasons. 

f3cfe872a0914920b7b3322b2a704e4f.jpg04d6f0f5e616cdfc949a17668ff68919.jpg896053831ab0effbbbb01f6f2c0af636.jpg3db44ffdd1c98e9a03781dcc1c136310.jpg

Two more AMCs are the best in the intake, which is kind of a shame considering how much money I've spent to build that position in the first team. With Amiri and now Lerche at the club, Kuhne and Lorz might never feature with Hans in charge, but they're still great players nonetheless. Kuhne's 15 finishing and 20 determination certainly catch the eye, and Lorz's passing, first touch, and technique are all great to start out with as well.

Behind them are Voss and Bocker. Their hair couldn't be more disparate- Voss looks like a ginger Jay Cartwright, but Bocker is quite possibly the most attractive young man to ever come through the Dortmund academy, not counting the weird cheek cellulite that half the newgens seem to have on this game.... too bad it'll have to be shaved off right after he signs the contract. Hans has gone full Peter the Great on everyone. Trichological banter aside, these two also have great potential, but need a lot more work than the others. We'll have to see if they can develop.

The current U19s did beat this lot 1-0, but that's not a surprise considering how stacked they are. We now have 15 players with 5-star potential in the youth team, and four more with 4.5 stars. Absolutely mental.

Welcome to Dortmund!
Los! Los! Los!

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That's a tight league if I ever saw one. Hopefully you can pull away from Bayern and Leverkusen as both seem to be dropping points a lot more than normal. How would you compare your final run of fixtures to both of theirs?

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6 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

That's a tight league if I ever saw one. Hopefully you can pull away from Bayern and Leverkusen as both seem to be dropping points a lot more than normal. How would you compare your final run of fixtures to both of theirs?

Definitely tight, it could definitely come down to the last day. Since the fixture list in this league runs nearly parallel, all of us have similar run-ins in the last two months. I still have another fixture against both of them, and Leverkusen is also yet to play Bayern for a second time as well. Our most important match will have to be away against Bayern on the penultimate matchday. If the race stays this close, that'll probably be either a title-decider or one that'll give someone a huge leg up going into the final day. Leipzig aren't out yet either, if they catch fire they could be in the conversation too. I still have to play them a second time, but not the other teams.

Edited by oriole01

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Dortmund.png.e7288f705792ad65a767703d1417e7be.png
Borussia Dortmund
March 2020
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Good month, but I would have loved to have gotten maximum points from that last match.

We started out with another big win over Wolfsburg, who we are now 8/8 against on this save. We did start poorly though, as on 3', Vincenzo Grifo pounced on a Yunus Malli ball and fired in the goal on a half-volley. We got our equalizer ten minutes later, Alex Isak stinging one into the bottom right from OusCrane's assist.  We then got the lead in the second half, Andreas Lerche finishing a snapshot from another OusCrane assist. On 70', Isak hit the bar with his wide-open effort, but Sebastian Rode was there to put in the rebound on the volley to make it 3-1. The midfielder then got another on 87', driving home a low finish from outside the area, albeit courtesy of some shoddy goalkeeping work from Lukas Hradecky. He actually got sent off as well in the late goings, but his two goals erased that blemish as we cruised to victory.

We followed that up with a solid away win over Braunschweig, in the first of what I hope is many acts of revenge against relegation-threatened sides who have humiliated us this season. OusCrane got us started on just 4', taking a delivery from Isak and applying a deft touch to beat the keeper. Just three minutes later, we got our second from the most unlikely of sources. After two of our shots had been blocked by their defense, third string right back Lukas Piszczek, who was actually playing at left back due to an injury crisis, banged in a half volley to claim his first goal on this save in any competition. What a moment for him! Andre Schurrle got our third on 31', exploiting some weak marking at the back post to stick one in from close range. An off-the-ball tackle from Bjorn Engels inside the box gave Braunschweig the opportunity to soil our clean sheet on 63', which Salih Ozcan indeed converted. There were no other hiccups defensively, however, and we left Lower Saxony with all three points.

Defensively, we got pretty damn unlucky at home against Mainz. Thankfully, Nadiem Amiri was on fire on the offensive end. He opened the scoring for us on 20', blasting home a beautiful finish from the right wing into the left-hand side of the net. Yet we conceded on 37', as a controversial penalty call against Sokratis allowed Mainz's Jonathan Burkardt to slot home from the spot. Amiri got us our lead back shortly after the second half restart with a cool close range finish. We looked set to claim another victory, but it was our former man Shinji Kagawa (and ironically, Amiri) who relegated us to a draw late on, as the Japanese international's shot deflected off of Amiri's head, throwing Predrag Rajkovic off and dropping into the back of the net. We couldn't find a winner afterwards. Really rough luck here, but a draw is better than nothing.

Table
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Great news, we've gone top this month! I haven't been atop the league past the winter break at all on this save, so I'm very happy to be here. However, the league is mind-bendingly tight, especially since Leipzig have now joined the title race. Two points separate first from fourth with seven games to play... yikes! Elsewhere in the table, Schalke have caught up with Hertha and Hoffenheim in the race for the final EL place, Hamburg have propelled themselves out of the relegation conversation for now, and Nurnberg have risen into the playoff place, sending Koln further down.

Right now, we're just going to have to take things one match at a time, but April is going to be a very tough month. We have Leverkusen and Hoffenheim away from home, and then Leipzig at home. Now's the time to toughen up and put everything on the line for victory.
Los! Los! Los!

Edited by oriole01

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7 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

It'll be some exciting final 7 games, that league is crazily tight! Good luck!

Cheers mate! Can't wait to see how it unfolds!

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Dortmund.png.a685d4c8b9f816554a3cc75df56c0d77.png
Borussia Dortmund
April 2020

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Not quite what we needed to do this month. Dropped points twice, but a crucial win in that last fixture.

I was angry to lose to Leverkusen, especially since a loss hardly seemed deserved. We failed to switch on at the beginning of the match, as Moussa Dembele slotted in the opening goal just 17 seconds from kickoff. But we kept our cool, putting up some threatening shots in the early goings and eventually finding the net on 21', as Alex Isak's through ball found Nadiem Amiri in space to smack it in. The second half was mostly quiet, but Leverkusen found their winner on 80', as Roman Burki was unable to punch away a corner delivery, instead letting it fall to Julian Baumgartlinger to head home on an open net. I fiercely commanded us to go forward, but we fell to a scrappy defeat against one of our closest title challengers. Not a good way to start the month.

I definitely wanted to win the Union game by more, but in the end the three points is all that matters. We got what would be our only goal on the day on 8', after a push on Isak by Paul Seguin was rewarded with a penalty that Felix Passlack viciously banged in. We kept pushing forward, and it looked like only a matter of time before we found a second goal, but nothing materialized. Union started threatening towards the end of the match, but our defense did well to hold them off. Not the most convincing result, but we did what we needed to do.

We were held to a 0-0 draw for the third consecutive meeting against Hoffenheim, as they've proven extremely hard to break down in recent seasons. We had more chances despite being the away side, putting nine shots on target compared to their two, but Oliver Baumann put in another stupendous performance in net for them. He saved from point blank range multiple times, dealing with everything we threw at him. Hoffenheim actually had the best chances of the match on 80', as Predrag Rajkovic made a one-on-one save on Johannes Eggestein, then Kerem Demirbay somehow contrived to hit the post from the rebound on a wide. open. net. So I suppose we were lucky not to lose, but unlucky to draw at the same time. Regardless, we needed to take more than a point from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

The 3-2 flatters RB Leipzig. Like just about every meeting between us on this save, we were the better team all the way through and deserved all three points. Wylan Cyprien got the scoring underway on 22', blasting one into the left side of the net with a sea of teammates and opponents in the way. Andre Hahn cancelled it out just four minutes later though, firing home a header straight from Emil Forsberg's corner. Isak came alive in the second half, however, scoring two well-taken goals from acute angles to put us up 3-1. Leipzig made it interesting with a Forsberg goal on 70', but we looked like the only victors on that day. The offense turned on when we needed them here, grabbing us a big win in a big match in front of our bald faithful.

Table
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Unfortunately, Bayern have hit form at exactly the wrong time for us. Despite getting slain in the Champions League Quarterfinals, Rui Vitoria's men have done their job in the Bundesliga, going four points clear with three games to play. It doesn't look good, but the one redeeming factor is that we still have a fixture with their name on it in what will be a pressure-packed Klassiker. However, even a win in that match won't be enough on its own, as we'd still need them to drop points elsewhere (and win all of our games, of course) to win the title. I can't be too confident of anything since our fate is out of our hands for the most part, but we'll give it our best shot. Leverkusen are close behind us, and could steal second place if we don't play well next month. Same with Leipzig, but that's less likely.

Elsewhere, Schalke are now picking a fight with Bremen for 5th, Freiburg have climbed the table, Hamburg look safe, and all three relegation-zone sides are locked in a battle for that playoff spot. Nurnberg currently occupy it, but anything could happen there.

May is the final month. Three matches. Hamburg, Bayern, Nurnberg. Win all of them, and we've got a shot at glory. Anything else, forget about it. Let's do this.
Los! Los! Los!

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Dortmund.png.a685d4c8b9f816554a3cc75df56c0d77.png
Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga Week Thirty-Two- Dortmund vs. Hamburger SV
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WHAT A RESULT!!! We have had a lot of success in scoring against Hamburg in the past, and we continued that today. We were ruthless from the opening whistle. On 4', Wylan Cyprien's long range shot forced a big save off Julian Pollersbeck, which fell right to OusCrane for an easy rebound finish.  We doubled the lead on 10', as Christian Pulisic's cross found Alex Isak to volley home a close range finish. The prolific Swede scored again on 26', taking advantage of a poor touch inside the box from Dominique Heinz and slotting home into the top right corner immediately. An own goal from Leon Guwara followed six minutes later, and Isak would complete both the day's scoring and his hat trick with an emphatic penalty goal. An absolute pounding that should signal our intent heading into our massive match against Bayern.

Speaking of Bayern, let's see how they fared this week. 
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:eek:. An unbelievable result in Sinsheim, as Hoffenheim were on poor form, just three wins in their last fourteen. But they shattered that here, with Johannes Eggestein's hat trick powering them to a huge victory. I can only hope this demoralizes Bayern heading into next week, as we'll need every possible advantage to beat them.

These results leave the table looking like this:
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One point behind with two to play. A win against Bayern would mean a win against Nurnberg would clinch the title regardless of their result. A draw, and we would have to better their result on the final day. A loss would hand them the title. We have to make sure that doesn't happen. Leverkusen also lost, meaning they are virtually out of the title race. Leipzig are now out officially, leaving the real battle between us and FC Hollywood.

I can't wait to put Bayern in their place. Hans can't either.
Los! Los! Los!

Edited by oriole01

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Der Klassiker- Chapter Neun
Bundesliga Week Thirty-Three- The Pre-Game

 Disclaimer. @BoxToBox is my ghostwriter. Okay, not actually, but you might as well give him a co-credit on this thread. Thanks for all your help, mate. This chapter's for you. Oh, and David Lynch, again.

The Kaiser Residence
There was no way in hell that Hans Kaiser was going to sleep the night before the most important match of his managerial career. Bayern. Der Klassiker. Bundesliga glory on the line. How could one possibly be expected to shut their brain off in these circumstances? There were simply too many things going through his head for that. The parties he would throw if they won. The disappointments that would follow if they lost. Yet one thing he wasn't thinking about was the talent men. He had hardly been reminded of their presence this season. In fact, he hadn't seen them in person at all. Thank god for that. The odd Twitter exchange and strange cryptic letter sent to his office were the only forms of exchange they'd had since their fateful night in the mines. For Hans, that was manageable. But the wheel was about to spin again.

At about 2 AM, Hans is jolted from his half-awake state by a booming knock from his door downstairs. Immediately, he knew who it was. There were only two people who could circumvent his ten layers of gates and evade his security cameras, and their names were Che and Zezé. Luckily, Hans had prepared for such a situation, as Sophie and the boys stayed with Sophie's mother the night before each derby. If the talent men were in a bad mood, it would only be him they'd hurt. As he opens his safe and removes his pistol, the knock sounds again. Slipping the weapon into his back pocket, he heads down the stairs and opens the door.

It had been almost a year since he'd seen them in person, but the sight of the shark and crocodile was never a calming one. They had upgraded their costumes, glowing red lights now installed into the center of their already terrifying black beady eyes. They smelled of alcohol and that familiar yet indescribable odor that Hans had picked up on since the very beginning. It was stronger now, assaulting his nasal passages like mustard gas in the trenches of Verdun. It only gets worse when Che extends his hand. Hans doesn't shake.

"Very well then..." says Che, with genuine disappointment. "Hello Mr. Kaiser. It has been long time since we see you. We glad to return to Germany after a bit of a... how you say... sidetrack! back in Argentina."
"A sidetrack, huh?" Hans clearly has no interest.
"Yes, we sorry we do not send souvenir, but I do not think they would let us send... it... in the mail."
"Look, I don't care who you've killed, Che. Just tell me exactly what you've come here for. You've got five minutes."
"Hey, no worry, Mr. Kaiser. We not here to waste time. Just wanted to make conversation, you know?" He pats Hans on the shoulder in a profoundly uncomfortable gesture.
"That's ten seconds gone."
"Ah, good! Yes, you see, we have come with message. Important message. One you must hear."
"I'm on the edge of my seat..."
"Why wouldn't you? You see, we do research on new Bayern man, Vitoria. He not to be trusted."
"Well, I don't exactly trust anyone, Che, but tell me what you mean."
"We know he try to play nice. He call you on phone, saying nice things. But he is snake. Those Portuguese, they are so often. We believe he will take any measure necessary to make Bayern the winner. Anything."
"Anything." Zezé repeats.
"But you know us, Mr. Kaiser. We do anything for you as well. Anything." Che says confidently.
"Anything." Zezé says again, this time in a whisper.
Hans takes a few moments to gather his thoughts.
"So you're saying he'll try to kill me? I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised by that anymore."
"No, much worse. He going to put a wig on your head."
"What?"
"A wig. A big one. So you no longer bald."
Just the thought of that made Hans want to laugh and scream at the same time. Losing his baldness, even temporarily, would be devastating to team morale. It could be difference between winning and losing!
"Jesus Christ... so where do you two come in?"
"We think you should do to Mr. Vitoria exactly what you did to Mr. Ancelotti. Shave his head, before he can put the wig on yours."
"That... is not a bad idea."
"We never have bad idea, Mr. Kaiser. So tomorrow, we know what he will do. He will send you invitation to private room for drinks. If you go there, he will have men restrain you and put on the wig. With superglue, so it no come off. But if you bring us, we make sure you the one with the hair advantage. Sound good?"
"That sounds excellent, Che."
"Excelente indeed! We will see you tomorrow, Mr. Kaiser, and we are so happy to be back!"
"Alright, Che. Your time's up now. Goodnight."
"Goodnight." They say in unison, then walk down the sidewalk, right through all ten of Hans' gates, each one of them now melted.
Great.


Allianz Arena
Hans was tired of fighting. But trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went, and he was to blame for most of it. The talent men's return could only spell more danger, even though he had been free from it so far this season. Above all, it seemed suspicious. Last season, they were chomping at the bit to work for him. Every derby day brought more craziness that rarely actually worked in his favor. But then they left for nearly a year, with hardly any contact, all for a "sidetrack"? He didn't buy it. Something felt off about the previous night, the visit to his house, the way Che talked, it wasn't how things usually went. But he still had to be wary of what he had said about Vitoria, even if they were lying again. He had certainly hoped the more virulent aspects of Der Klassiker would be erased once Carlo Ancelotti left, but he figured he shouldn't be too surprised if the friendly tactics employed by Vitoria were just a front. As per usual, Hans had no idea what to expect when he walked off the bus and into the Thunderdome known as the Allianz Arena. In all fairness, he probably couldn't have expected exactly what would happen next.

While he's trying to budge his way through the crowd of unhinged reporters, security, and supporters, Hans suddenly feels something pass into his hands. He looks down and sees a note, folded extensively. As for the person who handed it to him, they were already gone. Once he finds himself in more than an inch of space, he unfolds and reads the note. It's an invitation for drinks from Rui Vitoria in Room 154, as Che had mentioned. Hans throws it in the trash, not willing to risk having a wig superglued to his head. Yet that newfound space grew even wider, as people all around him suddenly scurry away, many of them screaming in abject terror. As Hans turns towards the object of their fear, he is greeted with the latest of many horrific sights he had witnessed since becoming Dortmund manager. Running towards him at full speed was what would be most accurately described a midget, a bald, grotesque-looking man standing no higher than four feet tall, armed with three deadly blades: a long pike that wouldn't have been out of place in an ancient Macedonian treasure trove, slung across his back, and a Nepalese kukri knife and a large meat cleaver in both of his hands. Thankfully for Hans, his reactions and fight-or-flight response had sharpened recently as a result of all the danger he had been in, and he bolts just instants after evaluating the threat. The small man continues to chase him down the wide hallways, showing no regard for the fact that he was inside a heavily populated structure in broad daylight. This certainly wasn't Hans' idea of derby day festivities, but he was holding out hope that this was a cruel prank. If not, his remains would probably be too insignificant to bury. 

As Hans takes a sharp left turn in an attempt to throw his attacker off the trail, the hallway greatly narrows, with doors lining the corridor on both sides, situated just inches apart. With turning back not an option, Hans dashes down the hallway, testing each door handle to see if they were unlocked. Eventually, after shedding precious time, one of the doors gives way and he ducks inside. It's an empty meeting room, with a polished wood desk and expensive leather chairs surrounding it. But as Hans moves to lock the door and kill the lights, the pike suddenly lodges itself into the door, nearly turning Hans into a kebab. Hans pulls back, looking for anything he could possibly use as a weapon against the insane dwarf. He hears the lock break, and the door swings open, the pint-sized assassin busting his way through. Unable to retrieve the pike from the door, he elects to throw the cleaver like a dart, but Hans is able to block it with one of the chairs, which he had quickly found use for as a makeshift shield. Hans rips it out of the leather padding, holding the grisly weapon as his last defense. His opponent is not fazed, however, as his diminutive frame advances with the kukri, hoping to end their perplexing struggle once and for all. Yet the feeling that Hans felt in the mines, when he was due to be executed, was not replicated here. He did not feel he was going to die. And he uses this to his advantage, speaking to his silent attacker.

"Alright, tell me who put you up to this."
He doesn't stop.
"Come on, man, I've got money, I've got nice stuff. Don't think there isn't another option here."
He holds the kukri over his head, ready to strike.
"Okay then, I guess I'll have to thank my karate instructor in high school for this..."
Hans throws the cleaver out an open window, and suddenly swings his leg around, connecting with the midget's arm and causing him to drop the weapon to the floor.
"YES! The orange belt was worth it!" Hans cries as he leaps by his disarmed and confused assailant and leaves the room, turning right in the hope that he would find his way back to the front of the stadium and the police. But before he can take more than five steps, he sees that the hallway has been enclosed, a giant metal door now extending from floor to ceiling.
That wasn't good.
Hans moves down the hall, looking for more unlocked doors, but the dwarf appears soon after, holding the kukri again. Hans sprints towards the end of the hall in response, but another metal door blocks his exit. He's trapped, and now the rather dedicated assassin runs at him again, ready to plunge his last blade into Hans' bald head. Surely his luck had run out now, Hans thinks. The danger had caught up with him, and someone wanted him dead. Yet the feeling still isn't there. Not even with the blade six inches from his face.
There was a reason he didn't feel it. Two, actually.
With death merely centimeters away, the little man freezes in front of his target. For a few anxious moments, he just hangs there, looking around to find the source of what possibly could have caused his sudden failure of strength. He looks Hans in the eyes. Hans can see a wild look in them, one that had clearly been lost to rage and violence long ago. Yet it was also one that didn't seem in control of itself, like someone had created a control room in his brain and was pushing all the buttons for him. Yet those eyes go blank three seconds later, as if the control room had been shut down. Three more seconds, and he was dead on account of all three of his weapons. To relay the images Hans saw any further in that moment would simply be gratuitous. Three more seconds, and he was gone.
Another three seconds, and the talent men appear at the end of the hall.
Five more, and they're standing in front of him, right where the assassin was literally standing seconds before.

"Sorry Mr. Kaiser, we forget about him. He was the backup invitation."
"...Oh..." Hans says, mortified. "I guess I shouldn't have thrown that paper out..."
A wig on his head was better than ten inches of metal in it, that was for sure.
"Yes." Zezé says with a hint of contempt.
"Well, the good news, Mr. Kaiser, is that you have reached Room 154."
Hans looks to his right. Indeed, printed on the door in red block letters with a Bayern logo next to it, were the numbers 1, 5, and 4, in that order.
"Listen, this part of our plan all along. You take us here, we do the retaliate. No need to worry about wig. We use our talent to help you."
Hans hated to acknowledge it, but the talent men had saved his life again. Even in all the times they had gone too far and caused him and numerous others profound hell, they had always been there when he needed them most. This world was a mad place, and he surely would not have had the privilege to occupy it any longer if his associates had not been there. So he allows them the benefit of the doubt.
"Alright then, you guys do your thing. I can't believe that bastard would betray me, but you two have proven you won't. Go get 'em, amigos."
There's a long pause.
"Mr. Kaiser, you open the door yourself. There something you need to see first, before we talk to Mr. Vitoria."
"Okay?" Hans asks in confusion, but nonetheless opens the door.
What greets him is a dark, dank storage closet, filled with dozens of boxes of paper and cleaning supplies.
"Um.. lads, I don't think this is the room."
"No, it not."
Hans really wishes he hadn't just said they wouldn't betray him.
He feels a blunt object being smashed over his head, and his vision goes black.

???
The first thing Hans does when he comes to is feel the gigantic welt on the back of his head. ****ing hell, was it massive. Then the questions came. Where was he? Had the match been played yet? Where were the talent men and Vitoria? All of those questions are answered when Hans opens his eyes. He was lying on the floor, in the same clothes as before, surrounded by a pattern of black and white zigzagging stripes on the ground. Although he was still on his side, he could also see red curtains adorned with Bayern logos surrounding him, and in the corner of his eye he saw an ancient Greek bust, standing alone amidst the bizarre decor. Hans thought the design choices unusual, but even more unusual were the senses he got from the entire room itself. Something felt odd, and a sensation close to weightlessness envelops him briefly. Time also felt slow, as any initial movement he took felt especially arduous. He eventually sits up with much struggle, but as soon he does, he is looking straight at another horror show. Seated in fur chairs, with accompanying tall white lamps are four figures, each of them holding a highly negative view in Hans' eyes. Che, Zezé, Rui Vitoria, and the grandest fraud of them all, Carlo Ancelotti. The talent men's emotions were never readable, that was a given. Vitoria, although he had only seen him briefly beforehand, looked on in vague intrigue and amusement, his baggy eyes revealing an intrigued yet confrontational look. And then there was Carlo. He and the talent men must have made up fast, because he looks just as smug, if not more, than ever. His single eyebrow is raised in a cocky signal of power, and he now sports a matching grey pinstripe suit and fedora, a lit cigar hanging out of his mouth. It is he who takes the first turn to speak.

"So we meet again, Kaiser."
"What do you want, you son of a *****?"
"Did you actually think I would let this go? I told you I wouldn't."
"Maybe I thought you had a little more dignity than to keep ****ing with me after you had quit."
"I don't think you understand this situation. The entire nature of it. I am still loyal to this club. I left by my own choice, they didn't make me leave. I am still a valued member of this community. They are currently in a time of need, to evade the challenge of your meager lot, and I have provided them with what they desire."
"Two costumed psychopaths who can't follow orders? Good luck with them."
The talent men clearly took some pleasure from that comment, as Hans could see they were holding back the chuckles.
"Ah, you see, above all, I am a man of business, Hans. I make the decisions that will affect the business in the most effective and positive way. And yes, even though you sent these fine gentleman upon me to do your misguided bidding every now and then, I am willing to forgive all for the sake of business, and I have discovered these two very... talented men to be quite the reasonable associates in this venture."
"Turn your back and they'll cut your throat for a cheap thrill. Trust me on that. If they betrayed me, what'll stop them from betraying you?"
"Money, Hans. The only thing that truly matters in this world. We have more of it to offer than you. You see, my new position has given me a wider vantage point over so much more in this world. The money, the resources I have at my disposal now, I can still fight you on the pitch as well as in your wallet, and now I have your men. So I could destroy you with the snap of my fingers, if I wanted to. But that's no fun. I've never been like you, Hans. I don't just order people killed if they displease me. I dominate them. I bring upon pain so profoundly damaging that anyone who crosses me wishes they never had. But they can't get out. You fashioned yourself to the python when we had our arguments. In reality, that's me. I am the python. Forget Saint Patrick, I like being a snake. I, no, we, will keep squeezing until you choke."
"Ha! Have you even looked at where you are now? The mere fact that we're in this title race should show you the exact opposite is true. We are closing in, Carlo, baldness is on the rise. It may have taken some time to get here, but that is the nature of the beast. It's easy to call yourself a python when you've been the one squeezing all the life out of this god damn division this entire decade. First you take Lewandowski, then Gotze, then Hummels, and now my ****ing hitmen? That's not an achievement, that's a privilege. One that is about to run out. I'm the one on the come-up, and your reign will be over soon."
Carlo looks at him with frost in his eyes. It might have been actual frost, considering how strange this room was.
"You should remember to choose your words a bit more carefully, Kaiser. Remember, your men, who just did god-knows-what to that poor midget out there, are on my side now."
"Yeah, well I don't give a ****! I never wanted them, they never followed my orders, and all they bring is trouble. Keep them!" Hans is trying to keep his cool, but in reality he was terrified of the possibility of the talent men being his true enemies.
"You lie, Mr. Kaiser! Che interrupts. "You need us for everything. You would be nowhere without our talent. You would still lose to Koln every time... but wait, you do! You are weak, a pathetic man. We know this since beginning, but especially when you get taken by Smurf. What imbecile fall asleep when he is kidnapped? We know only of you."
"It was a power nap, you dip****! I was conserving energy!"
The talent men break out into raucous laughter, which echoes throughout the strange room in eerie installments.
"Listen, Mr. Kaiser. We try to work for you. We try to make things better, but you too weak for the sort of talent we have. This man here, he has what we need. Big jobs, big money, big power. You wear off on us too quick."
"Big money... aren't you two supposed to be communists?"
For a few bittersweet moments, the talent men actually look vulnerable.
"Well, we.. um... participate in system, but we no support it. We... waiting for revolution still."
"Che." Carlo calls from across the seating arrangement, "That's enough."
"Yes, boss." the shark says very purposefully, so as to anger Hans more.
Hans curses him under his breath.

Vitoria, who had been quietly taking in his surroundings up until this point, finally speaks.
"It's time for the match, Hans. I have to go, but you will stay here in the company of my friends."
"Rui!" Hans yells. "What exactly do you have to say for yourself? I thought we were going to mend these wounds, but you and these ***holes are rubbing salt in it! How dare you lie to me, betray me? I thought you were a man of integrity, unlike these clowns! Why?"
"Look, I'm sorry, Hans, but there was no other way this could have happened. This rivalry is simply part of the job here. They even wrote 'Destroy Hans Kaiser' into my contract. I don't have much choice in the matter, to tell you the truth. Like Carlo says, this is a business, and you are going to have to pay for your crimes against Bayern Munich. I did want to establish a good relationship with you, but soon after I made that call, the chairman threatened me with sacking, or worse, if I didn't follow the contract to a T. So I'm going to have to go out there and teach your guys a lesson, that we're the only ones who deserve to be champions."
"Ah, **** you, you soulless drudgeon. Even if you keep me here, even if you force me not to take part in this, my boys will give you a proper whipping. We've been preparing for this day for months. We're ready, and we will not be denied. If you cut off one head of the hydra, another shall grow in its place. Baldness Über Alles!"
"We'll have to see if your guys are as strong as you say. But if I had to guess, I'd say they're all gonna want their hair back after this match."
With that, Vitoria simply disappears, leaving him with the three men he really didn't want to spend any more time with.

After a few silent moments pass, Hans speaks.
"What are you gonna do to me? Play babysitter? You guys have already shown you don't have the stones to actually kill me, so that's off the table. I assume the midget was just a ruse?"
"Yes, in a way. Ike served his purpose to the club, as he helped to bring you here. His purpose is now fulfilled, as well as his life."
Carlo couldn't have said anything more heartless than that.
"That is disgusting. Truly horrible. Here's a difference between you and me Carlo. I value my fans. I value my club and my community. You don't give a **** about any of that. You only care about money and power. Like everyone else. I care about victory and brotherhood. You're willing to kill your own, I never would. And that's why I'm going to win. I'm fighting for good. I have more morals, more compassion, and more love for people than you. I'm the one who's been collecting money for cancer research this entire time. And that's all it really comes down to. All the evil these two have brought *points to the talent men*, that wasn't me. They have intruded on my life, and they have certainly intruded on a ton of other peoples' lives, too. I am going to win, with or without them. And in my opinion, I've been much better off without them. It's fitting that someone like you would want them, so take them, and keep them. Baldness will defeat them too, if they stand in my way."
"You are such a liar, Hans. You always rant about tyranny, domination, and power yourself. Those are not compassionate or loving things. You're no better than anyone else. No one is moral in football, that's the way it is and the way it will always be. You say you love your fans, but you lie to them. You say you love your friends, but you alienate them. You say you love your family, but you keep everything from them. They would leave you in an instant if they knew your true nature. In a way, we are helping you realize that nature, so that you will implode under its pressure. And now we are going to put you where you belong, so you can think about exactly what will happen to you should you continue to test us. Chances are, you won't like it."
Carlo hands something to Zezé, then snaps his fingers, disappearing like Rui minutes before. And then the talent men get out of their chairs, striding towards him in all their horrible oddity. Hans is frozen in place. He tries to yell, to scream for help, but it doesn't come out. The crocodile takes out superglue, smearing it all over his bald scalp, then fastens the thing Carlo had handed him, a long and curly brown wig, on top of it. Then Che takes off his shark head, but instead of seeing the man he had seen that one day in his office, the blackness is already there. What he had once done to Carlo, Jan Oberhauser, and countless others, he was now doing to him. Hans feels everything of substance leave his body, like someone was running a power vacuum through his innards. Then the room is gone, and nothingness overtakes him again.

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When he wakes again, he sees nothing but black. He can't see his hands in front of his face, nor the silver, shiny shoes he had on. Movement is still futile. There wasn't a feeling worse than a complete and utter lack of control over yourself. It stripped away any feeling of humanity, life, meaning. Death was preferable in any circumstance. Yet a bright light suddenly floods the void, just about blinding Hans' unblinking eyes. When he adjusts his sight, he can clearly see himself sitting on a bed of obsidian rock, with even darker, murky tendrils floating all around him. It made up all of what could be described as the ceiling and walls. Movement was still impossible, but the light now showed itself fully. In front of him, covering the entire north wall, was an enormous screen, showing the match about to kick off. The announcers were talking about the fact that Hans had disappeared, last seen running down the halls, seemingly from or toward nothing. The camera pans multiple times, first to Edmund Riemer, his young assistant who had been suddenly thrust into the manager's box in Dortmund's biggest match of the season. Understandably, he looked nervous and scared. Like he was about to vomit. It moves to Rui Vitoria, looking determined and confident. **** him, Hans thought. Eddie had this covered. It then pans to the Bayern supporters, chanting "Super Bayern", their favorite chant. Then to the Kahle Armee in the away end, holding the magnificent OusCrane tifo high and chanting something that brought him much joy.
"OusCrane's on fire! Your defense is terrified! OusCrane's on fire! Your defense is terrified! Baldness Über Alles! Baldness Über Alles! Baldness Über Alles!  Dortmund Über Alles! Los!"
If he could form tears of joy, they'd be streaming down his face in droves.
But then the camera shifts again, showing Carlo Ancelotti in the VIP box, still donning his farcical suit and hat. He is seen talking to numerous prominent figures seated around him, namely David "The Energy Vampire" Moyes, Brendan "EquiMagic" Rodgers, and José "The Special One" Mourinho. Then, just as the images are about to shift back to the pitch, Carlo stares straight at the camera, raises his eyebrow, and lets fly a very purposeful wink.
If Hans could vomit, it would be all over the floor. He couldn't.
Instead, as the opening whistle blows, he loses consciousness for the third time that day.

Los! Los! Los!

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On 22/04/2018 at 05:25, oriole01 said:

Two more AMCs are the best in the intake, which is kind of a shame considering how much money I've spent to build that position in the first team. With Amiri and now Lerche at the club, Kuhne and Lorz might never feature with Hans in charge, but they're still great players nonetheless. Kuhne's 15 finishing and 20 determination certainly catch the eye, and Lorz's passing, first touch, and technique are all great to start out with as well.

Kuhne's a striker, he just doesn't know it yet. Looks almost like a mini-Aguero. He'd also kill in @ManUtd1's strikerless systems as the shadow striker.

 

17 hours ago, oriole01 said:

Disclaimer. @BoxToBox is my ghostwriter. Okay, not actually, but you might as well give him a co-credit on this thread. Thanks for all your help, mate. This chapter's for you. Oh, and David Lynch, again.

I done far less than you've given me credit for, to be fair, but I am glad I could help you in any way with this absolute monster of a thread.

:applause:

 

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5a47164750ed3_karatekid.thumb.JPEG.40bf5cfe1566321e57a4148bee78977f.JPEG
Der Klassiker- Chapter Neun
Bundesliga Week Thirty-Three- The Post-Game

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Well, this was gutting. Despite being 3-1 up and earning a man advantage, we still managed to bottle what would have been a huge win, letting in two Bayern goals in rapid succession. It was very even in the first half. First, a terrible backpass by David Alaba allowed Alexander Isak to latch on to the ball and slip it home beyond Neuer for 1-0. Bayern and Thomas Muller would respond on 35', the German legend calmly slotting a brilliant chip beyond Roman Burki from the edge of the area. At the start of the second half, however, we were rampant. Nadiem Amiri blasted in a free kick on 53', courtesy of a deflection off Renato Sanches' head. Five minutes later, a flicked header from Isak found OusCrane to crank in the volley, lighting up the away end in jubilant celebration and vigorous shaking of the tifo. When Sanches was sent off on 68', things looked dusted, but Bayern somehow responded positively to the news. Alaba atoned for his earlier mistake, ripping home a finish from open space to bring it to 3-2. Then came the most gutting moment of the match, as Sokratis gave away a penalty for a trip on Kingsley Coman, sending Muller to the spot to bang home. We actually looked like blowing it entirely, as Bayern had more chances to score in the late goings, but we left the stadium in a lot of disappointment. We probably just threw away the title in those two minutes.

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Here we are heading into the last day. Still a one-point deficit, so we need to better Bayern's result to win the title. We face Nurnberg, they face Hamburg. It's going to take a lot of luck, but I'm confident we can hold up our end of the bargain. Leverkusen and Leipzig lose again, Bremen have secured Europa League football, and Braunschweig are down with Nurnberg to follow if we beat them.

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Hans had been imprisoned before. In a cage in the Congo, forced to eat rotting meat and fetch live grenades. This may not have been as bad, but sitting in a dark, creepy room for hours did nothing to inspire positive thought. Even worse, he had come to towards the end of the match, right when Bayern had claimed their two goals to steal a draw. So close, yet so far. Now, he was just frozen in isolation, feeling nothing but emptiness. But eventually, he realizes the talent men weren't going to let him out. He had to find his own way, and for that, he had to make a painful throwback to the Congo. Throughout that awful experience, the only happiness he could find was in the lion in the next cage over, Leo. Although the carnivore had initially tried to bite off his hand when they first encountered each other, they had developed a mutual understanding, and eventually, a friendly bond. They would even share meals. Yet one day, the militiamen had decided they had had enough of Leo and Hans' partnership, as they took the lion for a "walk in the woods", only for him to never be seen again. But Leo's spirit had lived on in Hans' mind. Whenever he relapsed into depression or post-traumatic stress- which could be triggered by any number of things- Leo was the calming thought, the light at the end of the tunnel. And when things got really rough, Hans would speak to him, even creating an image of him in his mind. Now was one of those times. He concentrates as hard as he can on Leo's face, trying to bring him back, but it was much more difficult in this pitch-black hellscape. Finally, after many minutes, he feels Leo's presence emerge. His booming voice is unmistakable.
"Hello, my friend."
"Hans, my dearest friend, you are in grave danger."
"I know."
"But do you know what you must do?"
"I have a feeling, but I have no idea how to do it."
"No, I think you do. The complete path shall present itself in time, but you need to start soon, or else your enemies will destroy you before you have a chance to achieve your goals."
"I understand, Leo, but it seems like I can never stop them. Even if I defeat them, send them a message, they still rise again. Their victory is inevitable."
"Then you shall be equally resilient and fierce. You must power through this struggle, do what must be done to succeed. Nothing else will suffice against this scourge."
"You're right. I've got to toughen up."
"Everything I say comes with the wisdom of ten years in the wild. Your profession is very much the same system. I can see so much... strife amidst it."
"Yes, it's a shame, but I still love it."
"I can tell. I always could. It may be an unforgiving career, but you tackle it with the fury of a... well... lion."
They share a laugh.
"Now let's get you out of here." Leo continues.
Hans sees, or rather imagines, Leo striding into the darkness, towards the wall. He hears a great roar and then an intense tearing sound. Suddenly, light floods through, destroying the talent men's prison and spilling Hans onto the pavement outside the stadium. In fact, he was right in front of the soon-to-be departing Dortmund team bus. At the sight of him, dozens of players and coaches file out of the bus, relieved to see their boss but also confused and upset at his disappearance. As he's the captain, Sokratis addresses him.
"Boss? Where the hell were you? We were all worried sick!"
"I-I was somewhere I shouldn't have been. I'm sorry boys, but I can't say anything more than that."
"Ok.. what's with the wig?"
Hans had forgotten about the wig. But it sure was going to be difficult to remove.
"It's a um... souvenir..."
"A souvenir?"
"Yeah, not one I wanted either." He pauses. "Guys, can we please get going? I don't want to be here any longer. It makes me feel like dying."
"Alright boss, we were just worried for you, that's all. We're glad you're back, but we missed you out there today."
"Trust me, I missed you too. More than anything." He speaks louder to as to address the entire contingent, then begins sobbing.
The players and staff, clearly moved by their manager's anguish, move in for a group hug. It's here that Hans remembers exactly who and what he was fighting for. These guys were his second family, and he was going to make sure no one could ever separate them from him again.
"Thanks, lads. Baldness Über Alles."
"Baldness Über Alles." They all say in quiet unison.
Love is the best feeling.

As Hans boards the bus and sits down in his customary front row seat, the voice of Leo came to him once more.
"Hans, there's one more thing you must remember. The man underneath. Find him. He is key to your success. Oh, and check your arm."
Hans somehow hadn't seen the small tattoo on the inside of his left forearm until now. It hadn't been there before he went into the strange red room. It depicts three interlocking diamonds; one blue, one red, one yellow. The primary colors. Hans knows what it means. It relates directly to what Leo had touched on earlier.
Up until this point, the Kahle Armee had just been a group of supporters, a community of friends and fans alike. Sure, they got rowdy and intense, but they were nowhere near their full potential. Now was the time for change. It was time for the Kahle Armee's name to become literal, not figurative. Hans needed troops for the next stage of his great struggle. So much depended on it.

As the bus rolls away into the night, this next stage begins. After a brief congratulatory chat with Edmund Riemer, Hans dials a number into his phone, one that he had called many times before, but one that had not served a purpose like this until now. The ringer sounds four times before the man on the other end picks it up.
"Hans? Are you okay? I heard about what happened today, with you disappearing."
" It's fine, I'm okay. But we have to talk about something. We need to meet in Liverpool, as soon as you can."
"Is this what I think it is?"
"If you're thinking about raising an army, Jürgen, then we're already halfway there."

TO BE CONTINUED

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Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga- The Final Round

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"Hello, and welcome to the Signal Iduna Park for what we can only hope will be a cracking match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Nürnberg. For BT Sport, I'm Owen Hargreaves, and joining me today are special guests are former Bayern Munich player Lothar Matthäus and former Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp. These two sides couldn't be in much more contrasting positions heading into the final day, wouldn't you agree, Lothar?"
"Yes, ze Dortmund are in ze great position heading into zis day, zey are fighting for ze Bundsliga title- ze Meisterschale- and with ze vin against Nürnberg, and some help from ze Hamburg, zey will have it. But ze Dortmund are in the good place, zey vill be relegated to the zwei Bundesliga if zey lose zis game. Bad news. Very bad news for zem, I must zay."
"Thank you, Lothar. Now, Jürgen, you were a former manager of Borussia Dortmund, as we all know, leading them to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final appearance in 2013. We know this club holds a very special place in your heart. But do you think they will have what it takes at the end of the day? Both the drive and perseverance to win this match, and then the luck to have the Bayern fixture go their way?"
"Listen, I believe there is a magic around this club, around this new man, Hans Kaiser, no?. He has got that certain thunder about him, right? The performances he has strung together this season.. I see no reason to believe why they cannot do their job, yes? It all comes down to vat happens in Munich, this is the key. But I feel something in the air today, Owen. I prophesied this day ven I was on holidays in Korea. THERE IS DRAGON ENERGY HERE! I FEEEEEEEEEEELLLL ITTTTTT!!!! YESSSS!!! I AM SO EXCITTTTEEEDDD!!! YEAH!!!!!!!! BALDNESS ÜBER ALLES, MY FRIENDS!"
"Erm... thanks, Jürgen. Regardless of the result, this will be a great sendoff for the Dortmund supporters, who have turned out for the highest attendance in the league this season yet again. It will be made all the more sweeter for them if their team can finish this match with trophy in hand. The Meisterschale is on board the plane in Frankfurt, and in the next two hours, we will discover which city it will be headed to."

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"Kaiser going with his usual 4-2-3-1 formation here today. That's quite the intimidating front line, with Isak, Amiri, Pulisic, and Dembele all in fine form. Nürnberg are set out in a straight 4-4-2, hoping simplicity will throw Dortmund off. They are fighting for survival, don't forget. This is just as important to them as it is to Dortmund. I'd watch out for Real Madrid loanee Diaz up top, and Sabiri on the left."

"The players are ready and the whistle is about to blow to begin this potentially historic match. Nürnberg and Diaz will start us off here as the away side. And here we go!"
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15'- OH: "OusCrane cutting down the right side. Plays a cross from the touchline, the ball finds the head of Isak... and it's in! The shot looked savable for Timo Konigsmann, but the header's been squeezed in at the back post! The Swede claims his 21st goal of the season, and Dortmund are holding up their end of the bargain here!
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JK: "1-0 to Dortmund!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! THE ENERGY IS PULSATING!!!!!"

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Edited by oriole01

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28'- LM: Zis is Bayern with ze goal in ze 28th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho ze scorer. Dortmund most hope for ze comeback now!

Image result for HAMBURGER SV0      Image result for BAYERN1

Edited by oriole01

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44'- JK: Amiri will take this free kick. He is looking confident today, with that little glint in his eyes.  He lets it fly and OH MY GOD!!! IT IS IN, NO? DU BIST SEHR GUT, NADIEM!!!! DU BIST SEHR GUT, MEIN SOHN!!!!
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Half Time

Edited by oriole01

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46'- 
OH: "Second half getting started here. Dortmund have done well so far, and are in control of this match, but they will need some help from Hamburg up north to turn this into a title-winning effort. Can they do it, Lothar?
LM: "Ze Bayern do not give up lead easy. Dortmund vill be very fortunate to get through zis with trophy.
JK: "VE ARE GOING TO DO IT!!! I SEE WHY HE DRINKS RED BULL NOW, IT REALLY DOES GIVE YOU WINGSSSS!!!!"
OH: "Just to make our viewers aware, this segment is not in any way sponsored by Red Bull GmbH. They already own an entire club in this division, we don't need any more...

Edited by oriole01

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76'- LM: "Heise to Schieber, Schieber to ze substitute Teuchert, he moves to the right to create space and.... GOAL! Ze Dortmund are not safe with zis result yet! Ze Nürnberg, who defeat ze Dortmund in ze reverse fixture, are back in ze game!
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82'- OH: "Looks like some bad news for Dortmund has come in. Kingsley Coman has scored for Bayern, and it's now 2-0. It looks like that, even if they hold on here, Dortmund's title dreams will be dashed by a single point. And... now Hamburg's Walace has been sent off, just a minute later.  This will be grim reading for the Dortmund fans here once they see it on their phones, and even moreso for Hans Kaiser and his players on the pitch.
JK: "I don't believe it. There must be a fraud here, yeah?

Image result for HAMBURGER SV Image result for BAYERN 2

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90'- LM: "Dangerous free kick now for ze Nürnberg, zat was nearly ze penalty. Ze delivery from Sabiri, cleared by Almiron. Recycled to Sabiri by Heise, and now ze cross comes in to SCHIEBER!!!! Oh my, Dortmund have blown ze two goal lead again, just like last week against ze Bayern! Maybe it is ze sign of ze bad luck?"
OH: "It appears Jürgen Klopp has left the building in tears. Sorry about that."

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90' +3- OH: "There's the final whistle! Dortmund have failed to win here, meaning that Bayern Munich are your 2020 Bundesliga champions! The trophy will be transported to Munich imminently so that it can be lifted by Bayern for the second year in a row. Dortmund leave disappointed, wondering what could have been had they held on last week. Hans Kaiser will have questions to answer after this. Nürnberg are still relegated, but will have been proud to leave the Signal Iduna Park with a result to be proud of. This has been live BT Sport coverage of Bundesliga action. For Lothar Matthaus and a very sad Jürgen Klopp, so long, and see you next season!

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Full Time
****.

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Dortmund.png.a685d4c8b9f816554a3cc75df56c0d77.png
Borussia Dortmund
2019-20 Season Review

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There's no doubt we've made progress this season. Although the position is the same as last time, we fought Bayern until the very end, coming just minutes away from defeating them in the crucial fixture. They'd better be scared next season; this side will only get better with the addition of Malang Sarr, a new left back to replace Guerreiro, and possibly an influx of home-grown talent from the youth side. If this year wasn't quite our time, next one should be. With Bayern and Schalke building their armies, it is imperative that we do right by ourselves on the pitch. The Champions League was a washout, but I don't mind it too much, as we were able to focus on the league in the second half of the season. Next time, I hope we can finally make a big stride there. Same as usual in the Pokal, but let it be noted that the Third Round is indeed the farthest we have progressed now. A new record!

The squad has built very nicely. We're ready to level up.
BALDNESS ÜBER ALLES!

Awards
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Isak is our player of the year, without a doubt. His excellent contributions in the goals and assists department guarantee that he's arrived on the scene for good, and should be our key man up front for years to come. A $110 million release clause should all but ensure that he'll remain ours. Amiri is second, as he had a wonderful season as well, and Sokratis third for his best year yet as our defensive anchor. I probably would go for Cyprien ahead of Lerche as best signing in terms of performance, as he played twice as many games and was consistently good, but in terms of potential, Lerche is the clear winner.

I was happy to see Isak claim Bundesliga Player of the Year, as his excellent performances earned it for him. Amiri coming second was a surprise, but he also had a stupendous season at attacking midfield. Those two plus OusCrane got into the Team of the Season, meaning we had more than Bayern.  Also, I finally placed in Manager of the Year voting, having never even come in the top three before. Bremen's manager definitely deserves it though, as he came from complete obscurity in their youth setup to lead them to 5th in the league.

This is our goal of the season, from Isak. Probably our least spectacular GoTS so far, but a good goal nonetheless.

Squad|League Overview|Fixtures 1|Fixtures 2|Finances

Youths
The U19s were back in the UEFA Youth League this season thanks to our group stage participation in the CL, going through their group and knocking out Man United in the Round of 16 before being eliminated by eventual runners-up Bilbao in the quarters. Domestically, they were unable to claim a third straight league title, as Schalke dominated this season. However, they did win their first U19s Cup after losing in the final in the previous two seasons, smashing Gladbach 6-0. This team is all regens now, but they have a mindblowing eleven players with 5-star potential. Eleven! They're practically tempting me to go youth-only at this point. Can't wait to bring the next generation through. They're almost there!

Contracts
I had tough decisions to make with Marc Bartra and Bjorn Engels, as both have done well on this save, but with Malang Sarr and potentially the young Turk Erdi Akbas looking to stake a first team place next season, their positions have come under threat. I decided to renew them both, but I might have to sell in the winter should either of them not be getting games. Lukas Piszczek got his annual contract renewal, as he still wants to keep going at the age of 35. Only Mario Gotze and some deadwood youths will be leaving, and I actually accidentally terminated Gotze's contract in early May, so he's been gone for over a month. He simply isn't going to be able to compete with Amiri and Lerche at his position, and has hardly had a good game in years. Unfortunately, it's time for Mario to leave again.
 

Expectations for 2020/21
Bundesliga: This season, we performed as I expected- we seriously challenged Bayern for the title. Next season, I believe we have what it takes to get over that hump. Champions.
UEFA Champions League: Knockout rounds. Anything further is a bonus.
DfB-Pokal: For goodness sake, please make a deep run this season. I'm pleading with the FM gods here.
Other Goals:
1. Find a way to balance the squad. It's getting pretty big, but everyone is valuable. This is going to be key if we want to perform well in all competitions.
2. In the second half of this season, I believe we finally found consistency. Let's try and do that again, but this time for the entire season.
3. Go unbeaten against Bayern, Schalke. So close this time.
4. Build the Kahle Armee to usher in the next stage of the "Baldness Über Alles" campaign.

Thank you for your support and feedback. I'm quite happy that we have a consistent readership base, namely @BoxToBox,@Fer Fuchs Ake, and @ManUtd1, whose interest and support is definitely a positive influence towards keeping the save and thread going. I was almost at a point of quitting this season, when we lost to Nürnberg right before Christmas, but they made me keep going, and I'm glad they did. As for you casual readers/lurkers, don't be hesitant to leave a comment or a like if you want to, I'm always open to new ideas! This is the season things started to click, and I'm hoping next season can be a continuation of that.

Los! Los! Los!

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On 5/7/2018 at 11:49, BoxToBox said:

Kuhne's a striker, he just doesn't know it yet. Looks almost like a mini-Aguero. He'd also kill in @ManUtd1's strikerless systems as the shadow striker.

 

I done far less than you've given me credit for, to be fair, but I am glad I could help you in any way with this absolute monster of a thread.

:applause:

I'd be happy with either, as long as he can score goals! In two and a half months with the U19s, he played nine games and scored four, so he's already started well, just like Bagnack before him.

As far as the narrative sections go, you've been absolutely integral lately. Trust me, the stories wouldn't have been nearly as good.
Cheers!

On 5/8/2018 at 11:44, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Gutting. Unlucky mate.

Yeah, it sucks, but we had our chance in that penultimate game. Can't believe we conceded twice with a man advantage, but such is football and FM sometimes. I feel like we've got them next season, though.

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European Review 2019/20
Germany
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Lower league time.
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Our affiliates Karlsruher had a great season, which unfortunately means they won't be our affiliates anymore due to the promotion. Augsburg join them, returning to the Bundesliga after a two-year absence. Bochum narrowly missed out on automatic promotion, and instead had to go to a playoff against Koln, which they lost. The rest of the table was extraordinarily tight, as just twelve points separated 18th from 3rd. Don't believe I've ever seen a table like this before. All three promoted teams survived, but Frankfurt and Gladbach are the big shocks, with the former (most recently managed by Roman Weidenfeller, who left his role as coach here) receiving their second relegation in three years and the latter with their second straight. Crazy stuff considering the money they had available to them. Magdeburg were very poor, the relegation ending their three-year tenure in the 2. Bundesliga.

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Holstein Kiel narrowly beat Osnabruck to the league title. Hannover stopped the bleeding following their double relegation and are headed right back up to the second tier after defeating Frankfurt in the playoff. Rot-Weiss pulled off a great escape last season, and followed that up with a spectacular 4th-place finish. Unterhaching also massively overachieved, finishing in the place behind. Paderborn nearly got double relegated. Aachen, Oldenburg and Gladbach's reserves drop out of the pro leagues, ensuring a miserable year for the entire Gladbach organization.

DFL-Supercup:
VfL Wolfsburg 0-0 Bayern Munich (Bayern won on penalties)
DfB-Pokal Final:
Mainz 0-0 Bayern Munich (Bayern won on penalties again)
Promoted from Regionalliga:
Wolfsburg II, Lotte, Burghausen
Lotte are back! Thank the FM gods!

England
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Mourinho's Man United finally have their first Premier League title on this save, and indeed their first trophy of any sort after numerous heartbreaks at home and in Europe. Arsenal nearly got their hands on a second straight, finishing just two points behind and on cracking form. Man City and Spurs both finished below expectations, and will be playing in the Europa League again next season. West Brom are now a European club, finishing above the rest of the small clubs to claim the last place. Leicester won't be in Europe next season after finishing 10th, Everton did just okay upon returning to the Prem, whilst Brentford and an awful Wigan went straight back down alongside Watford.

FA Cup Winners:
Chelsea
League Cup Winners:
Arsenal
Promoted from Championship:
Sunderland (:rolleyes:), Swansea (:)), Barnsley (wtf)

Spain
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Atletico are truly building one of Europe's great dynasties. Four straight! They're the only club to do that in a big league. They just barely edged out Barcelona this season, just like with Real last season. Sevilla return to the CL for the first time since 2016, Sociedad reach Europe for the first time on the save, Valencia narrowly miss out on it, and last season's surprises La Coruna could not match their performances this season, finishing in 14th. Celta made the EL as well, but it doesn't show on there.

Copa del Rey Winners:
Athletic Bilbao
Promoted from Segunda Division:
Alaves, Malaga, Mallorca

Italy
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Roma came out on top in a gritty title race, outlasting Inter and Juve despite losing on the last day. Sassuolo are going to Europe again, last season's CL semifinalists Milan greatly underpeformed, and Chievo missed Europe by a point. Pescara were the only promoted team to survive, while Livorno had probably the worst top flight season I've seen on this save. Not even sure how they made it to Serie A in the first place.

Coppa Italia Winners:
Juventus
Promoted from Serie B:
Frosinone, Torino, Carpi

France
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Monaco have won their second consecutive Ligue 1 title. Nothing better than to see PSG fail. Toulouse had another ridiculously good season, winning 16 of their 19 fixtures after the winter break to come within five points of the title. They've come out of absolutely nowhere to become a powerful club on this save, no tycoon or anything. Bastia continue to stay up, while Red Star went straight back down.

Coupe de France Winners:
Marseille
Coupe de la Ligue Winners:
Monaco
Promoted from Ligue 2:
Nancy, Stade Lavallois, Nantes

Portugal
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Sporting have won three titles in the last four years. Great achievement for them, but I don't see that happening in real life. Porto were well off the pace. Santa Clara have become a consistent Primeira Liga survivor, next season will be their fourth straight. Maritimo down again.

Taca de Portugal Winners:
Braga
Promoted from Liga II:
Vitoria Setubal, Penafiel

Champions League
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WOW. Basque nativists Athletic Bilbao are European champions at the Bernabeu, defeating what has arguably been the most powerful club on the save in Arsenal. The Gunners dominated this match, and they certainly should have won it, but Bilbao actually took the lead from a free kick on 45', before Mesut Ozil finally got Arsenal into the back of the net a half hour later. Extra time fizzled away as Bilbao played hyper-defensive football, sending the game to the lottery of penalties, and it was one that Bilbao hit the jackpot in. Despite being the best player on the pitch in normal time and extra time, Ozil missed his penalty and Bilbao buried all of theirs past a retiring Petr Cech to win the trophy. An unbelievable achievement, on the level of Sassuolo and Dinamo Zagreb on this save.

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Bilbao had the much harder path to the final. Powered by rising 22-year-old striker Asier Villalibre, they beat Pep's Juve, four-time defending Spanish champions Atletico, and a PSG side (who had just destroyed Bayern in the previous round :D) to book their place at the Bernabeu. Arsenal had an easier path, taking out the defending champions Barcelona, but then facing two unexpected opponents in Ajax and Porto, the latter somehow having beaten Man United and Real Madrid in the previous rounds. Another absolutely crazy CL season.

Europa League
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For some reason, I think Juande Ramos' job security will still be safe despite their 10th-placed finish in the league, as Leicester sacrificed league performance to make a European final. They made the semis last year, so I suppose it shouldn't have been too unbelievable, but it's still absolutely mad considering how Leicester have become a mid-table club in real life. They really should have won, too, as they actually had more shots and possession and had a man advantage for the entirety of extra time. However, they were gassed out by the time penalties became necessary, missing all three of their spot kicks to hand Monaco the trophy. A disappointing final, but a remarkable run for the Foxes. Even more surprising was that their semifinal opponents were Freiburg, who only missed out on the final by virtue of away goals. There's more proof that Europe has gone mad by 2020. I just wish it could go mad in our favor for once!

Other Competitions:

UEFA Super Cup:
Barcelona 0-1 Juventus
FIFA Club World Cup Final:
Flamengo 2-3 Barcelona
Flamengo sure as hell gave Barca a game, coming from 2-0 down to force extra time and requiring a Luis Suarez extra time goal to save Barca's skins.
Copa America Final:
Brazil 2-3 Peru
A massive upset for Peru. This is their just their third Copa America title in over 100 years of play, and their first since 1975.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Final:
Mexico 2-4 (AET) USA
This is the United States' sixth Gold Cup title. Especially satisfying for them to beat their rivals in the final.
OFC Nations Cup Final:
New Zealand 3-2 New Caledonia
This is New Zealand's second straight Nations Cup title, and sixth overall.

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May 30, 2020. Signal Iduna Park.
Hans Kaiser rests on his back, staring up at the sky. He wonders how exactly he got here. After all, his back is severely damaged, possibly broken, and he had just fallen out of a three-story window. Hans thought it was important to reflect on why something like this would happen. He had experienced worse before, but this was surely worthy to add to his scrapbook of absurd events that had occurred since he took the Dortmund job. As he hears the ambulance sirens approaching, Hans' mind becomes a television screen, replaying the events of the last hour. Oh my, where to start?

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The events of that afternoon had begun relatively innocuously, but maybe Hans should have considered that building an army wasn't going to be easy. Or safe. After the terrifying experience he had endured at the most recent Klassiker, Hans had commissioned Ultras leader Johann to find someone who could oversee the transformation of the Kahle Armee from a simple fan group to a powerful military force. Someone who had more knowledge of the military than him. Someone with honor, respect, character. Someone who would be able to gain the trust, loyalty, and unassailable baldness of those around him. That would be ideal, and he was looking forward to seeing who Johann could find.
But when Johann entered his office accompanied by the club's bumblebee mascot Emma, Hans was just confused.

"Johann? Why is Emma here?"
"This is your new commander, Hans!" His voice is giddy with excitement.
"What the hell.... April Fool's Day was two months ago, you madman."
"No jokes. You see, Emma here is actually a retired military specialist, Former KSK."
"What the ****... when did he get hired?"
"Ten years ago..."
Hans realizes that he had never learned the true identity of Emma, as he had never bothered to get to know such a low-level employee personally. He had done photoshoots and social media promos with Emma, sure, but there was certainly no relationship beyond that.
"Oh.. wow. Sorry, Herr..."
"Captain Tim Moller, sir." Comes the voice from underneath the bee costume.
"Moller.. alright. Do you think you could take the costume off, though? That's really not necessary."
"No sir... I'm afraid not. I'm in the nude under here. It's far too hot out there for there to be another option."
"Ok, Herr Moller, that's fine. Just sit down and we can talk about how we want to go about this. Me and Johann are going to talk for a minute, privately."
"Sir, yes sir!" Moller gives a salute, then sits down while Hans gestures for Johann to follow his lead out of the office.

"Johann, how did a soldier become our mascot? You know this sounds ridiculous, right?"
"Well, the story goes that this guy used to be a fearsome bad*** commando. Rose from the bottom to the top of the ranks in five years. He was in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan. He also spent time at home as a counter-terrorism operative. He's well-qualified to help you."
"That doesn't answer the question. Why is he our mascot?"
"Well, in Afghanistan, when he was working with the Americans, they attempted to raid an old wood factory where the enemy was supposed to be hiding. Turns out it was a decoy, and rigged to explode. Half his crew got wiped out, and he got a saw blade lodged in his head. You'll probably never want to see his face. It turns out that he's a Dortmund fan and went to all of our games before and between deployments, so after that awful experience, and a lot of recovery, we took him in as a gesture to the military. We figured the mascot role was great for a guy who was damaged like that. He gets to have fun with the kids and be a bit of a celebrity, all while keeping his private life and recovery truly private."
"Oh, well that makes sense. Surely he'll have to stop being the mascot though?"
"No, not at all. He'll do duties at both."
"Wow.. this guy sounds pretty dedicated."
"Well, he is a commando. It's one of his core values."
"Yeah, I suppose so."
A few moments pass with no words. Then Hans decides it's time to talk to his mascot warrior.
"Great, Johann. I think you can go now. Me and Emma... I mean Moller, will talk it out."
Johann takes a few more moments to stroke his beard beneath his bandanna. Hans can tell there's something else he wants to say.
"Yeah, Hans, there is something else you should know."
Oh no.
"That saw blade... it has messed him up in ways that no amount of care can completely fix. He's been known to have some rather violent episodes. There are certain words you can't say around the guy. And whatever you do, never, ever bring him to a lumber mill."
Moller was starting to sound much like himself, Hans thought. Both had had a seriously traumatic experience, and both had words that would make them tick. This would be interesting.
"Which words?"
"Well, I can't exactly say them here, can I? He might overhear. I'll just say they have to do with carpentry. If you or anyone else has got a DIY project at home, don't talk about it near him."
"Alright... I'll be sure to write that down. Thanks mate."
"Always. Just be careful." Johann slips on his sunglasses and disappears down the hall.

"So, Herr Moller."
"Herr Kaiser. Pleasure to meet you, sir." Moller extends Emma's yellow, fuzzy hand to shake. Hans cautiously obliges, trying hard to remember that that familiar feel of felt was indeed someone on his side, and not a talent man.
"So, I assume Johann has already informed you of what we're looking to do?"
"Yes sir. I am willing and ready to deploy my expertise to assist this operation."
Hans laughs.
"Listen, I'm not your general, okay? We don't have to speak like that here. We may be building an army, but we don't have to treat it like one. You know what, just call me Hans. No 'sir' or 'Herr'. Let's focus on being fans, rather than professionals."
"Yes sir. I mean, Hans."
They share the chuckle this time.
"Brilliant! What we need to do first is find our best troops. Our most loyal supporters, whether it be from the Ultras or just the general support. We need people who are willing to fight and die for the club, against the threat from our rivals. And believe me, the threat is real. I've been kidnapped twice, and nearly assassinated one of those times. This is a very important task, and based on what I've now heard about you, I'm sure that you can do it and do it well."
"Absolutely, Hans. I can start a recruiting campaign as soon as the end of this week. All it'll take is some posters and social media communications. Is there a specific type of soldier you're looking for, so that I can take that into consideration when training?"
"No... just that they're bald!"
Both men burst into uproarious laughter. Hans liked this army man. He didn't seem like someone with crippling mental anguish. He seemed like a straight-laced, hard-working gentleman.
"What about arms?" Moller asks.
"Arms? I was hoping you could take care of that. I don't really want to be interacting with arms dealers, it wouldn't be good for someone of my standing. Just run it by me what you're ordering, and how much it's going to cost."
"No problem, Hans. I've got connections on six continents. I can get some in by the end of the week as well."
Hans is beaming.
"This is great news, Tim. I needed someone like you to help me with this. Expect a big increase in your pay packet, starting next pay day."
"Thank you, Hans. I look forward to advancing the interests of this great club."
They shake hands, firmly.
"I look forward to more meetings this season, and maybe even beyond, depending on the strength of the threat. Also, I should probably mention that I've arranged financial support for this whole venture with Jürgen Klopp. You must be familiar with him from his time here. He's providing the money from above, so that we don't have any irregularities on the books. If you've got any questions about money, talk to him. I'll give you his current contact information by email."
"Ah, no need! I've already got it. We were really close, Jürgen and I. We used to go for drinks all the time, even when I was in this costume."
"Really? That's even better, less work for me."
"Naturally."
Moller moves towards the door, ready to bid goodbyes and get to work. But Hans, overcome with relief and excitement, wants to thank him again.
"Before you go Tim, let me make it clear how grateful I am for your expertise. I've been caught in a ruthless game with Bayern and Schalke ever since I took over. It's gotten so intense, that I don't go anywhere in public without protection. I can't possibly feel safe anymore, especially not with these former... associates of mine having betrayed me for Bayern, but I want to change that. If we win this fight, we won't have to worry about that anymore. We will be the top club, the opposition destroyed by baldness. With your help, and the help of the army we're creating, I feel like we can do it. We've always been tough, now we just need to apply that to a different area. A new one, an uncharted one, nonetheless, but one that we can thrive in with the right direction. I'm committed, and I'm glad you're committed as well."
"I'm flattered, Hans. In all my years of service abroad, the only thing I missed about life back home was going to Dortmund games. I'm more than ready to carry you through, to achieve all the things you just described."
"That's what I like to hear! See you later, Tim!"
Moller raises Emma's arm up to give a salute, then exits the room.
Hans feels victorious. He had the man he needed, and he was going to make the Smurfs and FC Hollywood pay for challenging the rise of baldness. He was doing Leo proud.
In a moment of elation, he raises his hands in the air and yells out loud, "YES! I AM OFF THE CHOPPING BLOCK! BALDNESS ÜBER ALLES!"
He walks over to his floor-to-ceiling window, pumping his fists and making gyrating motions that would have gotten him arrested for assault in a nightclub. He wanted anyone who might have been watching below to see how pumped he was.
But then the door opens. It's Moller again. This time, there are no pleasantries. There are no words at all. The only two words that mattered had already been said. The man inside the bumblebee smacks himself several times upside his giant felt head, tears off the Dortmund shirt covering Emma's thorax, and then charges at Hans Kaiser, lunging at his boss with unbridled fury. Hans feels the impact of thousands of fibers of glass shattering in his wake, and he drops into freefall. For those few moments in the air, all the hope sinks out of Hans' body. Things just couldn't go right. As soon as he thought he had found someone to change his fortunes, he gets rewarded with being tackled out a three-story window. Winning is fun.

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Thankfully, Hans lands on the lawn outside the stadium, back first. He knows he's still seriously hurt, but he's numb to the pain at the moment. This is where he takes his time to reflect. Surprisingly, this wasn't all bad. More medical bills and another media coverup notwithstanding, Captain Moller had proven to Hans exactly what he could do. He hated the idea of exploiting a man's trauma to get his way- after all, Hans had a similar condition- but given his... expertise... there was a serious chance he could match Che and Zezé's talents.  
The uniforms, the gadgets, the battle tactics, the head shaving and face painting... Hans was looking forward to this, if it meant this wild saga came to an end. He just had to watch his lip more carefully.
However, that wasn't the greatest priority at the moment. The ambulance arrives, and he's loaded into the back, ready to be transported to get his back brace and the blood pumped out of his lungs.
Football. Bloody hell.

Edited by oriole01

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MS Paint skills are on point.

Four figures move quietly through the dark jungle, with only a small torchlight and two red, glowing lights to pave the way. Wind whistles through the trees, creating an echo chamber of rustling noises around them, which did nothing to instill any sense of safety. However, the two men in the front of the pack had no concerns about safety. They could deal with any threat just fine. They were the only ones who knew where to go. They were also the only ones wearing costumes, and the only ones named Che and Zezé. Behind them were Carlo Ancelotti and Rui Vitoria, trying to look composed and tough, but internally they were both uneasy. They could understand why Hans Kaiser was distraught to lose these two- they were so dangerous that the best place for them was by one's side. Suddenly, Che signals for the rest of them to halt. He points his felt arm towards something ahead of them. It's a long, green snake, coiled up at the foot of the closest tree. The shark moves forward carefully, drawing his machete from behind his back. The snake hisses, but Che lets his blade do the hissing for him. Before it can even attempt to lunge out, it's been severed in two.
Ancelotti and Vitoria breathe a sigh of relief. There was no way they would have been able to get through this jungle on their own. Zezé gestures forward, and they continue to walk.

Several hundred meters later, the tree canopy ends, and the four figures emerge into a wide clearing.
"Is this it?" Carlo whispers to Che.
"Yes. They be here any minute."
As soon as he's finished that sentence, the men begin hearing the noise of a running engine approach. Two headlights burst through the trees on the other side of the clearing. A white car appears, more specifically a refurbished 30s-era Maybach. Four more figures hop out, and the headlights are shut off. All that can be seen of them are silhouettes. Che motions his accomplices forward again, as does one of the silhouetted figures. Carlo and Rui, who are both holding the torch as they walk, notice what looks like architectural rubble on the ground, spread out all across the field. As they pan further, they see a dozen steel cages, most of them damaged or completely broken.
"I can't believe this is real." Vitoria whispers to Ancelotti.
"Me neither."

A few moments later, and the two parties have converged, now standing in the middle of the field. The torch illuminates the faces of the silhouettes, and although they knew who they were meeting beforehand, Carlo and Rui are relieved that the men they see are indeed the ones they were expecting.
Before them are Sergiy Rebrov, Markus Weinzierl, and two costumed figures, a bear and a lion, holding pickaxes and wearing miner's helmets.
Che is the first to speak.
"Greetings, my friends."
"Tak. Zdravstvuyte." Rebrov replies in Ukrainian.
Che pauses.
"I sorry, I believe we only speak English here, no?"
"Yes. Was being formal."
Che stands rigid for a few seconds, then continues.
"Good, I glad we meet. I also glad you have new associates." He quickly points towards the bear and lion.
"Yes. You remember what happen to old associates?"
This was a bit of a touchy subject, considering the talent men had killed the men who had occupied those costumes previously.
"We no talk about that, Mr. Rebrov. That is past. Hatchet. Bury it. We talk now about future plan. We must unite."
"Of course." Rebrov says, insincerely.
"Please, let Mr. Carlo talk to you about this." He extends his arms to his side, motioning Ancelotti to come closer.
Carlo obliges, but he'd prefer to stay on the sidelines. This wasn't his idea of a business meeting.
"Um.. alright, yeah. Rebrov, Weinzierl, I think you know why we're here, and what this place means."
"Yes."
"Well, everything has been arranged. Construction is scheduled to begin here shortly. The money's coming out of both of our coffers, and we've set up a joint account in Switzerland to facilitate this. Are we on the same page?"
"Yes."
"Do I have your word that you will honor this alliance, and stay dedicated to this cause?"
"Yes." Rebrov couldn't have been more like a robot.
That pissed Markus Weinzierl off. He had been getting progressively angrier that Rebrov was speaking for him, and he let loose with what Rebrov didn't have, emotion and expression.
"WOULD YOU STOP BEATING AROUND THE BUSH? WE'RE IN THE ****ING JUNGLE, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! OF COURSE WE'RE DEDICATED! THIS IS HANS ****ING KAISER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE! WE'RE GOING TO BLAST THAT **********ER'S BALD HEAD OFF! LET'S SHAKE, AND GET THIS OVER WITH! I'M NOT GETTING BITTEN BY MOSQUITOES ONE MORE ****ING TIME, YOU FECKLESS *************************************************************!!!!!!!!"

The entire delegation is shellshocked. Even the costumed members of the party had trouble wrapping their heads around that outburst, and they were hardened criminals.
"Shake?" Vitoria says timidly, breaking a long silence.
"Yeah."
"Yep."
"Tak."
"Si."
Each member shakes each other's hand, gives a small parting gesture, and then separate in their respective directions. The Schalke delegation hops in the Maybach; the Bayern delegation treks back under the canopy and back through the jungle.
Both sides are making moves. Much like a chess game, one that was set to meet a thrilling conclusion. Lot of pieces are going to be taken. Pick a side.

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Image result for interpol
INTERNAL MEMO
The following memo refers to:
KAISER, Hans, Case ID Number 22242342535255255322543941394984891389-Z
ANCELOTTI, Carlo, Case ID Number 351134139474940930413404913-H
WEINZIERL, Markus, Case ID Number 41441034304834983849-E
VITORIA, Rui, Case ID Number 5132301392301204804439849834-G
???- Case ID Number Undetermined
???- Case ID Number Undetermined


From: Jürgen Stock, Secretary General
To: Meng Hongwei, President
-
Yeah, we don't like the look of this, boss.
-
This concludes Season 4.
Thanks for reading.

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Loving it! Since I can't give any more reputation today, please enjoy this gif as a expression of how much I enjoyed reading this latest installment.

giphy.webp

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Back to football.
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France ended up avenging their loss on home soil four years ago, albeit with Wembley as the stage this time. They beat a Belgium side that had looked absolutely deadly all throughout the tournament, but their defense was suspect on the night, as France raced out to a 2-0 in the first half through close-range goals from Griezmann and Coman. Belgium looked sunk, but they got back in it, and their first goal may have been the greatest in their history, as Nainggolan teed up a shot from over 30 yards out that hit the underside of the bar and went in. Nacer Chadli hit a well-timed finish to equalize late, but extra time saw France regain their lead and the Belgian defense fail again, with Corentin Tolisso steering in from close range on 101 minutes to make it 3-2. Belgium couldn't find the net despite some more speculative efforts from Nainggolan, and France held on to lift the trophy.

Elsewhere in the tournament, it was a solid run for World Cup holders England, who would have been hard pressed to win a second consecutive major tournament. Montenegro will be extremely happy with their run to the quarterfinals, as they navigated a tricky group and defeated fellow underdogs Scotland before falling to champions France. Germany were disappointing at a big tournament again, but at least they made it out of the group stage this time, something that World Cup finalists Croatia and quarterfinalists Denmark failed to do.

Awards:
Best Player- Antoine Griezmann (France)
Best Young Player- Marcus Rashford (England)
Goal of the Tournament- Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
Golden Boot- Anthony Martial (France)
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So naturally, the international management carousel kicked back to life after the tournament, and I was excited to see the Germany job open again, as the DFB decided they had had enough of former Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt. Of course, I applied, hoping my back-to-back second place finishes in the Bundesliga was impressive enough for them this time...
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... and I got denied again. Who'd they hire instead?
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Good ****ing question. The DFB chose to hire a man who has never managed at Bundesliga level (he did just get Karlsruher promoted, but didn't stick around) ahead of a man who has led one of Germany's biggest clubs to top-three finishes and Champions League football in each season of his reign. WHY?!?!?! Hans is crying, man!

Whatever, it's fine. I'm totally not mad. Totally not mad. Not at all. Nope.
*spills cereal on pajamas*
Sigh.

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Borussia Dortmund
2020-21 Pre-Season
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Obviously predicted for second again, but with worse odds than last season. Usual suspects predicted to be in the title and European race. Freiburg's odds greatly improve after two impressive seasons. Both promoted sides projected to go down, but Ingolstadt and Union have the same odds.

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A pretty conservative fixture list, as we only left the country twice and had one foreign visitor. Drawing Bielefeld in our first game back is understandable, but the 1860 result is unacceptable. Losing to Real was pretty much expected, but we bounced back well against Atalanta, winning 5-2 behind four goals (and a missed penalty) from Scaramuzzino. Young left winger Decio also impressed, which is likely going to earn him a place in the first team this season.

Transfers
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Outgoings first. Almiron just wasn't the signing I'd hoped he'd be, as the Paraguayan struggled to make a good impression in the first team in the two and a half seasons he was here. I believe letting him go will benefit his career in the long-term. He's off to West Brom, where hopefully he can adjust to Premier League football. Selling Dembele was a difficult decision to make, especially since last season was his best ever and he's become pretty significant to the narrative with the "OusCrane" tifo, but I knew he'd be furious if I denied him his big move, which already happened one time a couple of seasons ago, when I agreed to let him go to Real Madrid but reneged and rejected their offer. As a result, he had abysmal morale throughout the following season, frequently requested to leave, and performed poorly on the pitch. I didn't want that to happen again, so I let him go. Probably not the best decision, but I'll find a way to manage. Good luck in Manchester, Karate Kid. Weigl going has left me conflicted as well, because it only happened due to an optional fee I had left in his loan deal. I was frustrated with Julian at the time, but he ended up performing well at Barcelona, so I'm sad to see him leave. With him, Almiron, and Merino out the door in the last two windows, I've been letting my midfield go a bit sparse. Not pictured here is Götze, whose contract I unwillingly terminated early last May. I was indeed planning to let him go in June, but I pressed a button that I didn't know would chuck him immediately, so he was actually gone for the last few games. He signed for Leipzig, so good luck to him there. Despite being one of our academy's proudest products, Mario just hasn't been the same since the 2014 World Cup, and with Amiri and Lerche at his position, there was no room for his mediocre form. Hot prospects Sandro Alexandre, Fiete Arp, and Erdi Akbas are out on loan again, but any of them could be recalled and thrown into the first team if needed.

Incomings. A 34-year-old Modric probably isn't the sort of signing I should be making, but I wanted a big name with experience this summer, and when I saw the Croatian legend heading out the door at Real Madrid, I pounced. The guy's still got some banging attributes and can certainly do a job in the midfield, but his physicals are expectedly poor. He's not a long-term solution in the midfield, but I'm happy he's here, and he'll be a great tutor for the youngsters. Hopefully he'll be ending his career in a Dortmund shirt, with his hands on a trophy.

Martín is Raphael Guerreiro's replacement at left back, and he's a bit overdue. He was supposed to come in on deadline day last January, but Espanyol kept pushing me to let them sign a replacement, which they could not find, and the window closed before I could tell them to hand him over without a replacement lined up. That was annoying, but he's here now, and he looks like a solid addition to the defense. Nothing spectacular, but he's much younger and fitter than the 32-year-old Marcel Schmelzer, and should be with us for any glory we may achieve on this save.

In addition to them, Malang Sarr is returning from his loan-back spell at Nice, and will fit in as a key piece at center back. I already mentioned this at the last pre-season update, but this kid is legit, and looks to be the defender of the future for Dortmund, not to mention the present. He's already our second-best CB on paper, and could easily give Sokratis a run for his money. Can't wait to see him in action. Unfortunately, he's injured for our opening three fixtures. Darn it.

Luka Modric|Aarón Martín

 There might be some more business before the window closes, so stay tuned.
Ready for the new season, at last. All this narrative writing has made me forget what FM feels like. Not anymore!
Los! Los! Los!

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1 hour ago, ManUtd1 said:

Loving it! Since I can't give any more reputation today, please enjoy this gif as a expression of how much I enjoyed reading this latest installment.

giphy.webp

Image result for borat gif
Cheers! But come back tomorrow for that rep, will ya? ;)

Edited by oriole01

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On 03/06/2018 at 20:36, oriole01 said:

Image result for borat gif
Cheers! But come back tomorrow for that rep, will ya? ;)

fist bump GIF

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Der Klassiker- Chapter Zehn
DFL-Supercup- The Pre-Game

Signal Iduna Park
It is often said that this fixture is supposed to lay down a marker for the season to come. To signal one's intent, by grabbing a trophy at the first go. To the contrary, Hans Kaiser would normally think of it as nothing more than a glittered-up friendly, but this year was different. This time, all of those things were true. He needed to show Bayern what his side were going to be capable of in the coming Bundesliga campaign. However, football wasn't the only area in which that applied. Emma, or Captain Moller- whichever you prefer- had come good over the summer, as the Kahle Armee was now the official militia force of Borussia Dortmund. It couldn't be more awesome, Hans thought. The already passionate Ultras group had just gone a step farther; before they were fans, now they were brothers and sisters in arms. For the occasion of this Supercup, Hans and Captain Moller had decided to pull out all the stops. Surrounding the entire stadium in a ring were legions of Kahle Armee soldiers and Dortmund security guards, outfitted with tactical gear, classic Prussian army helmets, and unloaded revolvers. Sure, it intimidated the **** out of all the fans there, even the Dortmund ones, but the message was not intended for them. Hans was counting on Vitoria walking off his posh bus and passing out on the spot. Carlo too, if he were there. That would get him some views on the 'Gram...

The Tunnel
In reality, Hans knew that wasn't going to happen. Bayern were a tough lot, as always, so he came prepared once he entered the tunnel. He had to be, especially considering he was still wearing a back brace from falling out of his office window. Fabian Schulz and two of his new soldiers, Benno and Goran, were by his side, ready to defend their boss with their life if there was a threat. And Hans knew there would be a threat. The talent men were here, he was absolutely sure of that. In their old place of employment even... those bastards. It made him feel furious and cheated, but not defeated. So when he sees Rui Vitoria in the tunnel, he makes sure to let him know that. The Portuguese raccoon was holding his phone aloft, as if he were taking a "selfie". But as Hans approaches, he notices the reality is much less innocent. He's on a video call with Carlo Ancelotti, who is visibly wearing his Manchester City tracksuit. It was matchday for them too, and the past and present Bayern managers were clearly giving each other support. But Hans and his guards are there to break it up.

"Well, what do we have here? Have you two figured out how to give each other a tug through the screen?" Hans quips wryly.
Vitoria turns toward him, nonplussed.

"I'm not playing your games, Hans. You know the deal. We settle disputes on the pitch, or you face consequences."
"Consequences? You mean with my men, that you stole from me? That might have worked down in Lederhosen Land, but you go try that now! *points to his armed guards* You see this? This is what I'm building. It's ****ing awesome. Now I'll tell you what I want. You stay the **** out of my way, you stand down, or you're the ones facing the consequences. I've got a whole army of bald warriors, *****es, and I'm not afraid to use them." 
Instead of responding, Vitoria holds up his phone screen, showing Carlo's face. He's laughing out loud.
"Hahaha, you ****ing fool. We know what you're doing, Hans. Congratulations. But don't ever think that we aren't five steps ahead of you. We told you to stop trying to fight us. It's futile, and you know that. You absolutely know it, deep down. But you're just too stubborn a bastard to let it go, so you've brought what's coming to you upon yourself. "

"All I'm hearing is talk, you coward. Fitting that you're behind a screen."
"Well, I'd love to tell you more about what's in store, Hans, but I'd prefer you find out once it hits you. It'll make it so much better. Plus, it looks like my friends are here. Auf Wiedersehen, ****."
Vitoria shuts off the call, then points behind Hans' head. Hans' eyes follow his gesture, knowing full well who Carlo meant when he said "my friends".
All three of his guards have their guns trained on their own heads. The talent men stand to their side. Che looks like he's smiling again. Zezé strums his guitar, gently poking Benno's ribs with one of the jagged edges.
"Mr. Kaiser." Che croons, "It time to move along."
Fabian is still able to speak, at least. They hadn't disabled his vocal cords yet.
"Boss... I don't feel so good. Can we please move?" He chokes out.

Hans shifts his head down towards the floor, closing his eyes and sighing. This just wasn't fair.
"Alright. We're moving along." He mumbles.
"Good." Che intones, patronizingly.
The guards are released from their holds, their skin looking sickly, almost blue. Hans knows how horrible they look, but he motions for them to follow him anyway. There wasn't another choice.
His army might have been off and running, but the opposition was still like the Usain Bolt to his morning jogger. There was a lot more work to be done, and it was going to be tough.
Like everything in football management was. Just more insane.

"I should have chosen baldness modeling, damn it!"

Los! Los! Los!

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Der Klassiker- Chapter Zehn
DFL-Supercup- The Post-Game

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Darn it. We made it hard on ourselves here with the red card, but to make it to penalties and then lose is disappointing. Bayern got their lead just 14 minutes on, as David Alaba navigated his free kick into the roof of the net. However, it was dead center, so I was angry that Rajkovic didn't save it. Our chances of winning looked to have decreased when Sebastian Rode got sent off for two yellow cards in rapid succession early in the second half, but we responded well, as we continued to get forward on the counter and posted over twice as many SOTs as Bayern. That persistence paid off on 80', as substitute Piero Scaramuzzino- despite the presence of three defenders surrounding him- teed off on a shot from the edge of the area which Neuer couldn't handle, instead parrying it into the back of the net. We held on to the draw for the last ten minutes, meaning we went straight to penalties instead of extra time. However, keeping with our tradition of never winning in extra time or penalties on this save, we bottled the spot kicks. Modric nailed our first, but both Isak and Amiri were kept out by some superhuman Neuer saves. Bayern, on the other hand, didn't make any mistakes, slotting all of their kicks past Rajkovic. A missed opportunity to make a statement, but thankfully it's not much more than that.

The Bundesliga season will begin against Stuttgart, but that'll be our only league fixture in August. Let's start with a win.
Los! Los! Los!

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*sigh*

One day, Borat gifs will be recognized as a universal form of currency, doubling as fake internet points.

While I have no reputation left to give on this fine day, I do have this -- don't spend it all in one place.

sacha baron cohen party hard GIF

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Borussia Dortmund
August 2020
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Not a good start in the league.

See above for our DFL-Supercup penalty loss to Bayern.

Before the league season started, we headed over to Brandenburg to play 4th-tier Rathenow in the Pokal's opening round. We got the win, but I was a bit underwhelmed by the scoreline. We should have won by more. Scaramuzzino slotted one into the top left on 15' for our first, then Lerche converted from the spot on 26' for our second. A professional job, but one that needed some more flair.

Yeah, that Stuttgart game was a sour way to open up. The first half was scoreless, and actually saw us have the best chance, when Marco Reus hit one straight towards the bottom right corner, only for Mitch Langerak to make a great reaction save. The second half is where Stuttgart exploded into life, however. Thomas Eisfeld drilled their first into the bottom left on 56', then Alexandru Maxim blasted in a penalty on 64' to double their lead, and an awkward own goal from keeper Predrag Rajkovic late on assured victory for them. Hopefully we will bounce back from this at the first opportunity.

No point in showing a table after one game!

Transfers
There were no more incoming transfers to speak of, but I did decide to loan out Andre Schurrle to Napoli on deadline day, as he hadn't done well in the past two seasons. With the much younger trio of Pulisic, Bruun Larsen, and now Decio at his position, I couldn't justify keeping him around. There's a $15 million optional fee in place if Napoli want him, and if they don't go for that, his contract will expire next summer.

Champions League Draw
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Well, this is an interesting group. We got the defending European champions Bilbao, who have kept their squad together and are well-poised to make another run. We also got Klopp's dangerous Liverpool side, but at least there's a friendship between him and Hans. Austria Wien are the other team in the group, and they could be very tricky, as we've had a lot of issues with smaller sides in Europe in the past.  I pray that we can shake that this year, and make a serious impression on the tournament.

Next month begins our CL campaign, with matches against Bilbao and Liverpool, as well as a Ruhr Derby.
Los! Los! Los!

Edited by oriole01

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The Ruhr Derby- Chapter Neun
"A Feeling Deeper Than Hate"
Bundesliga Week Four- The Pre-Game

Hans Kaiser's Office
Hans Kaiser is sweating bullets. The new season hadn't been kind on him or his team in any respect. Results weren't coming. Morale was low. His rivals were up to something sinister, and he didn't know what it was. Job security and fan popularity were plummeting, which was the worst possible thing for someone as charismatic as Hans. Now, every knock on the door, every phone call was a nerve-wracking moment, as Kaiser could never be sure if that would be the knock or call that would initiate his dismissal. It certainly wasn't an unrealistic prospect. The club were in the relegation zone, there were all sorts of unsavory rumors about Kaiser abound, and chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke surely hadn't forgotten about the incident at his house three years ago where Kaiser had used a fork to... never mind.
Unfortunately, baldness was failing. It was dying in Hans' arms, and time was running out to revive it. Things had to get back on track. Maybe a win in the upcoming Ruhr Derby could do that. The army was ready, and on that note, Captain Tim Moller wanted to make sure Hans was ready as well. Of course, when he knocks on the door, Hans nearly has a panic attack.
"WHO IS IT!?!?!"
"Captain Moller, sir."
There are a few seconds of pause, but Moller is fairly sure he can hear Kaiser trying to cease his hyperventilation.
"Okay, come in!"
Moller, in Emma's costume, enters the office. Hans can see his eyes slowly move toward the back window where their last meeting in this room had ended. The window had been replaced immediately, like nothing had ever happened. Clearly, however, it had not been forgotten by either man, and there was doubt it was an uncomfortable topic for both. But the conversation doesn't veer that way. Instead, Moller produces a sturdy paper bag, adorned with Dortmund's colors and logo.
"What have you brought for me, Captain?"
"Something that your army feels you should have."
Hans digs into the bag, and takes out a full military uniform, with the trousers, jacket, and cap adorned with a yellow and beige camouflage design. On the left side of the jacket, a brass plaque read 'Der Kaiser' in bold, black letters. Similarly, 'Baldness Über Alles" was printed in yellow and black across the back.
"Tim, I don't know what to say..."
"You like it?"
"I love it! It's beautiful! I don't think I'll be wearing this cap, though. Gotta stay bald, you know!"
They share a laugh.
"No problem at all. You see, right now, the army is pretty much an upgraded version of your security team. With more bells and whistles. But should we need to mobilize, and truly enter combat, we are ready. And if we ever need to go into battle, that uniform is what you wear. It'll look great on you, sir."
"I think so, too. But I think you'll be seeing it on me a lot sooner than you think."
"Why's that?"

"BECAUSE I'M WEARING IT TO THE RUHR DERBY TOMORROW!!!!! BALDNESS ÜBER ALLES! BALDNESS ÜBER ALLES!"

Moller's reaction is not what Hans expects.
"Oh.. you um... are going to wear that to matches? Doesn't that seem a bit..."
"A bit what?"
"Never mind. I'll be on my way, sir. Thank you for your time."
"Well... thank you! For the uniform, of course!"
"You're welcome, sir. Cheers."
That was a bit awkward. Captain Moller would surely reconsider though, once he saw how badass he would look on the touchline...
It looked ridiculous.

The Tunnel- VELTINS-Arena
It may have looked ridiculous to everyone else, but Hans wore his new uniform with pride. Heads were turning when he walked past. They always did, but now the turns were accompanied by muted laughter rather than respect or intrigue. The uniform couldn't have looked more out of place on a football manager who had never served in any armed forces, but Hans didn't care. He was convinced his new public image was the way forward, and he was going to keep wearing it until people had no choice but to love it. Baldness had started that way, and militant baldness would be no different.

Since there no way Schalke were letting Dortmund's army through their doors, the troops were on standby, surrounding the stadium and prepared to engage should there be trouble. Hans was only permitted to bring in a few of his soldiers, which wasn't much more than his usual security detail- Fabian Schulz, plus his two favorite soldiers Benno and Goran. There wasn't anything particularly special about the latter two; they were quiet, but their large frames and scowls were usually able to intimidate anyone they came across. Except for Che and Zezé, of course. That hadn't worked on them in the slightest. Thankfully, they weren't here. Right?

In their previous meeting, Hans Kaiser and Sergiy Rebrov had barely exchanged anything. When Hans approached his counterpart, he had quickly stormed off without a word. Their obligatory handshake was empty. Hans had fashioned it to something like a cold war, but that was no fun. There had to be at least a little heat, to keep things moving along. He wanted to speak to Rebrov, to let him know he had his eye on him. So when he catches a glimpse of Rebrov in the tunnel, Hans walks toward him at as brisk a pace as possible, with his troops struggling to keep up. Rebrov keeps moving, but Hans hadn't seen him look back yet. They're almost at the end of the tunnel, so Hans calls out.
"Sergiy!"
Rebrov turns around, flashing the same sort of cold look he had last time. But this time, he actually responds.
"Tak?"
"I don't believe we actually spoke last time. It's nice that that's changed now."
Rebrov brushes the (albeit fraudulent) pleasantries aside. That was fine with Hans. He wanted to get to the point, too.
"Why you wearing army uniform? Looks stupid."
"Ah, thanks for your opinion, Sergiy. I don't care. As I know you're already aware, I have a personal army under my command. Ready to strike when necessary. We have former KSK operatives in our ranks. SAS. Spetsnaz. Navy SEALS. Mercs. You name it. But don't worry, it's just an insurance policy, in case someone tries to attack us. You know, if someone tries to kidnap me and assassinate me. Stuff like that. From what I understand, your predecessor didn't have an insurance policy. He *coughs* lost his entire inner circle *coughs again* and had to try to rebuild from the ground up. So I can only assume you're continuing that project. Which is fine. But remember Newton's third law. Equal and opposite reaction."
Rebrov, of course, is unfazed.
"You are mistaken. It will rain, then it will pour."
Then, quick as lightning, Rebrov disappears before Hans' eyes. Gone.
"What the ****?!" Hans yells.
"See, I wasn't kidding, boss. That guy must have mastered in the dark arts. Slytherin type." says Fabian Schulz, who appeared proud that Hans had seen what he had seen last time.
"Are you seriously throwing out Harry Potter references, Fabian?" Hans snaps.
"Sorry, boss."
"Whatever. Let's go."
Hans walks out onto the pitch, while his soldiers move into the VIP section above the benches. What is most interesting is that Sergiy Rebrov is in his technical area, as if he had just simply walked there rather than disappearing and reappearing. That was just ****ing creepy.

Hans is very disturbed by what had just happened. He didn't like the sound of "It will rain, then it will pour" at all. but he still had reason to be confident. His army would surely be able to deal with anything that Schalke could put up. They were the smaller club, after all.
Right?

Los! Los! Los!

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Image result for ruhr derby
The Ruhr Derby- Chapter Neun
"A Feeling Deeper Than Hate"
Bundesliga Week Four- The Post-Game

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Not a bad result away from home. When you look at the shots stats, it's an even more credible result. The first half saw a few chances, but nothing too serious apart from a Javier Hernandez shot that was tipped against the post by Predrag Rajkovic. In the second half, "Chicharito" would get his goal on 53', as Max Meyer cut out a poor pass from Aaron Martin in the box, who passed it to the Mexican icon in open space to slot one past Rajkovic. Thankfully, we responded just three minutes later, when Martin repaid the mistake by picking out a cross for Hasan Bay, who stuck it past Ralf Fahrmann on sight. We held Schalke to low quality chances after that, but couldn't create much else for ourselves either. A fair result considering our defensive performance, but we should have had a bit more attacking intent.

Los! Los! Los!

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Dortmund.png.e7288f705792ad65a767703d1417e7be.png
Borussia Dortmund
September 2020
ada77f3a3f0f63f88983df10ec0987a7.png
Oh my. I'm not going to go into further detail about this. Just know that changes are on the way.

Tables
a06d5a6ed563646a38b2b3d387081898.png
Sigh.

Los!

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49 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

At least Schalke are in the same spot...

With the exact same run of form too. Sergiy probably sold his soul to make sure they'd get the same amount of points as Dortmund to prevent Dortmund finishing ahead of Schalke. And this bad form from Dortmund is 4D chess to ensure Schalke get relegated, even if it means they go down too.

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On 30/06/2018 at 09:58, BoxToBox said:

At least Schalke are in the same spot...

Yeah, at least there's some comfort in that for me!

On 30/06/2018 at 10:49, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

With the exact same run of form too. Sergiy probably sold his soul to make sure they'd get the same amount of points as Dortmund to prevent Dortmund finishing ahead of Schalke. And this bad form from Dortmund is 4D chess to ensure Schalke get relegated, even if it means they go down too.

I think you're onto something...

Image result for tinfoil hat gif

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Dortmund.png.a685d4c8b9f816554a3cc75df56c0d77.png
Borussia Dortmund
October 2020
d8a9c194815d99d44d8cd40f75ac9a3a.png
Slightly better, I guess. Finally a win against Mainz, but we were poor and only won thanks to a magical 30 yarder from Jacob Bruun Larsen, who rarely gets on the scoresheet. We were doing even better against Austria Wien- a Pulisic hat trick had us leading 3-1 in the late goings- but Simon Gustafson pulled two 30-yard screamers out of nothing in a three minute span to break us. Equally disappointing was to go out early YET AGAIN in the Pokal to Karlsruher, who we utterly dominated but could not put away, leading us to be eliminated on the lottery of penalties. We did even worse against them at home in the league, but in essence got the same result.  At least Isak finally scored in that match, but he and the rest of the strikers have been unspeakably horrific so far.
Please tell me there is a way out of this.

Tables
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At least Rebrov is getting sacked before me. I didn't think it was possible for a big club to be doing worse than us, but somehow they've lowered the bar even further. Augsburg still without a single point. Then on the other side of the table.... Ingolstadt top after two months? Crazy! Business as usual otherwise, with Bayern and Leverkusen jostling for position once Ingolstadt inevitably fall off their cloud. That draw ruined us in the CL. A win would have given us a fighting chance, but it's looking like EL at best right now.

c1a2529228d4de2cb00e8283702b429f.png
Woohoo. I won't be making it to 300, even if I somehow survive this season. Next season will be my last.

**** this! **** this! **** this!

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4da32dbe419697aa712099ec22fe5b39.png

It was inevitable. Poor results in the league and failure to qualify from their Europa League group meant that Sergiy Rebrov was toast after less than a year in charge. I had a place for him in the story, but it looks like Sergiy will have to disappear back into the Ukrainian forests from whence he came. We'll have to see who his replacement is, and what exactly they could bring to the table as this saga reaches its final stages.

Edited by oriole01

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Damn shame that its kind of messed up your plans. Hardest part of using FM as a muse, sometimes the match results hinder more than help.

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