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Former Bayer Leverkusen sporting director defends Hasan Salihamidzic: he’s “no bratwurst”

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Reiner Calmund thinks Brazzo is doing a fine job as Bayern’s sporting director and doesn’t deserve all of the criticism.

Sport Bild Award 2018
HAMBURG, GERMANY - AUGUST 27: Bayern Munich's headcoach Niko Kovac and Reiner Calmund attend the Sport Bild Award on August 27, 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.
Sport Bild Award 2018 HAMBURG, GERMANY - AUGUST 27: Bayern Munich’s headcoach Niko Kovac and Reiner Calmund attend the Sport Bild Award on August 27, 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.
(Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)

Hasan Salihamidzic has come under intense criticism at times for Bayern Munich’s difficulty ahead of the now officially open summer transfer window. Most recently, after Bayern finalized deals for both Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, potential transfer targets like Leroy Sane, Ozan Kabak, Timo Werner, and (arguably) even Nicolas Pepe have fizzled out. Much of the blame has been put on Brazzo.

Former Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Reiner Calmund, however, feels that Salihamidzic does not deserve the criticism. Calmund was no stranger to criticism himself, having spent 27 years with Leverkusen. Per a report by Bild, the 70-year old former sporting director said that Brazzo has received nothing but high praise from Uli Hoeness, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and even Jupp Heynckes and Peter Hermann:

Salihamidzic is praised to the skies by Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Jupp Heynckes and Peter Hermann have also always said positive things about him in conversations with me. Brazzo is no bratwurst! Even if it’s not always grammatically perfect — he speaks German, English, Italian, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian. Someone like him is not easy to find.

Calmund further argues that it is much more difficult to land top transfer targets in today’s transfer market because of the increased opportunities that prospects have at other top European clubs. Despite the fact that Bayern is one of the most prestigious clubs and brands in European football, it’s not as easy as just sending a player a decent offer and expecting them to sign shortly thereafter. The financial competition from other clubs, Calmund explains, makes life very difficult for Salihamidzic and Bayern in the transfer windows:

It’s no longer the case that FC Bayern calls a player and then he climbs right on board the plane. Today, the really big stars have more opportunities to sign attractive contracts with top clubs. In economic terms, Bayern Munich has to fight with clubs in Europe that are even stronger financially.

Although the pre-season will soon begin for Bayern, there remain two months in the transfer window, which officially opens today. Further incoming signings may not have a full pre-season with the club under their belt(s), but that shouldn’t prevent Bayern from making the right moves when the opportunity presents itself.