Rivaldo Exclusive: Bundesliga return can set example to other leagues

Thomas Mueller celebrates scoring
Bayern look destined to win the Bundesliga again

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo discusses the return of the Bundesliga this Saturday, the future of Coutinho and Barcelona's transfer plans...

"Looking at Bundesliga table it is obvious that Bayern, who are four points ahead of their rivals at the top, are on the right path to claiming another title. But these are unusual circumstances... "

Bundesliga will return this weekend and the world of football is watching as many other leagues are still deciding if, how and when they're going to resume their seasons.

It's going to be important to see how it works in Germany and what measures are taken to ensure safety. I strongly believe that everything will be ok if the rules are followed. If it's a success then the Bundesliga will be the example for other countries to follow when they restart their own leagues.

Bayern look set to earn another title

Looking at Bundesliga table it is obvious that Bayern, who are four points ahead of their rivals at the top, are on the right path to claiming another title. Of course, there are many matches yet to be played but, with the quality of their team, it's difficult to imagine them losing their crown.

But this is an uncertain moment in which clubs' form is unclear, so Bayern could start badly and face some difficulties. That's something that can also happen to their closest rivals, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig. Many things can happen but looking at their advantage and squad quality Bayern are worthy title favourites to win.

bayern celebrate title win.JPG

Bayern are a great European club - very tough to beat in the 1990 when I faced them - and it's a club that is usually among the best in the Champions League. They haven't won the competition for some time, but it's a very tough competition to win and there are always big clubs who have gone without winning it for considerable periods.

What Real Madrid achieved under Zinedine Zidane - winning three consecutive Champions League titles - is something I think it will be very difficult to repeat. Anyway, Bayern are playing well now and according to their greatness they can claim a Champions League soon.

Manuel Neuer and Oliver Kahn are both great goalkeepers

Bayern always had great goalkeepers - particularly Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer. Kahn was respected by everyone, an excellent goalkeeper with a great personality, who use to demand his take responsibility on the pitch. He was a true leader and earned many titles at his club and with his national team. He was also nominated best goalkeeper in the 2002 World Cup in which Germany lost in the final to my Brazil team.

The unique difference that I find between Kahn and Neuer is the latter's quality in playing with his feet. Football changed in the last decade and now a keeper needs to know how to pass the ball, and Neuer does it very well. He is one of the best keepers in the world with the feet.

Tough moment for Coutinho

When things are not going according to the script they really tend to get tougher and tougher and I believe that Philippe Coutinho is feeling that at the moment after sustaining an injury that will keep him off the pitch for at least a month-and-a-half.

After a bad spell at Barcelona, and a modest season at Bayern Munich, he could still have a few games right at the end of this campaign to prove his value and show his talents to clubs that might be interested in signing him. Or he could even try to convince Barcelona they should keep him in the squad for next season.

I still believe Coutinho has the quality to succeed. But sometimes football is tough and volatile. The misfortune you might have at one moment can be overcome, so Coutinho must keep calm and be confident about the future because he has lots of quality to shine at any club.

This is a delicate moment for him and he must stay positive that things will turn for the better soon.

Coutinho to Chelsea?

Chelsea are the favourites to sign Coutinho and I don't believe they will be put off by his recent injury. After all, next season is still very distant and he will have enough time to a completely recover.

coutinho bayern 1280.jpg

On the other hand, if the transfer doesn't go forward and he stays at Barcelona perhaps a salary reduction, based on the player's decision, could earn plaudits from the clubs board and maybe let him show that he is eager to remain at the club and finally prove his worth.

Yes, there are many clubs already reducing their players' salaries because of coronavirus crisis, but if the player takes a step forward in that themselves it would be seen as the attitude of someone interested in remaining at the club. Much could happen before next season and we can only wait for the next chapters of this story.

Barcelona need to think carefully about signings

Rumours are circulating that Barca might be interested in signing Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, and despite being a good player, I believe the club should focus more on the present and on what is still to play for in La Liga this season.

There will be time to think about transfers, especially because some must leave before others come in, and the club need to ensure they don't create a squad that's too big and would leave some players without the chance to play.

Juventus seem interested in a potential exchange of Pjanic for Arthur Melo and of course I think the Brazilian would be a great signing for the Italians as he is a world class player.

Anyway, I still think Arthur should remain at Barcelona as he is young and arrived recently at the club. Soon he will confirm his place in the first team and start to fulfill his potential.

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