Never Mind The Ballacks

Breno case clouds Bayern success

Never Mind The Ballacks

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Bayern Munich were probably
the most impressive team in the Champions League this week but as any pessimist
will tell you, every silver lining has a cloud, or in the Bavarians' case a
roaring fire.

Bayern outplayed Premier
League moneybags Manchester
City, their 2-0 win a
just reward for an outstanding display at the stadium that will host this
season's final.

In England, the result was
overshadowed by Carlos Tevez's one-man strike, but Bayern fans were aghast this
week after defender Breno was held in police custody, accused of burning down
his own house.

The Brazilian defender, who
has played more than 20 games since being signed for €11 million, was alone in
his luxury villa in the swanky Munich
district of Gruenwald when a fire ripped through the property, causing more
than a million euros of damage.

Forensic tests suggest that
the fire was set deliberately.

So the 21-year-old Breno, or
plain old Herr Vinicius Rodrigues Borges as he is now known to Munich police, is the
prime suspect.

Considered a flight risk, he
remains in a police cell.

With the suicide of German
national goalkeeper Robert Enke a recent memory, the country is sensitive to
players' mental health. Breno's psychiatrist rushed to the player's defence.

"Professional football
is not just a question of injured muscles or knees," declared Professor
Florian Holsbauer. ''We must also deal with the psyche, the injuries in the
brain."

Bayern Chief Executive
Officer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, is also worried about the player's mental
state.

"I have spoken to his solicitor, who says that Breno is not doing
very well, which is understandable," Rummenigge told German TV. "He
is obviously psychologically very delicate.

"It was an exaggerated
measure to take him into custody. State prosecutors and also the judge must
show the necessary sensitivity and fairness in this issue. There are no risks
of him trying to suppress evidence or flee," Rummenigge insisted.

Club President Uli Hoeness
was less restrained.

"It is absurd to arrest
a young man going through personal problems, one who does not even speak
German,'' an admission that says more about Bayern Munich's language teachers
than Munich's law enforcement operations given that Breno signed back in 2008.

Hoeness, who owns one of Germany's
most successful sausage makers, is not a man to mince his words. 

''To put a man in jail who is
suffering from depression is like taking the ground from under his feet. He
could break. He cannot flee without his passport. I had not thought that in Germany
such a thing was possible. Good night, Germany."

Hoeness didn't reveal whether Breno had
watched his teammates outclass City from his prison cell. But had the Brazilian
tuned in to events a few kilometers away in Munich, he would have been impressed with the
manner in which City were taken apart.

"In the second half we were totally on top of them,"
Rummenigge beamed.

Added goalscorer Mario Gomez:
''We clearly dominated the match and won deservedly."

UEFA have given Germany an extra Champions League place next
season and Bayern Munich's display gives credence to those who believe that the
Bundesliga has now overtaken Italy's
Serie A in Europe's pecking order.

While not impressed with Germany's
police, Hoeness waxed lyrical about the nation's top division.

"We are currently number
two behind Spain," he insisted. ''Italy,
we have long left behind us. England,
we are just about to leave behind."

An exaggeration, perhaps, but
under new coach Jupp Heynckes, the Bavarians are having an extraordinary start
to the season. The team have won 11 out of 12 matches in all competitions this
season, scoring 31 times and conceding only once. It's no wonder that Franck
Ribery says that this is the best Bayern side that he has ever played in.

Ribery and Co.
are setting European football alight. Breno can only hope his career can rise
from the ashes.

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Andreas Evagora - Deputy Head, Eurosport 2

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