Bayern Munich made the headlines last week for losing to an under-strength Manchester City side in the Champions League and then again yesterday for drawing Arsenal in the last 16 for the second year running.
But now you must prepare to witness the European champions as you’ve never seen them before.
Regular readers will know that here at bwin HQ, we love to use our Skills Series videos to put the technique of the best players on the planet to the test.
In the past, we’ve brought you Gareth Bale wowing his new Real Madrid team-mates with some nifty footwork.
Then there was Carlos Tevez bossing a Juventus-themed challenge.
And who could forget Manchester United star Wayne Rooney scoring an incredible bicycle kick while blindfolded?
However, we quickly realised ahead of this latest instalment that Bayern are an exceptional case.
Seeing as Pep Guardiola’s men have been almost peerless on a football pitch in the past 18 months, some lateral thinking was required to really take them out of their comfort zone.
Enter forward Thomas Muller, midfield enforcer Javi Martinez and Brazilian defensive duo Dante and Rafinha – on to a basketball court.
What happened next was as impressive as it was unexpected.
In the video – which you can watch by opening the player at the top of this page – the quartet appear to make the transition from foot-to-eye to hand-to-eye coordination effortlessly, peppering the basket at will.
The sort of teamwork famously demanded by Guardiola is also frequently on display as they pull off all manner of alley-oops and slam dunks, passing some tricky tests with flying colours.
And if you’re still hungry for more after checking out the footage, how about the chance to win a shirt signed by the entire Bayern Munich squad too?
Don’t say we’re not good to you…enjoy!
Arjen Robben is relishing the start of a new era at FC Bayern, with the ex-Chelsea star full of praise for boss Pep Guardiola and what he will bring to the club.
It has been suggested in some quarters that the former Barcelona manager has his work cut out after seeing predecessor Jupp Heynckes deliver the treble last term.
However, Robben insists the players are excited about Guardiola’s philosophy – which brought him an incredible 14 trophies in four seasons at the Nou Camp – and are feeling confident about the challenges lying ahead.
“I like [his philosophy] and so does the team,” said the Dutchman in an exclusive interview with bwin, which you can watch by opening the player at the top of the page.
“It’s a new start for me with a new manager and I have a really good feeling about it.
“I have said it a few times already but I think that I can still take a few steps further forwards and I hope it will be a successful season.”
Guardiola has already signed playmaker Thiago Alcantara from his former employers in a £17m deal, while Mario Gotze was lured from Borussia Dortmund and defender Jan Kirchhoff has arrived from Mainz.
With the nucleus of last year’s all-conquering team still in place – only Mario Gomez has departed to Fiorentina – Robben believes Guardiola will be focusing on evolution rather than revolution.
“Although there are quite a few good new ideas, we don’t need to exaggerate as we’re not suddenly going to play completely differently,” he said.
“I think the most important thing is that, with the exception of Gomez, all of the old players are still here and that we have gained three very good new players.”
Robben, of course, penned the final chapter of Bayern’s incredible campaign by scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final as Dortmund were defeated 2-1 at Wembley in May.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were also forced to play second fiddle to Bayern in the Bundesliga and the German Cup, but they drew first blood this season with their recent 4-2 victory in the German Super Cup.
Robben admits he is expecting another strong challenge from their main rivals for domestic silverware.
“I think Dortmund will certainly be up there again and they will possibly be our biggest opponent,” he said.
“But I also believe that there are a number of other very good teams in the Bundesliga. It will be a huge challenge for us and we are all looking forward to getting started again.”
Robben will expect to be involved as Bayern bring the curtain up on the new league season on Friday against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Allianz Arena, with bwin making them strong 13/100 favourites for the win.
But despite witnessing the Bavarians thump Gladbach 5-1 in the recent Telekom Cup pre-season tournament, the 29-year-old is taking nothing for granted.
“It was good to beat them but that was it,” he added.
“Our preparations are continuing and we need to keep up our progress so that we are 100% ready to face Gladbach again.”
Bayern are as short as 1/5 to retain the Bundesliga title, while they are 9/4 favourites to win the Champions League again and a price of 31/4 is on offer for them to repeat their treble-winning exploits.
And if they are to enjoy another successful campaign, one thing is for sure: an increasingly mature Robben is likely to play an integral role.
It’s fair to say that Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben had a nightmare in last year’s Champions League final against Chelsea.
The Dutchman missed a host of presentable chances to put the Bavarians out of sight in front of an expectant home crowd at the Allianz Arena and then watched on in horror as Petr Cech saved his penalty in extra-time.
Of course, Robben’s fluffed effort from 12 yards eventually proved costly as Chelsea went on to lift the trophy after winning a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
However, the painful memory of seeing the likes of Cech, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba – former team-mates from his time at Stamford Bridge – celebrating a landmark success will be the furthest thing from Robben’s mind on Saturday.
Bayern have the perfect opportunity to make up for the Chelsea debacle as they take on Borussia Dortmund in their latest attempt to prevail in European football’s showpiece fixture.
The Bavarians are the strong 67/100 favourites to win inside 90 minutes and having wrapped up the Bundesliga title at a canter and with the German Cup final to come, Robben believes victory at Wembley would cap an incredible campaign.
“It’s the crowning moment,” said the 29-year-old in an exclusive interview with bwin (which you can watch by opening the player at the top of this page).
“If we win the title, we will have had a perfect season. That’s what we’re all working towards. We are completely focused on the final.”
Bayern booked their place at Wembley with a stunning 7-0 aggregate demolition of Barcelona in the last four – a result which sent shockwaves around the continent.
And while Robben dismisses suggestions that the victory automatically installs Bayern as Europe’s best team, he also admits that such a comprehensive triumph over the much-heralded Catalans was particularly special.
“The semi-final was a personal highlight for me,” he said.
“When you play against a team that has dominated Europe for the last five or six years and one that everyone talks about and then go on to beat them in such a dominant fashion, it is naturally sensational.”
Open the player above to see Robben discuss the strengths of Dortmund, the importance of ending Bayern’s 12-year wait for a Champions League crown, whether the Bundesliga is now the best league in Europe, and more.