BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis believes it’s high time Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were knocked from the top of the German league after four years with an iron grip on the title.
Bayern have won the Bundesliga title for a record four consecutive seasons, but it is all change in Munich for 2016/17 with Carlo Ancelotti replacing Pep Guardiola as head coach while director of sport Matthias Sammer has resigned on health grounds.
Dortmund, the last team other than Bayern to win the German league title, were Bundesliga champions back in 2011 and 2012, and have finished runners-up to the Bavarians in three of the last four seasons.
Dortmund host Bayern in the German Super Cup on August 14 in the official season opener, but Sokratis says they want more titles than just that this season.
“Without Bayern, these monsters in the sporting sense, we would have long since been league or cup champions,” Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is known by his first name in Germany, told magazine Kicker.
“I am about to start my sixth season in the Bundesliga and have yet to win a title apart from the Super Cup.
“That annoys me. It’s time to win a title.”
The new league season in Germany begins on Friday August 26 when Bayern host Werder Bremen while Dortmund are home to Mainz the following day.
Ancelotti has taken his squad on a three-match tour of the United States where they will face European giants AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, albeit minus their Germany stars, still resting after the European Championship.
While Bayern have boosted their squad by signing Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and midfielder Renato Sanches from Benfica, Borussia have also been busy in the transfer market.
They have signed Germany internationals Mario Goetze, who returns to Dortmund after three years with Bayern, and Andre Schuerrle from Wolfsburg.
Without either of their new recruits, Dortmund romped to a 4-1 win over Manchester United last Friday in Shanghai on their tour of China.
New United manager Jose Mourinho compared Borussia to a “Formula One” racer while said his squad were like a less powerful “Formula Three” car.
Coach Thomas Tuchel had already added Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro and ex-Barcelona center-back Marc Bartra.
Dortmund have also invested in the future, signing French teenage forward Ousmane Dembele, who scored a superb individual goal against United, and 19-year-old Turkey international Emre Mor.