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Wednesday, July 3, 2002
Bayern in Deisler compensation claim

BERLIN, July 3 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich are seeking compensation from the German football association for the knee injury playmaker Sebastian Deisler suffered while playing for his country against Austria in May.
Deisler, who Bayern bought from Hertha Berlin at the end of last season, injured his right knee after he clashed with Austrian striker Rolf Landerl during Germany's 6-2 victory in a World Cup warm-up match.

The 22-year-old playmaker, who was forced to pull out of Germany's World Cup squad, is expected to be out of action for the next five months.

'We believe that we must come to some agreement on this,' commercial manager Uli Hoeness told German sports agency SID on Wednesday.

Bayern have also signed German World Cup star Michael Ballack and Brazilian Ze Roberto, both from Bayer Leverkusen and Hoeness said he expected the race for the Bundesliga title would be between his improved squad and champions Borussia Dortmund.

'Dortmund are as much favourites as us. It's going to be a real tussle,' he said, acknowledging that Dortmund had a slight advantage in that fewer of their players had been involved in the World Cup.

However the loss of two playmakers has left Leverkusen, who were runners up in the Bundesliga, the German cup and the Champions League last season, with modest expectations.

'I think the experts are right to say that we're looking at a year of transition. We would be happy to come third. But perhaps we'll be as dangerous as we were last year,' said Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmoeller.

Striker Ulf Kirsten will also be playing his last season and would only be used in emergency situations Topmoeller said.

soccernet ;)
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