The Lead

German football, bloody hell. Today I’m going to make a pitch to you, in fact. In may not be flashy, or based on the prerequisite MacManamananananam-esque qualities of “pace, power, and passion.” You may only really know about two teams (although you should really know about at least five). But today I’m declaring that you should become a fan of German football. In fact, you might consider putting the Bundesliga at the top of your football heap. Forever.

To whit: the Premier League is sorted. Nevermind this bit of Soccernet propaganda, the title race is as decided as the NHL lottery was months ago (heyo!), and Manchester United will be winning it again simply by not being Manchester City and using some as-yet-undetectable superdrug to keep pensioner Ryan Giggs on the bench and canasta-playing Paul Scholes in the starting line-up.

So it’s time to move on, and today’s the day to do it. Because at 20:00 German time (2:00 PM EST), Bayern Munich will be kicking off against Borussia Dortmund in a bona fide title decider. The two teams are separated by a puny three points. Bayern have won five of their last league matches, and Dortmund have done gangbusters save for some high profile draws including one against rampant Stuttgart.

But that’s the tip of the iceberg really. This is a league in which the stars are evenly spaced—Marco Reus at ‘Gladbach (for now, catch him while supplies last), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at Schalke, Martin Harnik at Stuttgart. And there is an interesting race developing for the Champions League spots as Stuttgart power up behind a slightly flagging ‘Gladbach. The bulk of the core talent is young and seem to genuinely enjoy playing football for some reason. Dortmund’s a title-winning side you can enjoy without glory-hunting shame. Even the relegation battles are interesting!

Nevermind the English pundit propaganda either; I could bore you with the stunning statistics, or let you consider the rejoicing in Toronto FC circles at the return of Torsten Frings to the side, an aging Werder Bremen castoff. That’s quality German engineering right there, and if the Euros are any indication, you will see a lot more of where that came from in Ukraine and Poland in the scarily bright form of your Hummels, your Lahms, your Goetzes and your Muellers. So jump on the bandwagon! Because the others are either over the cliff or on fire.

Canada

Marco Di Vaio turns down the Montreal Impact.

Impact reserves to face Toronto FC reserves shortly after Stefan Vukovic jumped ship.

Will Frings and Adrian Cann save Toronto FC’s pathetic, worthless excuse of a season?

Ain’t nothing wrong with average, Vancouver Whitecaps.

England

Team England drop to seventh place in FIFA’s increasingly unstable rankings.

Liverpool FC’s third string goalkeeper says he’s ready for Wembley.

Ledley King sez: “What me worry?”

David Moyes tells Jack Rodwell to forget about Euro 2012.

Papiss Cisse says Alan Shearer is his inspiration.

The Alan Davies controversy lingers on.

Joey Barton “brave“?

Sir Alex Ferguson: “Golf, golf won’t tear us apart, again.”

Italy

Christian Maggio’s agent denied any links to Chelsea.

The Gazzetta recounts AC Milan’s efforts yesterday.

Spain

Barcelona cut Real Madrid’s lead to one point (nevermind that game in hand!).

Messi gets the goal but Iniesta needs his propers.

Bits and bobs

Richard Farley nails a singular pet peeve.

David Conn on Swansea’s trust.

And that, give or take, is the story so far…