Leipzig under pressure to put hairy moment behind them

Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig players will take on Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday knowing it is not just their slim league lead that is on the line but also their reputation.

After their disappointing performance last week in their 2-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt they had to endure a dressing down over their performances as well as over the fact that they flew in a hairdresser before the game.

"Playing like that gets you only a fourth place finish, if all goes well," Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said. "The question is whether we want to reach the cross at the top or if we want to stay a bit lower and enjoy the view."

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If that was not bad enough for a team that is leading the title race in Germany, former coach Ralf Rangnick, who is currently Red Bull's head of Sport and Development Soccer, had his own stinging criticism of the players' commitment.

He said he had been shocked to hear some players had flown in a hairdresser before the game against Frankfurt in order to look good on the pitch.

"I would have bet 100,000 euros that our players would not fly in a star hairdresser to get their hair done in the hotel," Rangnick said this week.

"I would have lost the 100,000 euros. The 2-0 was bad enough but the hairdresser thing leaves me stunned. That is decadent. The distance from that to the golden steak is not far," he said.

He was referring to incidents of footballers from other teams who displayed their wealth by eating gold-flaked steaks and uploading pictures on their social media accounts.

Former Bayern Munich player Franck Ribery was sharply criticised by ticket-paying fans in Germany a few seasons ago after doing that.

Leipzig top the league on 40 points, one ahead of champions Bayern Munich, who are on a roll having won their last five league games.

Gladbach, in third on 38, could take over the lead with a win, but Bayern, facing Mainz 05, are also hoping for a Leipzig slip-up to allow them to go top of the table with a victory.

All eyes in Dortmund will be on Borussia's new signing Erling Haaland when they host Union Berlin on Saturday, with the exciting Norway teenager having already scored five goals in his two games so far.


(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alison Williams)

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