Dimtri Oberlin played in the premier class three years ago, now he’s in the 3rd division. What is behind the move to FC Bayern II.
September 27, 2017: The 20th minute of the game was running in St. Jakob Park in Basel when Benfica Lisbon missed the first big chance to equalize. Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik prevented the 1-1 draw, but gave the Portuguese a corner with his act. The ball sailed in a high arc into the penalty area and found a grateful buyer in Dimitri Oberlin.
The offensive man headed the artificial leather towards Renato Steffen to the center line. Oberlin ran, almost flew after his header defense, reached around 38 kilometers per hour at the top. A few seconds and 90 meters later he picked up Steffen’s pass again – and pushed the ball past the storming Julio Cesar.
First Champions League goal in the first premier class outing for Dimitri Oberlin. After changing sides, he gilded his gala evening by taking a penalty and making it 4-0 himself. “Usain Oberlin” was the headline of the tabloid Blick, and comparisons with the DC comic book hero The Flash were also sought.
Oberlin scored two more goals in the Champions League season at that time, in the round of 16 in mid-February and early March, he was allowed to play against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the two legs from the start. It should be his last appearance to date on the big European stage, the Champions League glamor has evaporated three years later. The reality is currently the 3rd division in Germany, but at least at a club that knows how to exude glamor: Oberlin plays in the second representation of FC Bayern.
Dimitri Oberlin on Bayern II: How did the change come about?
About two weeks ago Bayern announced the surprising change. The 23-year-old received a working paper by the end of the season. But how did it come about that the Bayern amateurs suddenly pulled a young professional with Champions League experience onto land? FCB campus manager Jochen Sauer was primarily responsible for the deal.
The 48-year-old knows Oberlin from days together at Red Bull Salzburg. Between 2010 and 2017, Sauer worked as the managing director of the Red Bulls in the city of Mozart, where Oberlin was under contract from 2015 to 2018, before moving to FC Basel for four million euros. “I know him well from my time at RB Salzburg and know about his quality. That certainly helped to bring him to us,” explains Sauer in an interview with SPOX and goal and adds: “When his advisor approached me and Leon Dajaku was offered the opportunity to loan to Union Berlin, we struck.”
Oberlin was last seen as a problem child in Basel. At the end of November last year, the attacker, who went through all of the Swiss national U-teams, is said to have booked a hotel room in a Zurich hotel with his credit card, according to Blick. Over three dozen guests had a party there in the middle of the pandemic, which caused property damage. “It was a friend’s birthday, I brought him a present, but left immediately,” Oberlin defended himself at the time.
According to Blick, this is not Oberlin’s only mistake. He is said to have stayed away from his team’s home games several times if he was not in the squad again. The relationship between club and player seemed irreparable. At the end of the year, the Basler Oberlins actually terminated the contract that ran until the summer. “Dimitri had had problems with his previous club, FC Basel, for a long time and recently didn’t play at all,” explains Sauer. “In the end, both sides agreed to terminate the contract.”
With 26 goals scored after 20 games, Bayern, who came up with the most dangerous offensive in the previous season, are currently in the middle of the 3rd division. However, before Oberlin gets the hoped-for reinforcement and can advertise on its own behalf, some deficits need to be addressed. “Dimi has to catch up physically after his long break,” reveals Sauer. “Getting him fit for 90 minutes is our first task. We will work hard on that.” Last weekend, in the 0: 1 against KFC Uerdingen, it was enough for 45 minutes. At the same time Oberlin was able to indicate his abilities.
Despite all the mutual appreciation that has been communicated, it is clear that Oberlin and FC Bayern have a relationship of convenience. Oberlin would like to recommend himself for higher things, the Munich residents in turn benefit from his experience at a high level. Accordingly, there are currently no plans for a long-term commitment.
Bayern II in the 3rd division: Oberlin is supposed to revive the offensive