sell-out crowd, great atmosphere, exciting Sport, Niko Kovac was thrilled. “A great atmosphere”, said the coach of FC Bayern and gushed: “Our team does a really good Job.”

were not, However, meant his Munich, but the Croatian handball players, the Kovac during their world Cup preliminary round play in the Munich Olympic hall cheered.

Whether the Bayern player on Friday (20.30 clock, live Ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE) in the first Bundesliga game in 2019 in Hoffenheim, a good Job, remains to be seen. For sure is that this year will bring the overdue break.

The winter break has already delivered insightful clues, which players the characters are now more clearly be able to say as yet when Hinrunden-at the end of four weeks ago.

Six professionals are likely to start for the last Time with the FC Bayern in the back round and have to adjust to it, at 34. To be round before the last game of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt with a bouquet of flowers and a handshake from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge adopted. In retirement, or to another club.

And still the ever increasing now at the end of a question mark around the future of James Rodríguez. The valedictorian candidates at a Glance

Franck Ribéry

themselves Franck Ribéry . He killed himself in December with a convincing preliminary round of the finals (four goals in three Games) back in thought to a possible extension of the contract, and smashed himself to the hope of continued employment in the Wake of the gold steak-affair with his foul-mouthed Online bullying. The patience of the – wishers to the French a long time gracious to club bosses seems to have become very strained. If it want to incorporate Bavaria, after the end of career is really in the club as sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic announced now, you need to catch him and discipline. Ribéry doesn’t get even a grip, he is also as a representative of the Association’s hardly portable.

Arjen Robben , had announced in December itself for the summer, his departure from Munich, finished the winter break as one of the losers. The low countries, had failed since the end of November, due to problems in the thigh, and next week 35. Celebrates birthday, also could not participate in the training camp in Qatar on team training. There are aches and pains more and more in him, even in the back round, the role of the supplementary player threatens more.

Mats Hummels lived for other reasons mixed in three weeks and won a title, he would have gladly dispensed with. In a survey conducted by the “Kicker” 214 Bundesliga players of the world champion of 2014 was crowned “Relegated to the first half of the season”. More bitter is expected to be for him, the obligation from the inside defender Benjamin Pavard, the changes in the summer from Stuttgart to Munich.

it Was already in the first half of the season in the competition with the now set Niklas Süle and the gradually stabilizing Jérôme Boateng closely, seems to be for Hummels next season to be in the Central Defensive hardly. And what if Bayern get out of Spain also Lucas Hernández, the Central defender of Atletico Madrid?

Javi Martínez (left) and Rafinha

could move Back to Spain in the first half of the season arg is a disappointing Javi Martínez , to his hometown club Athletic Bilbao. Last week, sports Director Rafael Alkorta confirmed the interest in a return action from Martínez, was changed in 2012 from Bilbao to Munich. Under coach Kovac on the bench threatens the 30-Year-old, a sale in the summer would still bring in a decent transfer fee.

a departure from Renato Sanches would be a likely worthwhile business, as the Portuguese has like Martinez still have a contract until 2021. Except for a Solo values in the game at Benfica, as he had done in the first half of the season pretty much nothing. For the loyal . , however, there would be no more income, the contract of the 33-Year-old ends in the summer, an extension is considered to be unlikely.

James Rodriguez

And then there’s the special case: James Rodriguez . Until the middle of June, FC Bayern must decide if you want to pull up the option to buy, and so far only lent Colombians for 42 million euros from Real Madrid to commit to. From the point of view of the international Marketing of the world Cup top scorer of 2014 for the Bavarians, while a godsend, as measured by the 91 million followers in the social networks James the fourth most popular footballer in the world, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi. Sporty, however, it is not running for the 27-Year-old this season, he rarely impressed in the first half of the season, neither in-game nor in the Training.

coach Kovac was the subject of James on Wednesday at least once: “Anyone who writes a contract with FC Bayern, it must bring top performance. He wants to play more than in the past. It is now up to him, he proves to us that he belongs in the team.”

And what if James does? Then the Bavarians will have to on 34. Round hand over a bouquet of flowers.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.