German football legend Franz Beckenbauer insisted today that Dortmund are a bigger threat to Bayern Munich's Bundesliga crown this season than new league leaders Mainz.
Minnows Mainz have bolted to the top of the German league with six wins from six games and are aiming to equal the Bundesliga record of a magnificent seven straight wins when they play Hoffenheim.
Defending champions Bayern face second-placed Dortmund tomorrow and for honorary Bayern president Beckenbauer, Munich's biggest threat to their crown will come from Dortmund.
"Mainz are playing exceptional football right now, but they may go the same way as Hoffenheim, who led the table for most of the year in 2008 before collapsing," Beckenbauer told German daily Bild.
"Dortmund is a strong team of young players with international experience."
After six games, Bayern are tenth with eight points, while Dortmund have 15 points.
With an unblemished record, Mainz have 18 points and take on fourth-placed Hoffenheim today, bidding to equal the record of seven straight wins for the start of a season.
Having lost 2-1 at home to Mainz last weekend, Bayern have made their worst start to the season since 1977-78, but Beckenbauer backs his side to come out on top when the season finishes next May.