You are here: Home » Sports

Category Archives: Sports

Feed Subscription

Podolski delivers his own fitting departure

By the time Lukas Podolski played his last match for Germany, it had long since been clear that he was past his best as a player. However, Joachim Löw and the national team may come to miss him more than they think. It was worth waiting 70 minutes for. It was worth waiting through a poorly timed speech from German football association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel. It was worth watching a first half of tepid football with little evidence of why a game was even necessary to say goodbye. It was worth it all for that one moment when Lukas Podolski scored a goal harking back to the golden moments of his career. It was a goal that deserved to win any game, but fittingly it won his last one in a Germany shirt. With a slap of the badge on his chest and a parting wave, Podolski departed with six minutes to go. The stadium had waited for this moment, but was still reeling from the fairytale goal that Podolski had just scored. It wasn't until Podolski took selfies with the crowd, climbed into the stands to sing with the fans and was thrown in the air by his teammates that it might have dawned on Germany what they have lost. In this month's edition of German football magazine "11 Freunde," Podolski said: "From 80 million people, 22 or 23 are called up for an international friendly. If I am one of them, am I supposed to complain?" The 31-year-old has never lost touch with his roots, he has never changed his relaxed, friendly, humorous manner. It's what made him so rare in modern football, and what him indispensible to the balance of Germany's squad. It has been clear for a while that on the pitch, he won't actually be missed and tonight was, for the most part, more damming evidence. Before the goal, Podolski looked slow and was snatching at his chances. The crowd was anxious, and it didn't feel like the departure Podolski deserved. However, as things so often tend to go in sports, the fairytale ending was yet to come. Better than Hollywood "You couldn't have written it better in a script," Julian Weigl told DW afterwards. Not even Podolski - a man famous for delivering some great lines over the years - could have imagined such a finish. "It's difficult to describe. You have to experience it," Podolski said. The game itself was something many felt they could have been spared. The Podolski goal and standing ovation for his departure would have sufficed. An impressive choreography, an indifferent performance and far too many Mexican waves were familiar but unnecessary additions to this Germany game. England should have won and spoiled the party, but Marc-André ter Stegen delivered a timely performance between the posts for the national team. Jonas Hector will be hoping his performance is quickly forgotten, whereas Mats Hummels was at his commanding best. "You could see that the processes weren't there and that the young lads, myself included, wanted to impress," Weigl said. Timo Werner certainly did that on his debut, but was perhaps a little overly eager to do well. Life goes on "As a person, we will definitely miss him, but I think we have a lot of good and experienced players who can replace him,” Leroy Sané said. Weigl echoed these sentiments, saying this young side didn't need to hide and was ready to take up the mantle as the old guard stepped down. Behind the tweets, the smiles, and the emotion of the evening also lies a hard truth for Germany. The absence of Lukas Podolski unbalances the Germany squad. Thomas Müller might well take up his mantle, but never has there been a Germany player capable of making humor and ease such a pivotal part of a team's winning formula. "You idiots," was Podolski's initial reaction when he was asked how he felt about being in the mixed zone with all of the national team reporters one last time. He smiled and followed it up with heartfelt thanks for all the media's work during his years in a Germany shirt. It was one last reminder of his unique character - a Cologne boy but a Germany man, who will be missed by the national team more than they yet know.

By the time Lukas Podolski played his last match for Germany, it had long since been clear that he was past his best as a player. However, Joachim Löw and the national team may come to miss him more than they think. It was worth waiting 70 minutes for. It was worth waiting through a poorly timed speech from German ... Read More »

Neuer pulls out of Germany squad, Trapp called up

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has pulled out of Germany's matches against England and Azerbaijan due to injury. Paris Saint-Germain keeper Kevin Trapp has been called up to fill the gap left by Germany's No. 1. Manuel Neuer, 30, who played the full 90 minutes of Bayern's 1-0 victory at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday, has announced that he will not be involved in Germany's friendly against England on Wednesday, nor the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku on Sunday. A statement posted on the German football association's (DFB) website on Monday said that Neuer was suffering from a calf problem and that head coach Joachim Löw had called up Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp as a last-minute replacement. Trapp was named in the German squad in the international break in November 2015 but is still waiting for his Germany debut. The other two keepers in the current squad are Marc-André ter Stegen of Barcelona and Bernd Leno of Bayer Leverkusen. Germany leads European Group C of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with four wins from four games - having scored 16 goals while conceding none.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has pulled out of Germany’s matches against England and Azerbaijan due to injury. Paris Saint-Germain keeper Kevin Trapp has been called up to fill the gap left by Germany’s No. 1. Manuel Neuer, 30, who played the full 90 minutes of Bayern’s 1-0 victory at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday, has announced that he will not ... Read More »

NBA: Dirk Nowitzki passes 30,000-point milestone

Germany's Dirk Nowitzki has become just the sixth player in NBA history to crack the 30,000-point mark. The Dallas Mavericks player is also the first non-American to reach the milestone. The Dallas Mavericks power forward earned his 30,000th point on a step-back jumper early in the second quarter on Tuesday night. He then went past the mark on a three-pointer that sent the American Airlines Center crowd into a frenzy with 9:54 left in the first half. Nowitzki ended the match with 30,005 career regular season points. "Sort of surreal, 30,000 is amazing," the Würzburg native said. "It's a lot of points, obviously. Every milestone makes you reflect a little bit. It makes you reflect on the people that have helped you and been with you all of this way." The 38-year-old Nowitzki had gone into the contest in which the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 122-111, 20 points shy of the mark. Nowitzki's teammates and Mavs owner Mark Cuban mobbed the German during a timeout and the 13-time NBA All Star acknowledged the crowd as his accomplishment was announced over the PA system. "Just an amazing experience," the 19-year NBA veteran said. "After every basket I made, I felt a buzz in the crowd." Exclusive list Nowitzki is just the sixth NBA player to reach 30,000 points after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. He is also the first non-American to reach the milestone. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was among the first to congratulate him on the achievement. "I gotta congratulate Dirk Nowitzki on putting up 30,000 points. I'm watching the game right now. Congratulations," LeBron James said on a video message. "There's no way I was missing this moment. Hopefully I can join you at some point, big fella. Salute." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also congratulated Nowitzki. "Throughout his 19 seasons with the Mavericks, Dirk has been a model player and terrific ambassador for our game," a statement issued by Silver's office said. "This latest accomplishment further establishes his legacy as one of the NBA's greatest players."

Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki has become just the sixth player in NBA history to crack the 30,000-point mark. The Dallas Mavericks player is also the first non-American to reach the milestone. The Dallas Mavericks power forward earned his 30,000th point on a step-back jumper early in the second quarter on Tuesday night. He then went past the mark on a three-pointer ... Read More »

Report: Suspicious betting activity on certain Bundesliga matches

A new study has uncovered what it described as unusual betting activity surrounding the Bundesliga games of three referees over a five-year period. However, it notes that this does not amount to proof of match fixing. The study, which was first reported on by German public broadcaster WDR on Friday, was jointly conducted by the universities of Bielefeld, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The study looked at the bets placed with the British bookmaker Betfair on a total of 1,251 Bundesliga matches played between the 2010-11 and 2014-15 seasons. It found that significantly more money was bet on the games of three referees than the 23 others involved in Germany's top flight during this period. An unusually high amount of money was bet on whether more or fewer than 2.5 goals would be scored in a given match. The study did not name the three referees in question. "What we have here is a clear connection between the amount of money bet and who the referee is. So you can hardly but this down to chance," Dr Markus Knasmüller, who has been called as an expert witness to testify on sports betting at a number of betting fraud cases in Austria told WDR. Knasmüller noted that the so-called "over or under" wagers were "the easiest to manipulate in football." However, one of the authors of the study, Christian Deutscher of the University of Bielefeld stressed that while the betting activity was suspicious, it wasn't proof of match fixing. "It is not possible to draw the definitive conclusion from this that betting fraud did or did not occur," Deutscher said. "However, one does see statistical characteristics that would exist if betting fraud were to have occurred." In response to the report, the German football association (DFB) released a statement in which it noted that it had been successfully working with the sports betting watchdog Sportradar since 2005 in an effort to uncover any possible wrongdoing related to betting on Bundesliga matches. It also pointed to the fact that the authors of the study had conceded that the suspicious activity in question was not proof of betting fraud. The DFB began working with Sportradar after it emerged in early 2005 that Robert Hoyzer had fixed and bet on a number of games he had refereed Germany's second division, the German Cup and the third division. The DFB subsequently handed Hoyzer a lifetime ban from refereeing.

A new study has uncovered what it described as unusual betting activity surrounding the Bundesliga games of three referees over a five-year period. However, it notes that this does not amount to proof of match fixing. The study, which was first reported on by German public broadcaster WDR on Friday, was jointly conducted by the universities of Bielefeld, Pennsylvania and ... Read More »

Atletico Madrid present stern challenge to Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten European run

Bayer Leverkusen will be out for revenge after the Spanish side knocked them out of the competition two years ago. Following an undefeated run in the group stage they may be in luck. European football has been a welcome respite from the inconsistent, chaotic world of the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen fans this season. Roger Schmidt's (pictured above) side currently sit eighth in the German top flight with four wins and four defeats in their last 10 games, yet their Champions League form has looked far more impressive: with an undefeated run over the entire stretch of their campaign thus far. With somewhat unexpected wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Monaco and four draws from the remaining games the German side finished second in Group E behind Monaco. And after showing an uncharacteristically pragmatic approach to the competition and an appetite for upsetting the odds, there is plenty to suggest they're up for a fight. "Why not win against them?" said Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. "If we show our Champions League face, then everything is possible. "You can see the team really wants it. We are fighting, we are fighting for each other and that was not necessarily the case a couple of weeks ago." Yet on Tuesday night the German side comes up against what will undoubtedly be their toughest opponents yet in Atletico Madrid. The 2014 finalists topped their own group with just one defeat and five wins in six matches, finishing above Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Indeed Leverkusen fans will need no reminder of what the Spanish side are capable of as both sides met at this exact stage two years ago, with Atletico going through on penalties after each claimed a 1-0 in front of their own fans. "Atletico has strengthened further since our duel two years ago," lamented senior striker Stefan Kiessling, referring to the club's signings of continental stars such as Jackson Martinez, Nico Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro in the past two seasons. Yet Schmidt will be able to call upon stars of his own. Karim Bellarabi's goal in Friday's 3-1 win over Augsburg complimented the two assists he claimed the week before, as starts to rediscover his form after recently returning from a long-term injury, while young stars Julian Brandt, Benjamin Henrichs and Kai Harvetz have repeatedly excelled. Leverkusen will be without Jonathan Tah and Lars Bender through injury, but can rely upon a relatively clean bill of health throughout the rest of the squad. Atletico's Diego Godin has been ruled out with a thigh injury but the Spanish side will have Jan Oblak back from a shoulder injury.

Bayer Leverkusen will be out for revenge after the Spanish side knocked them out of the competition two years ago. Following an undefeated run in the group stage they may be in luck. European football has been a welcome respite from the inconsistent, chaotic world of the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen fans this season. Roger Schmidt’s (pictured above) side currently ... Read More »

Nigeria’s Rohr wants Cameroon to win final, foresaw Leipzig success

Gernot Rohr tells DW that Cameroon would be worthier AFCON winners than Egypt and that his Nigeria side have a newfound spirit to succeed in future. On the Bundesliga, he says he is not surprised by RB Leipzig's rise. Nigeria coach Rohr has managed across Africa and so is well-placed to pick a winner in Sunday's African Nations Cup final. He thinks Cameroon, who have vastly overperformed after some of their top names refused call-ups, deserve it more because Egypt have been too defensive. "This is a very interesting final, it is difficult to say who will win. They are two teams who play different football," the 63-year-old told DW in an interview by the beach in Gabon's capital Libreville. "One team are playing very good collective football and the other team is based on the defensive block, so for the interests of the game it is better that the team who is attacking will win." Cameroon, also embroiled in a bonus row with their federation like so many African teams before them, are four-times winners while Egypt and their 44-year-old goalkeeping captain Essam El Hadary are record seven-times champions. "Here in Central Africa we are close to Cameroon and so I think they will have a lot of people to support them while Egypt has a very good coach, a good strategy but they didn't do so much for the spectacle. But they are here so anything is possible in the final," Rohr added. Missing in Gabon, back on track for the World Cup Nigeria did not qualify for the tournament in Gabon and Rohr, who previously managed Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, was drafted in to lead the Super Eagles in August. They have since won two World Cup 2018 qualifiers and sit top of their group, with Rohr praising his captain John Obi Mikel among others. "It is an interesting challenge, to have a new team, a young team, to build a team with players who really have the spirit of the country, who want to play, to fight, to give their all, who don't want to speak about material things, but who are here because they want to play for their country," Rohr said. "We have a good captain with experience we have found some defenders to make us stronger at the back and I think the spirit and harmony of the team is very good. But we know the important times come now." An eye still on the Bundesliga Despite living and working for a long time in France before heading for Africa, former Bayern Munich player Rohr has not forgotten his German roots. "I see all the games. The Bundesliga is always one of the most interesting championships in the world with the most goals, with the most spectators in the stadium, always the stadiums are nice and full. Even a team at the bottom has a fantastic stadium," he said. The revelation of the season has been promoted RB Leipzig rising up to second in the table to challenge leaders Bayern for the title. Many pundits have been critical of the Red Bull-backed club, which only came into being in 2009 and counts Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls as sister sides. Rohr is not interested in the furor over whether they are a "plastic" club and saw their success coming. "RB Leipzig are not a surprise for me. I know how they work, like in Salzburg, New York and in other sports. They want to be first everywhere and now they are second in Germany and they play well. "They are only three points behind Bayern so we have a real big duel between the two teams and it will be interesting for the end of the season." Mark Meadows conducted the interview in Libreville, Gabon.

Gernot Rohr tells DW that Cameroon would be worthier AFCON winners than Egypt and that his Nigeria side have a newfound spirit to succeed in future. On the Bundesliga, he says he is not surprised by RB Leipzig’s rise. Nigeria coach Rohr has managed across Africa and so is well-placed to pick a winner in Sunday’s African Nations Cup final. ... Read More »

Forgotten Freiburg the story of the Bundesliga season

Everyone is so busy talking about Leipzig, they have forgotten about Freiburg. Christian Streich and his team are doing incredible work and deserve recognition, writes DW's Jonathan Harding. "I'm delighted that we played the way we did against such a clever team," Freiburg head coach Christian Streich said after his team's victory against Hertha Berlin on Sunday. The truth is that Streich is the clever one. Freiburg, sitting pretty in eighth with a healthy 26 points, are the other, neglected newly promoted team this season. While Leipzig make headlines and chase Bayern, Freiburg quietly work miracles with few of the means most modern football clubs have at their disposal. In a somewhat drab match, Freiburg won their eighth game of the season. Streich's team have won six of their nine home games, using their home support to great effect. Janik Haberer continued his fine run of form, while Nils Petersen scored the 16th goal of his career off the bench. Last week against Bayern, were it not for one moment of individual brilliance from Robert Lewandowski they would have taken a point off the defending champions - and deservedly so. They finished 2016 in a very healthy state, not that many took notice. The team don't have a wealth of outstanding talent and are statistically unremarkable. They're just a solid team whose collective quality is their strength. After relegation from the Bundesliga in 2014-15, the team lost leading players Admir Mehmedi, Vladimir Darida, Roman Bürki and Jonathan Schmid. A season later, Freiburg returned to the top flight - beating Leipzig to the title - with Nils Petersen and Vincenzo Grifo the only notable additions. Petersen had already been with the team on loan from Bremen for the second half of 2014-15, but officially joined the club in the summer of 2015. Since then, Alexander Schwolow, Caglar Soyuncu and Maximilian Philipp have also improved, proving that if Freiburg can do one thing it is to cope with change. Everything about the club is remarkable. They have the third-least expensive squad in the league above only Ingolstadt (who also deserve recognition) and Darmstadt. The Schwarzwaldstadion holds just 24,000. Their players talk about politics and social issues - with Streich even publicly calling for social media to become a school subject. Their challenge will be to retain the same old-school football feeling when they make the necessary step towards a stronger future and move to their new stadium as soon as 2019. With Christian Streich there, Freiburg will never be anything but a place for the type of fan the game is quickly forgetting.

Everyone is so busy talking about Leipzig, they have forgotten about Freiburg. Christian Streich and his team are doing incredible work and deserve recognition, writes DW’s Jonathan Harding. “I’m delighted that we played the way we did against such a clever team,” Freiburg head coach Christian Streich said after his team’s victory against Hertha Berlin on Sunday. The truth is ... Read More »

Bundesliga: Bayern Munich agree deals for Hoffenheim pair Süle and Rudy

Bayern Munich have moved early to strengthen their squad for next season. The Bundesliga champions announced on Sunday that they've tied up July deals for Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle, both from Hoffenheim. The German international duo will join Bayern in July, with Süle in particular a statement of intent. The 21-year-old center back is considered one of Europe's brightest defensive prospects and had reportedly attracted the interest of Premier League leaders Chelsea among others. Süle has signed a five-year contract until 2022, for a fee believed to be in the region of 20 million euros, while Rudy inked a three-year deal and joins on a free transfer, with his Hoffenheim contract to expire in July. "We're very satisfied and delighted Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy are joining us," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club homepage. "Signing two Germany internationals is an investment in Bayern's future. "Sebastian Rudy joins us on a free transfer. In the case of Niklas Süle we have reached a fair and serious agreement with Hoffenheim." The signings are sure to please club president Uli Hoeness, who called for more German voices in the dressing room earlier in the week. Versatile Rudy joined Hoffenheim, unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season, in 2010 having come through the youth system at Stuttgart and has played 12 times for Germany. "It's an absolute dream for me to go to Munich. Bayern are one of the greatest clubs in the world," he said. Süle came through the ranks at Hoffenheim and won his first cap for Germany last year. He didn't make the Euro 2016 squad but did win silver with the German Olympic squad. He's been one of Hoffenheim's best performers this year but said his focus won't stray. "In terms of it being a farewell I feel a little wistful too," Süle said. But he insisted both he and Rudy "were not having any thoughts on Bayern yet, rather concentrating solely on a successful second half of the season with Hoffenheim." The transfers are a blow for Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann but not an unexpected one. "Of course I would have liked to keep Sebastian and Niklas, but we are in professional football and you often have to deal with these circumstances," he said. While Rudy is expected to be a fringe player for the champions, Süle will have to get past Germany and Bayern's first-choice center back pairing Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng to become a regular.

Bayern Munich have moved early to strengthen their squad for next season. The Bundesliga champions announced on Sunday that they’ve tied up July deals for Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle, both from Hoffenheim. The German international duo will join Bayern in July, with Süle in particular a statement of intent. The 21-year-old center back is considered one of Europe’s brightest ... Read More »

Formula One team Manor Racing goes into adminstration

Formula One motor racing could lose one of its 11 teams after it was announced that Manor Racing had gone into administration. This comes just weeks before the 2017 season is to open with the Australian Grand Prix. FRP Advisory - the company that has been appointed as the administrators of Just Racing Services Ltd. (JRSL), which operates Formula One team Manor Racing - said on Friday that new investors would have to be found in a very short period of time if the team is to compete in the 2017 season. "The team's participation will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity," a statement issued by one of the joint administrators, Geoff Rowley, said. "During recent months, the senior management team (of JRSL) has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long term future, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available," Rowley added. "Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place JRSL into administration." He also noted that the company had paid all of its 212 staff at their headquarters in the English town of Banbury through the end of last year and that no workers had been laid off. Manor have a history of financial trouble. British businessman Stephen Fitzpatrick rescued the team after it had gone into administration between the 2014 and 2015 seasons when it was still known as Marussia. "It was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016," Fitzpatrick said. "For much of the season we were on track. But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of this result and ultimately brought into doubt the team's ability to race in 2017." It was the team's only point of the season that German driver Pascal Wehrlein earned by finishing 10th at the Austrian Grand Prix that had put Manor in the financially lucrative 10th position in the constructors' standings for much of the 2016 campaign. The news that Manor has gone into administration will only fuel speculation that the 22-year-old driver will soon move to the Swiss outfit Sauber. The first pre-season testing is set to begin at the end of next month and the season starts in Australia on March 26.

Formula One motor racing could lose one of its 11 teams after it was announced that Manor Racing had gone into administration. This comes just weeks before the 2017 season is to open with the Australian Grand Prix. FRP Advisory – the company that has been appointed as the administrators of Just Racing Services Ltd. (JRSL), which operates Formula One ... Read More »

Poland’s Kamil Stoch wins Four Hills final

Poland's Kamil Stoch wins the Four Hills final in Austria with a jump of 138.5 meters. But there was disappointment for Daniel Andre Tande, who misjudged his crucial jump. Poland's Kamil Stoch produced a jump of 138.5 meters to clinch victory in the Four Hills final in Bischofshofen. Austria's Michael Hayboeck put the pressure on Stoch with a monster jump of 142 meters, but Stoch produced the jump he needed to secure victory. On what proved a successful night for the Poles, Piotr Zyla completed the top three after a second jump of 137 meteres. However, Daniel Andre Tande was left distraught after he misjudged his crucial jump, falling out of contentionn in dramatic style. The winner of the second Four Hills event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen appeared to get caught by the wind and landed awkwardly, finishing in a lowly 26th place. Germany's Richard Freitag, Stephan Leyhe and Karl Geiger all finished in the top ten, but were unable to challenge the leaders on a competitive final day of jumping in Austria.

Poland’s Kamil Stoch wins the Four Hills final in Austria with a jump of 138.5 meters. But there was disappointment for Daniel Andre Tande, who misjudged his crucial jump. Poland’s Kamil Stoch produced a jump of 138.5 meters to clinch victory in the Four Hills final in Bischofshofen. Austria’s Michael Hayboeck put the pressure on Stoch with a monster jump ... Read More »

Scroll To Top