Manuel Neuer Sets Sights on Return Before End of the Season Following Foot Fracture

?Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has targeted a return to action before the current season is up, as he heads into the final stages of his recovery.

The 31-year-old has been sidelined on and off for the best part of a year now after first sustaining a foot injury against Real Madrid in last season’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga

He returned on matchday two this season for the Bavarians but got injured again and was ?ruled out until January initially, but suffered a setback.

Speaking to ?Sky Sports Bundesliga, Neuer said: “I know things are coming along very well, but of course there’s still time until I’ll be at full strength.

“I can’t say right now exactly how long that’s going to be. I’m currently at around 80 per cent of my body weight at five km/h on the treadmill and that’s going up all the time.

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg

“I expect to be walking at up to 90 per cent without any problems next week, and then be up to 100 per cent the week after, then I’ll slowly start running. My walking profile is pretty good, and I’m not feeling any pain. I’m pretty confident I’ll be playing again in the second half of the season.”

Neuer, perceived by many to be the world’s best goalkeeper – or at least before the incredible form shown by David De Gea this season – has been rehabilitating in Thailand in a bid to return as soon as possible.

Bayern Muenchen v Besiktas - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

Thankfully for Bayern, Neuer’s absence hasn’t been all too damning; Sven Ulreich has more than stepped up to the plate over the past year as his deputy.


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Jupp Heynckes Takes Sly Dig at Dortmund As He Rubbishes Robert Lewandowski Transfer Rumours

?Jupp Heynckes has dismissed rumours that ?Bayern Munich could lose star striker Robert Lewandowski this summer, claiming that it is not in the club’s nature to sell their best players.

The Polish striker scored his first hat-trick of the season on Saturday, taking his total for the campaign to 32, as Bayern demolished Hamburg 6-0 to move closer to a sixth consecutive ?Bundesliga title.

?Real Madrid and ?Chelsea are among the clubs rumoured to be interested in Lewandowski, but Heynckes insisted that the Pole would remain at the Allianz Arena for the foreseeable future.

“Robert turns 30 this summer,” Heynckes said, quoted in ?Marca. “He has a contract until 2021.

“But football is short lived, unreasonable requests are made. Bayern don’t do things like that.”

Heynckes compared Bayern’s transfer policy with that of Bundesliga rivals ?Borussia Dortmund, from whom Die Roten bought Lewandowski in 2014.

Dortmund recently sold two of their best players, Ousmane Dembele and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, to ?Barcelona and ?Arsenal respectively, with Aubameyang in particular kicking up something of a fuss to get his desired move.

Heynckes said that such a situation could never happen at Bayern.

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“Bayern are an absolutely top European club, incredibly well-run, with a good atmosphere,” Heynckes said. “I cannot imagine an Aubameyang or Dembele case at Bayern.”

Lewandowski’s treble on Saturday made him the club’s ?highest-scoring foreign player ever with 142 goals. Team-mate Thomas Muller, with 171, is the highest-scoring player currently on Bayern’s books.

Lewandowski also the captain of the Polish national side and will lead them at this summer’s World Cup, where they face Colombia, Senegal and Japan in Group H.


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Robert Lewandowski Becomes Bayern’s Highest-Scoring Foreign Player in History After Hamburg Treble

?Robert Lewandowski has become Bayern Munich highest scoring foreign player in the club’s history.

The Polish international secured the record with a fine hat-trick during Bayern’s Bundesliga clash against Hamburg on Saturday, to take his tally of goals to 141 in 182 games in all competitions for the Bavarians.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga

He overtook the previous record holder Giovane Elber – who scored 139 goals in 265 games for the club between the years of 1997-2003 – meaning Lewandowski met Elber’s goal tally in 83 games fewer.

Lewandowski moved to Bayern Munich from their rivals Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2014, and has since won three consecutive Bundesliga titles, as well as two German Super Cups and a DFL-Pokal. He was named in the Bundesliga team of the season for three consecutive years as well as being named as the league’s player of the season for the 2016-17 season.

He has also broken Bundesliga records for the most amount of goals scored in a game by a substitute (5), the shortest time to score a hattrick between the first and third goal (4 minutes) and reached 100 Bundesliga goals quicker than any other foreign player.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga

At the age of 29, he still has plenty of playing years ahead of him and will no doubt be looking to add to his goal tally as Bayern continue their quest for their fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.

Despite all the individual accolades, Lewandowski is still yet to win the Champions League despite being named in the team of the season twice. He’ll be looking to change this with Bayern on the verge of progressing through to the quarter finals being 5-0 up against Besiktas heading into the second leg of their Round of 16 tie.


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Former Paraguay Goalkeeper Claims Michael Ballack Had ‘Terrible Body Odour’ During 2002 World Cup

?Former Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert has made the bizarre claim that it was hard to mark Michael Ballack at the 2002 World Cup – because of his body odour. 

The pair faced each other during the last-16 stage of the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, with the Germans coming out on top with an 88th minute winner from Oliver Neuville. 

Chilavert, who is famed for scoring eight goals for his country in 78 appearances for his country, made the unusual claims during an interview when asked about the game in 2002.

Germany's Michael Ballack (L) battles for the ball

Speaking to ESPN (?via the Daily Mail), he said: ” You couldn’t get near Ballack because his BO was terrible, absolutely terrible. He should have used more deodorant or a lemon. Perhaps it was a strategy, who knows!”

Ballack was part of the Germany team that reached the World Cup final in 2002, only to lose 2-0 to Brazil, although still played out a glorious career nonetheless. 

Representing the likes of Bayern Munich and Chelsea, Ballack has won the Premier League and Bundesliga, while making 98 appearances for his country, scoring 42 goals. 

Paraguay 'keeper Jose Luis Chilavert  takes a free

(You may also be interested in ?Mesut Ozil Appears to Like Instagram Post Poking Fun Fun at Danny Welbeck After Win Against Milan)

Chilavert was also a famed ‘keeper in his own right, known for scoring goals rather than saving them. 

He ended his professional career with 67 goals, while his fiery temper is also something that has made him well-known, with famous altercations with the likes of Roberto Carlos Faustino Asprilla. 


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Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg: Lewandowski Treble Helps Ruthless Bavarians Dispatch HSV

Bayern Munich restored their 20 point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table with a ruthless 6-0 victory over the Bundesliga’s lowest scoring side, Hamburger SV.

Jupp Heynckes made a number of changes to his first team, not least of which was leaving Thiago Alcântara and Corentin Tolisso on the bench, while Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben returned to Bayern’s attack-minded starting lineup.

Hamburg’s inevitable defeat has left them firmly sat in the automatic relegation places in the league table, seven points adrift of Mainz and Wolfsburg.

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Despite seeing the visitors get the game underway, Bayern took less than 50 seconds to get the ball inside the Hamburg penalty area – setting the tone for the rest of the match.

Just seven minutes into the game, a blistering Bayern Munich counter attack lead to the first goal of a frantic opening 20 minutes.

Robert Lewandowski’s through ball was well intercepted by Hamburg defender G?toku Sakai, preventing Arjen Robben from latching onto the pass. However, the ball fell perfectly for Franck Ribéry and the Frenchman effortlessly rounded Christian Mathenia to poke the ball into the back of the net.

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Less than five minutes later the Bavarians doubled their lead through Lewandowski.

A looping cross from Joshua Kimmich picked the Poland international out with precision and the 29-year-old striker effortlessly nodded the ball into the back of the net, giving the hosts a comfortable lead early in the match.

Bayern had well and truly ended any hope of a contest before the 20-minute mark when Lewandowski scored his second goal of the game, clinically dispatching a low cross from David Alaba to take his tally for the season to 22.

Mathenia was able to make a couple of important, albeit far from impressive, saves just before half-time, while Arjen Robben brought a smile from the linesman after trying to score directly from a corner.

Bayern wasted no time in searching for their fourth goal straight after the restart and Thomas Müller was a whisker away with a clever backheeled effort.

Bayern’s Robben then found the ball at his left foot with an opportunity to try his luck from the edge of the penalty area and the veteran winger fired the ball into the back of the net before Mathenia even had time to blink.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga

Substitute Thiago Alcântara came close to adding Bayern’s fifth of the game but was denied by the base of the post, while Sebastian Rudy, who also came off the bench, went close with a long-range effort.

With just 10 minutes left on the clock, Franck Ribéry rolled back the years and carved through the Hamburg defence like a hot knife through butter, ending his run with an outstanding right-footed effort into the back of the net – a goal which even sparked celebrations between photographers at the Allianz Arena.

Lewandowski was then given a chance to notch his hat-trick with the last chance of the game, stepping up from 12 yards after Kyriakos Papadopoulos needlessly gave away a penalty. However, the Polish goal machine sent his effort way over the crossbar.

Just minutes later, it was Filip Kosti?’s turn to give away a penalty after fouling Joshua Kimmich. Lewandowski stepped up looking to make amends for his earlier miss and the 29-year-old made no mistake with the last kick of the game.

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