Bundesliga approves goal-line technology

A majority of 15 clubs in the German top flight voted in favour of the use of hawk-eye from the start of the 2015-16 season

The Bundesliga has approved the use of goal-line technology, starting in the 2015-16 season.

The issue of technology has become all the more prevalent in Germany over the couse of the last year, following Stefan Kiessling’s controversial “phantom goal” in the win over Hoffenheim (below) and the DFB-Pokal final in May when Mats Hummels’ header appeared to cross the line before Bayern Munich went on to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0.

However, at a meeting of clubs in Frankfurt, 15 of the division’s 18 clubs have voted in favour of using the hawk-eye system in top-flight matches from the start of next season.

Bayern spearheaded the initiative in the wake of the Pokal final, with club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stressing its importance for the credibility of football.

“In the future we must protect football and the referees in particular,” he said in May.

“The way match officials, who do not have access to replays and slow motion footage, let alone mathematical calculations, are subjected to public abuse is unacceptable. This can and should be prevented in the future.”

The 2. Bundesliga rejected the introduction of GLT back in March.

The system was first introduced in the 2012 Fifa Club World Cup, with the Premier League adopting in for the start of the 2013-14 season.

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Robben warns Guardiola: Don't start rotating me

The Dutch winger says he benefits from a rhythm which comes from regular playing time and praised his coach for being the best tactical-minded boss in modern football

Arjen Robben has warned Pep Guardiola not to start rotating him as he believes his best form for Bayern Munich comes with consistent game-time.

The Dutch winger, 30, has been in arguably the form of his life during the past 18 months, having scored the winner in the 2012-13 Champions League final before leading Bayern to four trophies last season and Netherlands to third place at the World Cup.

However, competition for places in the Bayern set-up is strong with Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Xherdan Shaqiri all capable of playing out wide for Guardiola.

The former Barcelona boss felt his players were suffering from fatigue in their narrow win over Hertha Berlin but Robben is adamant that he does not need to be rested from first-team duties.

“Rotation is be for me,” he told Kicker. “I need this constant rhythm, I grow stronger and my flow comes from playing all of the time.

“I just need a break in between games, however, as that helps the mind and body recover.”

Guardiola’s side have soared clear in the Bundesliga title race this season after claiming the prize in record time in 2013-14, and Robben is eager to stay with the club as long as possible in order to work with the man he believes to be football’s best tactician.

“Guardiola, for me, is tactically the best in the world,” Robben added. “He is a perfectionist.

“The advantage this season is that we no longer have to get used to each other us. This season we have improved in possession and we have more peace of mind.

“Guardiola works very hard, he prepares us superbly. Guardiola understands where spaces in the field open up. That’s what he had as a player, too.

“My contract is valid until 2017 and as long as he’s here I want to work with him.”

Bayern face third-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday as they look to maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

Guardiola should've been Argentina boss, says Menotti

The former Barca and Argentina boss declared the Spaniard as the best coach of the past 30 years, while claiming Lionel Messi is not the best player ever

Pep Guardiola should have replaced Alejandro Sabella as Argentina head coach this summer, according to World Cup-winner Cesar Luis Menotti.

The Albiceleste came close to lifting the World Cup for a third time in Brazil a few months ago only to be thwarted by Germany and an extra-time goal from Mario Gotze in the final.

Menotti, the man who was in charge in 1978 when Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time, believes Gerardo Martino was the wrong choice to succeed Sabella, claiming Guardiola was the ideal candidate.

“Guardiola should have been chosen as the coach of the Argentina team when Sabella left,” Menotti told El Grafico.

“And I would have put three young coaches behind him, learning from him, as thinking ahead for the future.

The Argentine lavished further praise on Guardiola by adding his belief that the Bayern Munich coach is the game’s best manager of the past 30 years.

“I do not know if Barcelona under Guardiola was the best team ever, because you have to compare it with Ajax in the 1970s, but it was the best team of the past 30 years, sure. And Guardiola is the best coach in the past 30 years.”

Menotti was also glowing in his assessment of Lionel Messi, Guardiola’s star pupil while in charge at Camp Nou.

“If Messi was not the best player in the World Cup, Argentina would have not got out of the group stage,” he added.

“I don’t think he was as unbalancing to the team as some want us to believe. The problem was that Messi was without attackers as good as him.

“Messi is amazing, but at the head of the table of greatness is Pele – he was the best. He was out of this world.”

Messi is hoping to win his fifth Ballon d’Or after being named alongside Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer on Monday as one of the final three competitors for the prize.

Neuer deserves Ballon d'Or but won't win – Dino Zoff

The legendary former shot-stopper has backed Bayern’s No.1 but – like when he lost out to Johan Cruyff in the 1970s – thinks one of his outfield competitors will win

Italy legend Dino Zoff believes Manuel Neuer deserves Fifa’s Ballon d’Or for 2014, but thinks Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi will take home the trophy.

On Monday it was announced that the Germany and Bayern No.1 would join Ronaldo and Messi in the final three, hoping to break their six-year duopoly of the prize.

Zoff can empathise with the competition Neuer has in the form of the Real Madrid and Barcelona forwards, comparing this year’s battle to 40 years ago when he was the runner up to Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff.

“Neuer’s good, he deserves the Ballon d’Or right enough,” he added. “But it is difficult for him to win. He has absolute phenomena like Ronaldo and Messi to compete against, I do not think he can win.

“It happened to me, too: I was in 1973 I was a nominee for the Ballon d’Or. But so was Cruyff and, of course, he won.”

The ex-Juventus goalkeeper and manager cast his eye over the successes that his former club have had over the past few years, winning three Scudetto in a row, and he praised them for using their financial clout and behind-the-scenes work to bag silverware.

“Juve triumph because they have a good team with solid organisation behind them,” Zoff added.

“They also have financial power – maybe not like that of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and a few English teams, but it’s not bad at all for them. And winning Serie A three years in a row is not easy.”

Zoff, who remains the oldest-ever winner of a World Cup after Italy’s 1982 win, also light-heartedly suggested he’s not yet reached the stage where his nickname of The Monument of Italian Football sits right with him.

“I do not feel a monument,” the 72-year-old continued. “That’s partly because the monuments are the favourite targets of pigeons…”

Lahm rules out Germany comeback

The 31-year-old has no intention of returning to the international fray in the future and claims the whole of Bayern miss imprisoned former president Uli Hoeness

Philipp Lahm has ruled out the prospect of playing for Germany again after he chose to retire from international football in the aftermath of their World Cup win.

The Bayern Munich captain skippered Joachim Low’s men to glory in Brazil this summer, but somewhat surprisingly announced he would be focusing exclusively on club football shortly afterwards.

Lahm, who could be out of action with a fractured ankle until March, is adamant that leaving the Germany fray a few months ago was the right choice.

“I have to disappoint Football Germany unfortunately,” he told Bild when asked if he would reconsider his international retirement. “The national team’s finished for me. I will carry the DFB jersey in future only as a fan when watching.

“I had 10 great years in the national team, I was allowed to be captain, I became a world champion and I had a great end to it all. I’m not going to suddenly jump up in one and a half years time for the European Championship.

“I made up my mind almost exactly one year ago and I’ll stand by it. This was my last World Cup tournament – and my most intense, too. For me, the decision was the right one. And the national team will be fine without me.”

The 31-year-old also revealed he is excited for the eventual return of imprisoned Uli Hoeness, the former Bayern president who was imprisoned earlier this year after being convicted of tax fraud.

“The club and I miss Uli Hoeness,” Lahm added. “I currently have no direct contact with him, but I would like to take this opportunity to wish him all the best.

“I hope that he can return to the club soon and I look forward to a detailed conversation with him. For me – for all of us at Bayern – it is important that his experience, his football skills and his perspective on the club are again incorporated into our decisions. Everyone looks forward to his return.”

There were reports in November that the Bavarians were planning on offering Hoeness a youth role if he is permitted day parole in January.