Casillas nominated for Fifpro Team of the Year

The Real Madrid captain has lost his place in the Blancos first team this year but is still in the running for the annual XI alongside the likes of Manuel Neuer

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been named among the nominees for the Fifa/Fifpro Team of the Year for 2013.

The Spain skipper has endured a frustrating time over the last 12 months, losing his place in the Blancos first team to Diego Lopez after suffering a hand injury in January.

Casillas has not made a Liga appearance for the club since, though he has featured under Carlo Ancelotti in the Champions League and for Spain at the Confederations Cup.

Meanwhile, his rival for the No.1 jersey with the world champions, Barcelona’s Victor Valdes is also among the nominees, alongside Manuel Neuer, who led Bayern Munich to the treble last term.

Petr Cech of Europa League winners Chelsea and Gianluigi Buffon, who captained Juventus to a second straight Serie A title complete the field.

Last term, an all-Liga XI was named, with only Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao coming from outside the Real Madrid and Barcelona squads and Casillas in goal.

The 55-strong shortlist for the Fifa/Fifpro XI will be revealed on December 9.

Alaba signs new Bayern deal

The Austria international has signed a new contract that expires in 2018 and is happy to have committed his future to the Bavarian giants

Bayern Munich have announced that David Alaba has extended his contract at the club until the summer of 2018.

The 21-year-old moved to the Allianz Arena as a teenager from Austria Vienna back in 2008 and has sealed his place in the Bavarians’ first-team at left-back over the last two years.

However, his preference for a midfield role has led to some speculation that he might leave, but the Austria international has now committed his future to the club.

“I am very, very happy,” he told the club’s official website. “I have been at Bayern since 2008, they have become my club. I am lucky that everything is now fixed and that I can play for this club until at least 2018.”

Bayern CEO Karl Heinz-Rummenigge added: “These were pleasant talks. We are very happy that they have led to this nice ending for both sides.

“He has developed wonderfully on the pitch. The coach is very happy, we are very satisfied. David has made a great contribution to what we have achieved this year.

“David came to us at 16 and has developed a lot. He is one of Europe’s best and most successful full-backs already. We are happy we can count on him and his performances further.

Sporting director Matthias Sammer, meanwhile, is looking forward to seeing Alaba develop further as a player over the coming years.

He added: “At 21 years of age, he’s not yet mature. This signal from David is very important for going on with us.”

The Vienna-born star’s previous deal was set to expire in 2015.

Bayern patient over Robben contract renewal

The Dutchman’s current contract runs until the summer of 2015, but both player and club are happy to put discussions over a new deal on the back burner

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says the club are in no rush to extend Arjen Robben’s contract.

The winger has been one of Bayern’s star men over the past two seasons and has scored three times in the last week, but with his current deal set to expire in another 18 months, talks are yet to begin over extending his stay at the Allianz Arena.

The stance of the Bundesliga champions has fuelled speculation that Robben could leave the club at the end of the season, but Hoeness is not too worried that Bayern could lose the 29-year-old.

“He still has one-and-a-half years to go on his current contract, so I don’t understand all the excitement,” Hoeness was quoted as saying by Kicker.

“Arjen knows what we can do for him and we know what he has to offer. He is not pushing for a new deal and neither are we.

“Talks with his father [and agent] Hans have always been fair. We will find a solution when the time is right.”

Robben has netted 12 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions so far this term.

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Robben leads Bayern to victory

The Dutchman keeps his place in Goal’s weekly XI, which also features Sokratis, Jefferson Farfan and Heung Son-Min

Germany’s finest had contrasting fortunes in Europe in midweek, but Bayern Munich, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen all enjoyed fine victories at home over the weekend. And all four have representatives in Goal‘s Team of the Week.

Goalless draws are a real rarity in Germany, but Hertha Berlin and Augsburg were unable to break the deadlock on Saturday and the Bavarians’ goalkeeper, Marwin Hitz, keeps his place between the sticks.

Freiburg’s shoddy start to the season continued as they lost against Borussia Monchengladbach, but Immanuel Hohn impressed at the back. Sokratis caught the eye for BVB in the absence of Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, Ragnar Klavan is the second Augsburg man to make the cut and Sejad Salihovic was on target twice in Hoffenheim’s 4-4 thriller against Werder Bremen.

On the other side of the Rhein Neckar Arena pitch was Aaron Hunt, who was also on target, Daniel Caligiuri was everywhere for Wolfsburg against Hamburg and Arjen Robben scored both of Bayern’s goals in Saturday’s win over Eintracht Braunschweig.

There are three scorers up front. Jefferson Farfan got two in Schalke’s 3-0 win over Stuttgart, Raffael was the match-winner for Gladbach in the 1-0 win over Freiburg and Heung Son-Min put in one of his best performances yet for Leverkusen, netting twice in the 3-0 win over Nurnberg.

'Stepped up in Ronaldo's absence' – Goal's World Player of the Week Gareth Bale

Real Madrid
4-1 Galatasaray
Real Madrid 4-0 Valladolid

Injury has kept Cristiano Ronaldo out of Real Madrid’s last two games but in his absence Gareth Bale has stepped up to the plate and adopted the role of talisman.

The world’s most expensive player was troubled by injury in the early weeks of the campaign but after returning to full fitness he has helped to close the gap on Barcelona to just three points in La Liga and gone a small way towards justifying his sizeable transfer fee.

Goal’s Miguel Churrucca says: “Gareth Bale had his first really convincing performances with Real Madrid last Wednesday & Saturday. The Welshman was suposed to lead los Blancos with Cristiano Ronaldo injured and he accomplished his aim in great fashion.

“He opened the scoring in the Champions League win against Galatasaray with a free-kick and then did the same against Valladolid on Saturday with a header to make it 1-0.

“It was his sumptuous cross that set-up Karim Benzema for Madrid’s second and then the former Tottenham winger added two more goals – with his left and right foot – to complete a perfect hat-trick and a resounding 4-0 win.”

Congratulations to Gareth Bale, Goal’s 238th World Player of the Week winner!

The Shortlist

Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich

Goal’s Falko Bloeding: “Made one and scored one in Moscow and then struck twice in the 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig.”

Diego Costa – Atletico Madrid

 @DreCordero: Costa’s goal doesn’t make any sense and Simeone’s reaction was perfect.”

Goal’s Craig Turnbull: “Closed the gap on Ronaldo in the race for the European Golden Shoe with a wonder goal.”

Katlego Mashego – Sundowns

@mxomandla: “He’s destroying his former team #mashego #swa #sundowns

Goal’s Ignat Manjoo: “Scored two goals against his former club Swallows to send his side to the top of the league.”

Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal

@HenryWinter: Brilliant from Aaron Ramsey and Cardiff fans. Good to see such mutual respect.”

Goal’s Alec Fenn: “He now has 13 goals in all competitions after scoring twice against former club Cardiff City.”