Thiago Alcantara Ruled Out of Der Klassiker With Muscle Injury

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has revealed Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcantara will not play a part in Tuesday’s highly anticipated battle between the Bundesliga champions and Borussia Dortmund.

Thiago has featured 23 times in the league this season for Bayern, who can go seven points clear of nearest rivals Dortmund on Tuesday in their search for a 30th Bundesliga title.

Though the former Barcelona man played 90 minutes in Bayern’s 2-0 win over Union Berlin, Flick revealed in the run up to Bayern’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt, in which Thiago did not feature, that he had picked up a muscle injury.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt – Bundesliga

Hansi Flick, addressing reporters in his pre-match press conference, has now revealed this injury will keep Thiago out of Tuesday’s encounter with Die Borussen.

“Thiago didn’t train today [Monday],” said Flick. “Unfortunately he is ruled out for this game.”

Flick gave further details on the composition of his lineup, confirming that Jerome Boateng, who was substituted with muscle problems of his own during the 5-2 win against Frankfurt, will most likely feature.

FC Bayern Muenchen – Training Session

“Boateng is able to play,” Flick continued. “Of course I would have liked to have had Thiago with us as well, but he will be the only one not available.”

When it came to the rest of Flick’s lineup for the season defining encounter, he was understandably coy, refusing to give away much more about his tactical approach.

Legends Cup Brazil 2019

“The final secret regarding the lineup, I’d like to keep to myself,” said the Bayern head coach, implying he was eager to spring a surprise on Lucien Favre’s men.

Both teams are coming into this match in the middle of impressive winning runs in the league, with Bayern winning their last six league games, while Dortmund have triumphed in their last seven.


German FA President Calls for Football to ‘Learn From Mistakes’ and Introduce Salary Cap

The German Football Association president Fritz Keller has called for football to install a salary cap and stricter financial regulations to stop alienating supporters following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bundesliga returned on 16 May having been put on hold for over two months – making it the first major league to return to action following the coronavirus outbreak. Despite some initial resistance from supporters, the league’s restart has been well-received in most parts so far.

The pandemic has brought nearly all competitive football to a halt but the Bundesliga’s return has offered hope to other football associations looking to complete their respective seasons in the coming months.

1. FC Koln v Fortuna Duesseldorf – Bundesliga

However, German FA president Fritz Keller has insisted that football needs to learn from mistakes of the past, claiming that the current situation can serve as a great opportunity to restructure the game and put a salary cap in place.

During a virtual address to the DFB’s extraordinary meeting (as quoted by The Independent) Keller stated: “We have to learn from our mistakes, because the crisis is an opportunity to restructure football.

“We need to bring professional football to the people, to their everyday world. So we need an improved financial control system and, yes, a salary cap. Commissions for agents and immense transfer figure irritate society and estrange them from our beloved sport. Football has to offer satisfactory answers to these issues.”

DFB Press Conference

He continued: “We do not only need new rules but also an new attitude. Not to think just from season to season as we painfully found out. Football as a whole has to live on long-term perspectives.”

Football is expected to be massively financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in any case, with player values, wages and transfer fees potentially set to take a nosedive in the coming seasons. However, in the long-term, the ramifications of the pandemic are yet to be seen.


On This Day in Football History – 25 May: The Miracle of Istanbul, Celtic’s European Triumph & More

Ah, 25 May. A nice, calm day. A day in which nothing exciting has ever happened in football ever. How nice.

Oh, well that’s if you ignore perhaps the single most incredible comeback in the history of football. You know the one.

Let’s have a look at what this day in history has offered up.

1928 – World Cup Plans Approved

We’ve seen some fantastic World Cup tournaments in the past, and that’s all thanks to a not-so-little meeting between FIFA officials on this day back in 1928.

The idea to hold an ‘International Football Championship’ was approved, and eventual winners Uruguay were selected as hosts after winning the two previous Olympic tournaments.

1947 – England 10-0 Portugal

Remember when England used to be exciting to watch? Me neither. Turns out, you might have to go all the way back to 1947 to see the Three Lions on top form.

In what was only a friendly in Lisbon, England stormed to a 10-0 victory thanks to four goals from Stan Mortensen, four from Tommy Lawton and one from both Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney.

Fun fact: Lawton’s first came after just 17 seconds, making it the fastest goal in England’s international history at the time. That record was broken by Lawton himself just a few months later as he netted after 12 seconds in a 5-2 win over Belgium. Speedy.

1967 – Celtic Make History

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Celtic became the first British side to win the European Cup when they saw off an Inter side who had won two of the previous three trophies.

Coming back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 thanks to an 84th-minute winner, the victory was seen as a turning point for football. Inter’s defensive style had led them to glory before, but Jock Stein’s Lisbon Lions threw caution to the wind and stormed to glory with a free-flowing, attractive style of play.

1996 – Atlético Madrid Win the Double

Having sat back and watched Real Madrid and Barcelona dominant Spanish football for over a decade, Atlético Madrid wrestled the league title away from the two giants on this day in 1996.

They added the trophy to the Copa del Rey, which they won a month earlier, completing the first double in club history.

1998 – ‘The Greatest Playoff Final Ever’

Charlton Athletic and Sunderland’s enthralling 4-4 draw in the 1998 First Division playoff final has gone down in history as perhaps the greatest playoff game of all time.

Charlton’s Clive Mendonca stole the headlines with a hat-trick, and he then went on to slot his penalty in the shoot-out to send the Addicks to the top flight.

2001- David Beckham Bags a Stunner

David Beckham put on another free-kick clinic in 2001 in England’s 4-0 friendly victory over Mexico by netting this picture-perfect effort.

The game meant nothing whatsoever, but do we really need to justify watching Becks do what he did best?

2005 – Istanbul

You knew it was coming.

After falling 3-0 down to AC Milan in the first half of the 2005 Champions League final, Liverpool roared back after the break and tied the score up at 3-3, before going on to win the game on penalties.

The match set a record for the most goals scored in a Champions League final, but nobody cared about that because everyone was so caught up in the madness which they had just witnessed.

2007 – Gareth Bale Joins Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur parted with an initial £5m to lure a 17-year-old Gareth Bale away from Southampton on this day in 2007.

Things started off horribly, but then the Welshman tore Maicon apart at San Siro and propelled himself to greatness, earning Spurs a cool £85m when they sold him to Real Madrid six years later.

Don’t worry, Arsenal fans, this is a special date for you too. The Gunners signed Granit Xhaka on this day in 2016, so everyone’s happy! Yeah!

2013 – Bayern Munich Edge Out Dortmund

The first all-German Champions League final took place in 2013 and saw Bayern Munich narrowly come out on top against Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.

The score was tied at 1-1 until the 89th minute, when Arjen Robben burst through the defence to scuff home a dramatic late winner.

2019 – Celtic Complete Treble Treble

One treble wasn’t enough for Celtic. Two trebles weren’t even enough. The Hoops had to go and win a Treble Treble, which was completed on this day in 2019.

A 2-1 win over Hearts in the Scottish Cup final ensured Celtic had won each of the last nine domestic trophies available, and they’ve already won the 2019/20 title and League Cup. If the Scottish Cup comes back, it could be the quadruple treble.

2019 – Valencia Stun Barcelona in Copa del Rey

Seven years after winning the Copa del Rey on this day, Barcelona came out on the losing end in the final against Valencia.

After getting Corner Taken Quickly Origiii-ied’ by Liverpool a few weeks earlier, Barcelona seemingly capitulated. They drew their final league game against Eibar before falling 2-1 to Valencia in the cup final a few days later.

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Hansi Flick Dismisses Talk of Title Decider Ahead of Bayern’s Clash With Dortmund

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has dismissed talk that Tuesday’s meeting with Borussia Dortmund could decide who wins the Bundesliga title.

Bayern currently sit top of the league table, four points clear of Dortmund, so Tuesday’s iteration of Der Klassiker will go a long way to dictating the final standings.


However, Flick was adamant after Saturday’s win against Eintracht Frankfurt (via the club’s official website) that he wants his side to see the match as just another game as there is far too much football left to play to get caught up in title talk just yet.

“We hope Tuesday’s match will be attractive,” he said. “Nothing will be decided after that, no matter what the result. The league is very balanced, especially at the top, with attractive football.”

There are currently seven games left to play this season, so Flick is right to state that nothing will be decided. However, if his side emerged victorious and extended their lead to seven points, it would be hard to see Dortmund catching up.

That being said, Bayern’s remaining fixtures are by no means guaranteed wins. They must face Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are both in the current top five, while sixth-placed Freiburg and seventh-placed Wolfsburg are both still to come.

Bayern will come into the game on the back of a 5-2 win over Frankfurt, which Thomas Müller insisted proved just how much the Bavarians want to win the title.

“It was an absolutely crucial Bundesliga match for us,” he said. “We wanted to follow suit after Dortmund’s victory.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg – Bundesliga

“Hats off to the team, we displayed a certain doggedness. We must push to our limits. We did that quite well. The two goals we conceded don’t look so good of course, but taken altogether our performance was pretty good.

“Against Dortmund we’ll show we can play with an extreme amount of passion, even without spectators. It’s a crucial week for us. We’ve set out to achieve three victories. We’re marching on. Dortmund are marching on. We have reason to look forward to Tuesday. We want the title in Munich, where it belongs.”

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Every Player Robert Lewandowski Needs to Outscore to Set a New Bundesliga Goalscoring Record

Robert Lewandowski has been nothing short of world class this season.

He’s on course for his best ever goalscoring season in a Bundesliga campaign, having already netted 27 goals in just 25 games, leaving him three strikes away from matching his best ever season which came in 2015/16.

The Poland international’s form has thrown open the possibility of Lewandowski setting a new all-time record for Bundesliga goalscorers too, so here we take a look at which players the Bayern Munich star will need to surpass on his journey to making history.

Uwe Seeler – 30

Former Hamburg striker Uwe Seeler was the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga’s inaugural season, netting 30 times in campaign with just 30 matches.

Seeler finished his career with 137 Bundesliga goals to his name, which is more than the likes of Rudi Völler, Giovane Elber and Jürgen Klinsmann.

Jupp Heynckes – 30

Jupp Heynckes is most well-known for his managerial career these days, but the former Bayern Munich boss had quite the playing career too.

The Borussia Mönchengladbach legend’s most prolific season came in 1973/74, when he scored 30 goals and was named as the top goalscorer for the first time in his career.

Ending his career with 220 Bundesliga goals, Lewandowski surpassed Heynckes on the all-time goalscoring charts earlier this season.

Lothar Emmerich – 31

Seeler might have been the first player to be crowned as the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga, but just two years later Lothar Emmerich set a new record for goals in a single season.

The Borussia Dortmund legend scored 31 of his career goals that term.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 31

Lewandowski had quite the rivalry with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Gabon international’s time in the Bundesliga.

It was Bayern Munich’s striker who came out on top more often than not, but the one season where Aubameyang did finish as the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer, he netted more in a single campaign that Lewandowski’s ever been able to manage.

Dieter Müller – 34

Dieter Müller isn’t one of the more recognisable names for fans outside Germany, but the former Köln striker is one of the best goalscorers in Bundesliga history.

As well as being the only player to score a double hat trick in a single Bundesliga game, Müller was able to register one of the highest goal tallies during a league campaign.

Before Lewandowski scored 30 in 2016, Müller was the most recent player to reach at least 30 goals during a single season in 1976/77.

Gerd Müller – 40

Bayern Munich and Germany legend Gerd Müller is the Bundesliga’s best goalscorer of all time.

He finished his career with 365 goals in 427 games in Germany’s top flight, while he also holds the record for scoring the most goals in a single season.

Müller netted 36 in the 1972/72 season and 38 in the 1969/70 season, but Der Bomber’s best season came when he smacked in 40 during the 1971/72 campaign.

Müller scored four hat tricks that season, while he also netted four times in a match against Borussia Dortmund and five against Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.