Hummels: I never criticised my team-mates!

The German international admits he was unhappy with his side’s disappointing performance against the league champions but refuted claims he picked out specific players

Mats Hummels has denied singling out Borussia Dortmund team-mates for criticism following a 5-1 Bundesliga thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The centre-back was furious with his side’s failure to implement their tactics in the crushing defeat away to Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday – specifically their inability to counter long passes from Jerome Boateng, which led to two of Bayern’s goals.

Hummels, however, insisted he was not attempting to focus blame on individuals and accused the media of manipulating his comments.

“I am used to words being used in recent years so they fit into a headline,” he said ahead of Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifier away to the Republic of Ireland. 

“After the match against Bayern I didn’t use one word to criticise single players.

“I only talked about one tactical issue and I did not exclude myself from that. In fact, I said that [Robert] Lewandowski was quicker than Sven Bender and myself. But that hasn’t been written. Of course, it would not have been fitting for the story.”

Hummels went on to wish former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp success ahead of a likely move to take charge at Liverpool.

“This won’t be a big surprise, but I consider him a great coach,” he said. 

“If you think about what could be his next step after Dortmund, the club that people are talking about at the moment is one that comes to mind.

“I am interested in what he does next. I will keep my fingers crossed for him to have similar success to what we had with Dortmund.”

Nedved: Morata not returning to Real Madrid, he is the future of Juventus

The Bianconeri director is confident that the striker will not leave the club for Real Madrid any time soon and believes he has great potential

Juventus director Pavel Nedved has stressed that Alvaro Morata’s future lies with the Serie A champions rather than back at Real Madrid.

The Spain international joined Juventus in 2014 and is tied to them until June 2019, but Madrid have an option to re-sign the striker for a set fee at the end of this season.

Nevertheless, Nedved is confident the 22-year-old, who has scored three goals in seven matches so far this term, will not return to the Spanish capital any time soon.

“Morata is our player,” Nedved told Tuttosport. “I can only see his future at Juventus.

“He is a great player and I believe that he is still only at 60 per cent of his full potential.

“Morata represents the future of Juventus.”


Meanwhile, Nedved was adamant that Juventus did not make a mistake by allowing Kingsley Coman to leave the club for Bayern Munich, regardless of his fine run of form this campaign.

The Czech added: “That was not an error from us. We only want players who want to play for Juventus and Coman had expressed his desire to leave. We decided to grant him his wish, even if we knew he is a very strong young player.

“We only need players who are proud to wear the Juventus jersey.”

Arsenal can win the Premier League title this season, says Ozil

The 26-year-old feels his side can pick up their first league title since 2003-04 provided they remain injury-free, and also backs them to beat Bayern

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil believes the club can win the Premier League this season.

The Gunners showed what they are capable of at the weekend as they beat Manchester United 3-0 to climb to second place in the league and just two points behind table-toppers Manchester City.

Ozil believes his side can go all the way in the English top flight this campaign as they bid to secure their first Premier League title since 2003-04.

“We have a great team with a lot of world-class players,” he told Bild.

“Our goal is to win the Premier League title. I think we can achieve it this season if we do not get any major injuries. But the season is still long.”

Conversely, Arsene Wenger’s men have made a slow start to their Champions League campaign after losing their opening two fixtures, yet Ozil remains optimistic they can pick up two wins against rivals Bayern.

“It is true that there is a lot of pressure on us in the Champions League. We can beat Bayern, though, if we play at the same level as against Manchester United,” he said.

“I was a bit surprised to see Bayern beat Dortmund 5-1. Bayern’s results show that they are in great form.

“We have a lot of respect for Bayern, but we are not afraid of them. We are playing at home and we know how to score goals and be successful against Bayern.

“Of course, it will not be easy, but we have the potential to beat any team.”

Bayern and Germany legend Muller suffering from Alzheimer's

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has paid tribute to legendary striker Gerd Muller after Bayern Munich confirmed he has Alzheimer’s disease

Legendary Bayern Munich and Germany striker is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, his former club have confirmed.

Bayern announced the news in a press release via their official website as they paid tribute to Muller ahead of his 70th birthday later this year.

Muller, who once held the record for World Cup finals goals, has been undergoing professional care since the beginning of February this year, the Bundesliga champions said.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge paid tribute to Muller.

He said: “Gerd Muller is one of the greats of world football. Without his goals, FC Bayern and German football would not be where they are today.

“Despite his success, he was always modest, and that’s what really impressed me. He was a wonderful player and a friend.

“He brought experience as a coach and helped to create world champions in Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller.”

Rummenigge also asked for Muller’s family to be given privacy over the coming weeks.

“This is not only the express wish of his family, but also FC Bayern,” he added. “Bayern will always support Gerd Muller and his family whenever it is necessary.”

Muller’s doctor, Professor Dr Hans Forstl, thanked the club for the support given so far.

“Despite unmistakable signs of his illness, he was treated with great sympathy and respect by the Bayern family, fans and the media,” he said.

“That was very important because it is a wish for every Alzheimer’s patient to stay in the environment in which they feel comfortable for as long as possible.”

Muller was part of the Bayern side that won three European Cups in a row between 1974 and 1976, as well as four Bundesliga titles. He scored a remarkable 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games.

Muller also scored an incredible 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, winning the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup two years later.

Barca, Madrid and United are Bayern's Champions League rivals – Effenberg

The former Die Roten midfield star believes the club can challenge for European honours this season, while another Bundesliga title should be a mere formality

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are the biggest threats to Bayern Munich’s hopes of Champions League glory, according to Stefan Effenberg.

The 47-year-old featured for the Bavarians as they beat Valencia on penalties to lift the continental trophy at San Siro in 2000-01, and he feels his former club are in a good position to replicate the feat when the showpiece event returns to Milan next year.

However, the ex-midfielder has suggested strong competition will come from Barcelona and Real Madrid, while also tipping Manchester United as surprise candidates for the title.

“It is the same story every year: Barcelona and Real Madrid have very strong squads and I think that both of them are serious opponents for Bayern Munich,” Effenberg said at the Aspire Academy Global Summit in Berlin.

“I also think that Manchester [United] can play a good role in the Champions League. That is maybe surprising to you because they lost clearly against Arsenal [3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday].

“But there is still a long season ahead.”

The three-time Bundesliga champion still considers Bayern to be the top team and, with a seven-point advantage after eight games, he feels another domestic championship is a mere formality.

“Currently, Bayern Munich is the best football team in the world but they are not unbeatable,” Effenberg commented.

“I think the championship in Germany is already decided. No other club in Germany has such quality in their squad. It is almost perfect.”