Season over for Manuel Neuer

The initial diagnosis of a fracture in Manuel Neuer's left foot was confirmed on Wednesday evening, when the World's Best Goalkeeper reported to FC Bayern's medical unit for a thorough examination. The course of treatment will be conservative. The 31-year-old Germany keeper will be sidelined for several weeks, meaning that the German record champions will have to do without him in the last few weeks of the season. Neuer sustained the injury in extra-time of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final return away to Real Madrid. "Of course I'm sad I won't be able to help the team in the final spurt of the season. I'm fully focused on recovering as soon as possible. That's the main thing for me now."

Eight pros work out

Those Bayern pros who made the starting line-up or played more than 45 minutes on Tuesday evening took a breather on Thursday. Two days before the Bundesliga home match against FSV Mainz Carlo Ancelotti awarded the players a day off. All other players, two goalkeepers and six outfield players, turned in a one-hour training session on Thursday morning. The final training session before the match will be on Friday.

FC Bayern Youth Cup Austria a success

The sixth edition of the FC Bayern Youth Cup Austria was staged at the UniCredit Center in Vienna on Easter Saturday. FC Bayern legend and world champion Hans Pflügler was very pleased with the high level and a very fair tournament. As expected the holders will contest the Youth Cup World Final at the Allianz Arena on 21 May with a strong team. FC Bayern thanks Bank Austria and youngCaritas Käfig League for an outstanding tournament.
Read More »

Lahm and Alonso 'have shaped world football'

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, venue of the Champions League final, on 3 June 2017. Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso dreamed of making one last appearance in the last match of the season, the last match of their careers, and hoisting the coveted trophy. But their dream was heartbrakingly dashed on Tuesday evening, when Lady Luck let them down. The Champions League quarter-final return against Real Madrid was the last match in Europe's premier club competition for the two legends.

"It's very disappointing, also for me personally after so many years in the Champions League," the 33-year-old said after the 4-2 defeat in extra-time against the holders from the Spanish capital. In contrast to 2014, when Philipp Lahm finished his international career winning the world cup with Germany, it was not to be in 2017, and the Bayern skipper will not finish his career showered in confetti in Cardiff.

German record holder

It is not until the last match of the season that Lahm wants to give way to his emotions. "Perhaps I'll get a little emotional, but only after the season, when everything's over. Because I've seen so much along with the team at the stadium, experienced so much with so many players. It's only afterwards that you realise it. Today the disappointment is dominant."

For the first time since 2011 the last four will take place without Lahm, who made it to the final against Inter Milan in 2010 and at home against Chelsea in 2012 before winning the trophy against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in 2013. Lahm & Co were knocked out in the last four from 2014 to 2016. Boasting 112 Champions League appearances, Lahm is the German record holder ahead of Oliver Kahn on 103.

Alonso fails to equal Seedorf's record

Xabi Alonso boasts 119 matches, making his final appearance in Europe's elite club competition at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, where he wore the Real Madrid kit for five years. "It's tough at the moment, we're disappointed, but that's soccer," declared Alonso, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and Real in 2014. He would have equalled Clarence Seedorf's record of three titles had he won the Champions League this year.

"Two great players finished their Champions League career in an appropriate way, in a great spectacular match," declared centre-back Mats Hummels, acknowledging the two legends. Both have "shaped world soccer," added Hummels: "They played in the Champions League virtually every year."

"Philipp and I've enjoyed so many matches, until the last day. We can be happy," the world and European champion said. Alonso and Lahm were the last Bayern pros to leave the Bernabéu. The duo have around six weeks left, and they want to win two titles. Three victories are missing to seal the German championship title, Bayern cross swords with Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Cup semi-finals. "I hope we'll make it to the cup final. Hopefully it'll be the last match!"
Read More »

Manuel Neuer sustains foot injury

Manuel Neuer suffered a fracture to his left foot in the 4-2 defeat away to Real Madrid according to an initial diagnosis. The Bayern goalkeeper sustained the injury during Cristiano Ronaldo's third goal in extra-time of the Champions League quarter-final return.

Neuer will undergo a thorough examination on arrival in Munich prior to a decision on the appropriate treatment.
Read More »

Playing through the pain

They gritted their teeth and threw themselves into battle. Although there were major doubts over Robert Lewandowski, Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels leading up to the second leg against Real Madrid, it was decided shortly before the match that all three could play.

“I honestly didn’t think it’d be possible for me to play today,” admitted Hummels after the match. The 28 year-old sustained an ankle injury in training a week and a half ago and has barely trained since then. However he and Boateng, who has been struggling with an adductor problem since last weekend, managed to form a strong and solid central defence in Madrid.

Suppressed everything

The two men won back possession for their team nine times each, more than any other player in a red shirt. It took a lot for them to do that, as Hummels explained: “Jérôme and I somehow managed to suppress everything. We had to play through the pain barrier and tried everything necessary to win this type of game.” During the game you wouldn’t have thought the duo were battling injuries.

During breaks of play, however, you could often see painful facial expressions, slight limping or stretching. Boateng in particular had difficulties from the middle of the second half onwards. “The muscle locked up at some point. I tried to battle through it but it wasn’t easy,” said the 28 year-old, who tried “to play a bit more with the eyes”. And he did so successfully, since Boateng made the most clearances for FCB.

Lewandowski’s impressive conversion rate

If something did get past the defence, Manuel Neuer was mostly on hand between the posts. The Germany goalkeeper returned to the side following a foot operation with an impressive performance in the first leg, and he put in another strong showing at the Bernabéu, making six saves and providing great support to his teammates. He couldn’t do anything about any of the goals and suffered a fracture in his left foot during Real’s third goal. He’ll be assessed in Munich on Wednesday to determine exactly how long he’ll be out for.

Neuer had kept his team in the game for a long time, as did Lewandowski whose opening goal last night put FCB back on course for a place in the semi-finals. The Pole missed the first leg because of a shoulder injury but there were no signs of it on Tuesday. The striker didn’t shirk any challenges and confidently converted his penalty. It was his sixth Champions League goal from the penalty spot in six attempts.

Frustration and pride

Unfortunately it didn’t prove to be enough for victory, but the quartet recieved great respect for their performances. “When I see how Hummels, Boateng, Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer played, I can only take my hat off to them,” praised chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Hummels also allowed himself “a bit of pride” along with his “frustration and disappointment” after the match.

He’ll have to take that into the upcoming games as there are still tough assignments to come. “We want to wrap up the title and next week we have a big game in the cup. That’ll be next highlight,” said the World Cup winner, referring to the semi-final against Borussia Dortmund. When asked if they’ll be fit then, Hummels simply answered: “We will be!” It looks like they’ll be gritting their teeth and battling again.
Read More »