Germany international Marc-Andre ter Stegen has said that winning the Champions League with Barcelona remains the prime aim for the current campaign. The Spanish champions previously won the European crown in 2015 and they have since failed to progress beyond the semi-final stage of the elite competition.
Speaking to FIFA.com, Ter Stegen acknowledged that winning the Champions League remains the club’s main objective for the Blaugrana and the club are determined to progress to the latter stages of the competition and potentially lift the title, he told: “Yes, always, every year. That’s an easy question to answer. At this club we always want to win every available title. Every one of them is important, and the Champions League, obviously, even more so. We’ve started well and want to go a very long way [in the competition].”
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has said that Mesut Ozil’s career with the Gunners may be reaching a conclusion following his snub for the Premier League clash at Manchester United. The former Germany international has struggled for gametime under manager Unai Emery this term and he has been afforded with just one league appearance from the opening seven games.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw between United and Arsenal, Parlour said that Emery is brave after taking the decision to ignore Ozil for the matchday squad. He added that the German faces an uncertain future hereafter and the recent snub against the Reds may be the last straw, he told: “He’s been brave by doing it because Ozil is a World Cup winner and he’s on a massive contract at Arsenal. But he did probably need someone like Ozil last night to open the door for Aubameyang; he didn’t get a lot of service did he? But Ozil… I don’t know what the future holds for him. I think that could be the last straw.”
Arsenal legend Martin Keown has said that Mesut Ozil may need to remain consistent with his performances next term following the arrival of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid. The Spain international joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Los Blancos last month and he has been fancied to compete for a regular starting role with the north London club next season.
In a report covered by Goal.com, Keown said that Ozil has been a crucial performer for the Gunners over the years but he may be under pressure from Ceballos next term after an average 2018/19 campaign, he quipped: “I love watching Ozil play when he’s at his very best but last season he wasn’t influential in the team and I’m not sure what was really going on.
Germany international Toni Kroos has said that he could take an early retirement from the game at the age of 33. The midfielder has been with Los Blancos for the past five seasons and during this period, he has won three Champions League crowns while lifting the Spanish La Liga title on one occasion.
Speaking to Bild, Kroos indicated that he has never been in contact with Manchester City and there is no truth to the speculation linking him with the Citizens. He added that he could hang up his boots when his current contract expires in 2023, he quipped: “It has been written several times in the past. But I was never really offered the chance to go to Manchester City. Never. I can deny these rumours. My contract duration was chosen consciously. Thirty-three would be a good age to hang up the boots. I will have the opportunity at that moment to choose if I want to do something else.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that he likes to be critical of Leroy Sane’s performances for the club. The Germany international has been in-and-out of the starting lineup over the course of the season, but he has nonetheless been effective with a sublime tally of 16 goals and 15 assists across all competitions.
Speaking after the Manchester derby win, Guardiola said that Sane was incredible on the playing field against United, where he popped up with the second goal after coming on as a substitute. He added that he always likes to be critical of the former Schalke man, considering the youngster can be more consistent with his performances.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has admitted that he was impressed with the showing of Mesut Ozil during the club’s 2-0 league triumph over Newcastle United on Monday night. The former Germany international was afforded with his fourth consecutive start for the Gunners against the Magpies and he put in a solid display, which earned him the man of the match accolade.
Following the game, Emery was pleased with the performance of Ozil and stated that the German has grown fonder of adjusting to the tactical demands from the club, he told Sky Sports: “We were improving little by little and our first goal helped us a lot. Mesut Ozil has quality, when he can find the best performance for the team, he is playing like we want with the system and how tactically we want. He is giving us his quality. We are making progress in the table but we know it is difficult, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester United are going to win a lot of games.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that Leroy Sane has more room for improvement despite producing a strong performance against Schalke in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 stage. The Germany international has been in-and-out of the starting lineup since the turn of the year but he has continued to produce efficient performances whenever called up to the playing field.
In the recent 7-0 win over Schalke, Sane starred with one goal and three assists but Guardiola still found a minor weakness in the performance by insisting that the attacker was not aggressive enough for the first 20 minutes, he said: “No. After the first goal, yes. Before, no. He was not aggressive enough in the first 20 minutes. I like when he runs and goes. If he loses the ball, it doesn’t matter.
Reports from Germany claims that Spanish giants Barcelona have agreed on a deal to sign Serbian forward Luka Jovic. According to the reports Barcelona have emerged favourites for the Eintracht Frankfurt forward and have tabled a formal bid for the player.
Jovic is currently in the second year of a Two-year loan at the German club from Benfica. He was not special last season as he struggled to break into the first team. This season however he has been sensational leading the line effectively for the club alongside Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller.
Former Tottenham Hotspur ace Jermain Jenas has highlighted that Unai Emery’s decision to snub Mesut Ozil for the Premier League duties has a justifiable reason. The Germany international has earned just 150 minutes of league action since the last international break and this has recently increased speculation regarding his future with the club.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Jenas suggested that the midfielder may not be following decisions from Emery during the training sessions and that could be hampering his gametime over the past few months, he said:“He’s not using Mesut Ozil now. Mesut Ozil is one of the most criticised players in the Premier League, and probably by their own fans, on the basis that he’s not doing it. If he’s not playing, he’s not playing for a reason. The manager is seeing him day in day out. He’ll be asking a Mesut Ozil to do certain things that Mesut Ozil is not prepared to do.”
Irrespective of where you go in Germany, starting from the dense forest of Freiburg to the icy harbor of Flensburg, you are going to come across mad German football fans who are always too willing to talk about this sport. However, with two matches in a year, this fanaticism might reach its peak with the oldest and storied rivals of football come head to head.
Forget about Dortmund versus Bayern Munich or others against RB Leipzig. The biggest rivalry in German football is Schalke versus Borussia Dortmund in Revierderby. Schalke hosting Dortmund in ninety-third Revierderby by the era of Bundesliga. Even though these days the matches come with friendly banter instead of hooliganism and fights like years before, there isn’t any love lost in between the biggest clubs of German football.