Tag Archives: Borussia Dortmund

Former Chelsea forward announces his retirement from the game

Andre Schurrle has announced his shock decision to retire from football at the age of 29.

The German forward had a year left on his contract with Borussia Dortmund but the two parties agreed to cancel it.

He told German newspaper Der Speigel: 

“The depths became deeper and the highlights less and less. Only performance on the field counts, in which vulnerability and weakness must never exist.”

That very much sounds like a player who is constantly expected to perform and has come to the conclusion that the pressure of football has caught up with him.

Schurrle played for Chelsea for two seasons and won a Premier League winners medal in 2015 despite leaving the club part way through the season for German side Wolfsburg.

He also represented the German nation side for seven years between 2010 to 2017. Schurrle was a member of the German side that won the World Cup in 2014. During extra time in the 2014 final he provided the assist for Mario Gotze’s winning goal against Argentina.

The forward started his career at Mainz in 2009 where he made 66 appearances and scored 20 goals in his two seasons at the club.

Bayern Leverkuson were aware of his talent and signed him for £6.5 million in 2011, where he went on to make 65 appearances and hit the net 18 times.

In 2013 he fancied a chance to showcase his talents in the English Premiership when Chelsea secured his services after paying £18 million. He featured 44 times for the London club and scored 11 goals before joining German side Wolfsburg in 2015.

Schurrle had just a single season with Wolfsburg after signing for them for a reported fee of £22 million in 2015, winning the DFL Supercup.

Dortmund signed him in 2016, where his four-year stint was rewarded by 33 appearances.

In between his time at Dortmund, he was sent out on loan to Fulham for one season and also Russian side Spartak Moscow.

Earlier on this month his loan expired and was not extended as he had not made any appearances for Spartak this season due to an injury.

Undoubtedly his finest moment in a fine career came in the 2014 World Cup after helping Germany win the World Cup with three goals in Brazil, including a brace in their famous 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semi-final.

Real Madrid all set to launch Women’s team for 2020/21 campaign

Real Madrid has finally ended its wait to launch a women’s team by buying out Madrid based club CD Tacon for 300,000 euros.

Los Blancos were one of the few remaining major European clubs not to have a women’s team but now have been encouraged to invest in the women’s game following in the footsteps of other leading teams such as Manchester United and Juventus.

The official name of the Spanish club is set to be Real Madrid Femenino, replacing that of CD Tacon and the merger will be confirmed once the men’s La Liga season ends on 19 July.

Following the confirmation of the takeover, President Florentino Perez said:

“Real Madrid must be part of this worldwide phenomena and the time has come to face this new challenge and build a football team which is able to compete and of which we can feel proud.”

Madrid’s impending arrival on the Women’s European stage arguably leaves German Bundesliga’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund as the biggest European club not to have a senior women’s team.

Unlike the men’s team, however, the women’s side in the short term at least will be playing catch up with fierce rivals FC Barcelona Femeni and Atletico Madrid Femenino, whose teams are already firmly established in the women’s game.

Players from other leading European clubs have stressed what ‘a huge positive’ the introduction of Real Madrid to the women’s game will be.

Lyon forward, Ada Hegerberg, who was the first winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, said:

“I’m hoping they will stabilise the investment over a long period and that they have a long-term perspective because it can’t happen overnight.”

This view appears to be shared by the Real Madrid President, who, despite the obvious pressure of competing for instant success, has stressed that Los Blancos are planning to invest in young Spanish talent rather than recruiting from abroad.

Indeed, steps have already been put in place so that this is enforced, as there will also be Real teams between U16 and U19 level.

Perez added:

“CD Tacon was chosen because this club has an academy structure which allow us to remain loyal to our philosophy from day one.  As such, we will look to scout, train and develop young talent.”

These positive actions already taken by Los Blancos seem that to indicate they are intent on contributing to the sport’s continuing development and growth and with the top two Spanish Leagues set to go professional next season, the future of women’s football in Spain certainly appears to be heading in the right direction.

Who is Jude Bellingham?

Jadon Sancho. Lautaro Martinez. Erling Haaland. We see plenty of names being branded about as the next best young players but one player that has flown into the public eye recently is Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham.

The 16 year-old turns 17 on the 29th and has amassed 33 Championship appearances since 2019, scoring four goals. He caught the attention of FourFourTwo magazine when he scored the winner for the Birmingham U23’s side against Nottingham Forest at the ripe age of 15. By March 2019, he’d made 10 development side appearances and bagged three goals. He was also being linked with top clubs around Europe, Borussia Dortmund being the most talked about name at first.

Bellingham then signed a two-year scholarship with Birmingham to begin in July 2019. He was part of the first-team squad in their pre-season training, played and scored in some pre-season friendlies and was subsequently given the number 22 shirt for the 2019/20 campaign .

On the 6th August 2019, Bellingham became Birmingham City’s youngest ever first-team player when he started an EFL cup tie with Portsmouth. At the age of 16 years and 38 days, he beat the record of 16 years 139 days that Trevor Francis had previously held. The Englishman also captained England U15’s in the 17/18 season and went on to do the same for the U16’s by the end of 2018.

In the current season he has played 33 times, as mentioned before and has played a mix of wing and central midfield positions. He has the physical presence needed for a central midfielder and has a good eye for a pass. For a young player he seems very composed and plays with a maturity beyond his years.

With four goals from midfield, you could also say he has a decent eye for goal, which at 16 is highly impressive. The Championship is a notoriously difficult league to play in and with him being able to establish himself, you would have to say the hype surrounding his talents is justified.

Pep Clotet and the club staff feel he is most suited to an advanced central midfield role.

Speaking in October, Clotet said:

“The only difference between a player who is 16 and a player that has a lot of years as a pro is the way they handle the load.

“He’s handling it very well at the moment and he’s a strong player so I don’t see why he can’t hack it.”

His performances have certainly garnered a lot of attention from Europe’s top clubs, with Bayern Munich now entering the fray alongside Dortmund and Manchester United. There were reports in January linking the youngster with a £50 million move to United, a deal that never seemed likely.

However, it does bring up the topic of English players going for a certain premium. As £50 million for a player who had only played half a Championship season seems very steep.

Bellingham will be able to sign his first professional contract when he turns 17 on Monday – he earns a measly £145 per week at Birmingham, which means clubs have just a few days to convince him to join them. Bayern Munich have made an effort to potentially hijack a deal to Dortmund, with Bellingham choosing the latter over United because of the success Jadon Sancho has had.

It would be difficult to see where he fits in at Bayern, whereas Dortmund you could assume Bellingham would get more playing time. Wherever his career path takes him, you can be sure that we haven’t heard the last of this starlet.

Bayern wrap up Bundesliga title – What makes them so successful?

Robert Lewandowski’s first half strike sealed Bayern Munich’s eighth successive title after defeating struggling Werder Bremen on Tuesday evening.

Bayern’s 11th straight Bundesliga win put them 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who have three games remaining.

Not for the first time this season Bayern were far from their best, but like all great sides they know how to win tight games, which they have been successfully doing all season.

Bayern celebrated at the final whistle with shouts of delight from all the squad in a rain soaked Weserstadion. The Bayern machine wrapped up the Bundesliga title with two games remaining, having gone on an unstoppable run which yielded 22 wins in their last 23 games with only two points dropped.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Bayern this season after an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt at the beginning of November, the club decided to take the decision to remove Niko Kovac from his 16 month reign and replace him with Hansi Flick as an interim manager before signing a new contract until 2023 in April.

Bayern have certainly flourished under the 55-year-old, having taken 58 points from a possible 66 on offer, including winning 26 of his first 29 games in charge, yet their season is still far from over.

Having wrapped up the Bundesliga, they have also progressed to the final of the German Cup and are still in the Champions League and who is to say that they will not complete a unique treble.

Bayern have now reached a new peak after a record 30th title and look certain to continue dominating German football for a long time to come.

People can say that the Bundesliga isn’t the strongest league in Europe and you would always expect Bayern or Dortmund to be the sides favourite to be crowned champions. What, however, makes Bayern so much ahead of rivals Dortmund must be their all-round squad which oozes quality in every department. The likes of Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernandez, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Ivan Perisic to name a few are class, and to think the likes of Philippe Coutinho can’t even get into the side at the moment. That just shows you the strength that they possess.

Take the evergreen Lewandowski, a proven goal scorer in this league with 31 goals already so far- his best haul in the Bundesliga- and a total of 46 in total in all competitions. This Bayern side is not just about the Pole’s goals. Look at Germany’s Golden Boot winner in 2010 Thomas Muller who has been a regular goal scorer for the Champions for many years. This season he is being crowned king of the assists with 20 thus far.

Flick’s team do not just have the experienced fire power up front, which makes them the class act that they are. It all starts at the back with experienced goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The 34-year-old stopper has been in superb form this season alongside a solid defence that has conceded only 31 goals in 32 games.

Bayern have also set another record, by hitting 93 goals in their Bundesliga games, setting a new league best.

Overall with the calibre of players that Bayern have in their current squad, you would expect them to be dominating German football for a lengthy period, which is bad news for the other 17 clubs in the Bundesliga.

Golden Boy 2020 Nominees Revealed

Tuttosport yesterday revealed their long list of the 100 young footballers nominated for this year’s award, given to the best player under the age of 21 playing in a major European league.

Last year’s winner Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix fails to make the cut this time around, after he narrowly pipped Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho in 2019.

The Englishman is one of the favourites to scoop the prize this year, alongside club teammate Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich’s rising star Alphonso Davies. All three have had staring roles in the Bundesliga this term, with Sancho netting 17 goals in the league and providing 16 assists.

Nineteen year old Haaland only arrived in Germany in January, but already has 11 goals to his name in just 12 appearances whisky Canadian Davies has put in a number of eye catching performances at left back as Bayern Munich romped to their 8th consecutive Bundesliga title.

Twenty-three starlets nominated ply their trade in the top flight, coming from nine different Premier League clubs. One of them will be hoping to become only the fourth player to win the Golden Boy whilst starring in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s Trae Coyle, breakthrough stars Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli as well as on loan St Etiene defender William Saliba make the list, alongside North London rivals Spurs’ duo Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon.

Both Manchester clubs have three young guns nominated, Phil Foden, Eric Garcia and Claudio Gomes for City and Angel Gomes, James Garner and Mason Greenwood for United.

European champions Liverpool are represented on the list by Scouser Curtis Jones, full back Yasser Larouci and Dutch centre back Sepp Van den Berg, whilst Norwich’s flying full back Max Aarons also makes the cut.

Chelsea have four nominees; Tino Anjorin, Scotsman Billy Gilmour, RB Leipzig loanee Ethan Ampadu and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. Wolves’ Pedro Neto and Morgan Gibbs-White alongside Southampton’s Irish striker Micheal Obafemi complete the list of Premier League players chosen.

Two Americans make the long list for the award, which is whittled down to just 20 players through of a public vote, before a panel of 40 esteemed journalists choose the winner later in the year.

Nineteen year old Ajax defender Sergio Dest, who was named Ajax’s Talent of the Year makes the cut alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, who has enjoyed a breakout campaign, scoring once and providing an assist in 16 appearances this term.

Celtic’s young sensation Karamoko Dembele makes the list along with a number of La Liga stars. Valencia’s Ferran Torres and Lee Kang-In, Real Madrid trio Vinicius Junior, Takefusa Kubo who is currently on loan at Real Mallorca, and Rodrygo are also included alongside seventeen year old Barcelona star Ansu Fati, who has scored six goals already this term.

Rennes prospect Edoardo Camavinga and Brescia’s Sandro Tonali who are attracting interest from top clubs across Europe are some of the other notable inclusions. A shock exclusion was Birmingham’s sixteen year old wonder kid Jude Bellingham, who has registered 32 senior appearances, scoring four Championship goals, and is rumoured to have agreed a deal to join Borussia Dortmund.

Full List of Golden Boy Nominees:

Goalkeepers: Ionut-Casian Rus (Cluj)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig), Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Mitchel Bakker (PSG), David Colina (Hajduk Split), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Tiago Djalo (Lille), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Lutsharel Geertruida (Feyenoord), Ozan Kabak (Schalke), Yasser Larouci (Liverpool), Svetozar Markmovic (Larisa), Loic Mbe Soh (PSG), Juan Miranda (Schalke) Patricio Nehuen Perez (Famalicao), Jean-Claude Ntenda (Juventus), Strahinja Pavlovic (Partizan Belgrade), Eduardo Quaresma (Sporting CP), William Saliba (Saint-Etienne)

Midfielders: Yacine Adli (Bordeaux), Lucien Jefferson Agoume (Inter), Faustino Anjorin (Chelsea), Adil Aouchiche (PSG), Edoardo Camavinga (Rennes), Phil Foden (Manchester City), James Garner (Manchester United), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Bryan Gil (Leganes), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Claudio Gomes (PSV), Matias Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Ryan Jiro Gravenberch (Ajax), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Mohamed Amine Ihattaren (PSV), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Takefusa Kubo (Mallorca), Dejan Kulusevski (Parma), Alessio Riccardi (Roma), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Sandro Tonali (Brescia), Hamed Traore (Sassuolo), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool)

Attackers: Abel Ruiz (Braga), Karim-David Adeyemi (RB Salzburg), Marley Ake (Marseille), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Myron Boadu (Alkmaar), Rayan Cherki (Lyon), Facundo Colidio (Saint-Truiden), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Leon Dajaku (Bayern Munich), Jonathan David (Gent), Karamoko Dembele (Celtic), Sebastiano Esposito (Inter), Daniel Fabio Silva (Porto), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Lyle Foster (Cercle Brugge), Zeljko Gavric (Red Star), Willem Geubbels (Monaco), Lorenzo Gonzalez (St Gallen), Amine Gouiri (Lyon), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Mamadou Kaly Sene (Juventus), Mohammed Kudus (Nordsjaelland), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Kang-in Lee (Valencia), Daniel Maldini (Milan), Felix Khonde Mambimbi (Young Boys), Antonio Marin (Dinamo Zagreb), Alejandro Jose Mendez Marques (Juventus), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Euclides Rafael Camcho (Sporting CP), Reinier (Real Madrid), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Miguel Romario Baro (Porto), Thomas Sabitzer (LASK), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Sergio Gomez (Borussia Dortmund), Mathias Soule (Juventus), Mateus Tete (Shakhtar), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Amad Traore (Atalanta), Lassina Traore (Ajax), Heorhiy Tsitaishvili (Dynamo Kiev), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina)