Sports – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thomas Tuchel: Bus bombing contributed to Borussia Dortmund departure Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:08:00 +0000 The post Thomas Tuchel: Bus bombing contributed to Borussia Dortmund departure appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has said that he would still be at the club had it not been for last year’s bomb attack on the team bus. Several players have said that they are still affected by the attack.Former head coach Thomas Tuchel (pictured above) was among those who testified on Monday about the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus ahead of the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie with Monaco last April.

Asked whether there was a direct link between the attack and his departure as head coach, Tuchel replied: “I would assume so.”

“Aki (Borussia Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke) has already said publicly that there was a major discrepancy,” Tuchel said. “This is true. The essence of the discrepancy is that I was sitting on the bus and Aki wasn’t. That’s why there was a major discrepancy about how to go about things – without wanting to hold it against Aki.”

The coach, who is currently without a club, also said that he was “absolutely convinced” that the attack had an effect on the performances of his players.

“There was so much to deal with,” Tuchel said. He also cited a psychologist who said that someone who has experienced that sort of traumatic event should not be put into a similar situation to that in which it occurred for several days. “But we were already back on the bus.”

Playing the next day a ‘mistake’

It seemed pretty clear at the time that Tuchel, like many of the players, was against going ahead with the match less than 24 hours later. Dortmund lost the match 3-2.

In the courtroom on Monday, former Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender said it had clearly been a “mistake” to play the match when they did. He also said that the attack played a part in his decision to leave the club for Leverkusen in the summer.

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfelder said he had sought assistance from a psychologist.

“It’s still a topic of discussion within the team. I know players who are still suffering as a result,” he said. “It has changed my life.”

Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer said he is still startled by loud noises.

“I try to put it out of my mind but every once in a while there is a moment when you think about how lucky we were,” he said.

Motivated by greed

The suspect in the bombing, 28-year-old Sergei W., who has confessed to carrying out the attack, is charged with 28 counts of attempted murder. He has said he did so in an effort to profit from a scheme in which he assumed that the price of Borussia Dortmund shares would plunge in the wake of the attack. He has said that he did not intend to kill anyone, but then-Dortmund defender Marc Bartra, who has since moved to Real Betis, suffered a fractured wrist in the attack.

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Hamburg show promise on Christian Titz’s debut, but face enormous challenge Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:49:00 +0000 The post Hamburg show promise on Christian Titz’s debut, but face enormous challenge appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A young HSV team failed to capitalize on Mainz’s defeat to Frankurt as Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at the Volksparkstadion. But there were positives in the first half for new coach Christian Titz.For the optimistic Hamburg fans who welcomed the team bus with chants of “Never second division, HSV!” there was a belief that Christian Titz could preserve HSV’s top-flight status. For others, it looks like an interim appointment until the Bundesliga dinosaur’s inevitable relegation. The 46-year-old former youth team coach believes it might be a mixture of both.

“The club has decided to try and install the philosophy, with which I took over the second team three years ago, in the first team,” Titz said at his unveiling.

A fully-qualified head coach since 2004, author of a series of coaching books and the owner of the internet portal “Coaching Zone,” Titz enjoyed non-league success with FC Homburg and with Hamburg’s U21s, who he has led to the top of the regional fourth tier this season.

Read more: HSV miss chance to win, Eintracht Frankfurt rampant

The kids are alright

Transferring the style of his U21s to the first team professionals against Hertha, Titz named the youngest Hamburg starting XI (average age: 23 years and 359 days) since January 1974.

Jan-Fiete Arp (18) and Tatsuya Ito (20) joined Filip Kostic in attack while Matti Steinman (23) made his first Bundesliga start in defensive midfield. German U21 European Championship winner Julian Pollersbeck made his third appearance in goal.

Altogether, HSV’s match day squad had 49 reserve-team appearances between them this season, and the players appeared to respond to Titz’s possession-based philosophy and produced neat combination play in central midfield – ultimately leading to Douglas Santos’ opening goal.

Moments later, it could have been two and by the interval it wouldn’t have been unfair to suggest Hamburg could have been 3-0 up.

For 56 minutes, the Titz effect seemed to have worked. Pollersbeck had to make vital saves from Vladimir Darida and Vedad Ibisevic, but Hamburg were playing much better football. Two goals in seven minutes turned the game in Hertha’s favor though, and somewhat inevitably the uncertainty crept back into Hamburg’s game.

“We played well in the first half,” said debutant Steinmann. “But we have to admit that we didn’t push on and score more.”

A missed opportunity

Had they done so, Hamburg would have moved to within four points of Mainz – who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot and who crashed to a convinving 3-0 defeat away at Eintracht Frankfurt. As it is, the gap remains seven points with seven games to play.

Afterwards, Kyriakos Papadopoulos publically criticised Titz’s line-up – one the Greek defender was not included in. “It’s a shame that some experienced players who have managed to save Hamburg before weren’t in the team,” he said. “Sometimes, the best solution isn’t always to try something new.”

Clearly, Titz sees things differently and Saturday’s first-half performance suggests that he might not be the worst option for Hamburg’s long-term rebuild – whether it’s in the Bundesliga or not.

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VAR to be used at the World Cup, FIFA confirms Fri, 16 Mar 2018 21:18:00 +0000 The post VAR to be used at the World Cup, FIFA confirms appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Video assistant referee technology (VAR) will make its debut at the World Cup in Russia this summer, despite opposition from fans. The technology has had mixed success since its introduction in Germany last year.The long-awaited decision to use VAR at the World Cup was finally confirmed by FIFA on Friday.

The decision comes two weeks after FIFA’s rule-making panel voted to write VAR into the laws of the game. That landmark move still left competition organizers to opt to use video review in their games, and FIFA’s ruling committee had to sign off on the World Cup decision.

“We are going to have in 2018, for the first time, a World Cup with VAR,” said Infantino after a meeting of the FIFA Council which, as expected, rubber-stamped the go-ahead.

“This has been approved and we are really very happy with this decision.”

Opinion: VAR sucks the emotion out of football

The World Cup, which takes place from June 14-July 15, will see VAR used to judge whether or not a goal has been scored, analyse whether a penalty should be awarded, decide on red cards and rectify if a player has been mistakenly sanctioned.

“VAR is something positive that will bring much more to the transparency of football,” Infantino said earlier this week on a visit to Lima.

“Video refereeing isn’t going to be the solution to everything in football. What we want to do is avoid resounding mistakes by referees.”

VAR has been trialled since 2016 by 20 federations, including the Bundesliga and Serie A, with around 1,000 matches involved.

But it has not been universally welcomed with even UEFA, the European governing body, still to be convinced.

“Nobody knows exactly how VAR will work. There is already a lot of confusion,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who insists that VAR will not be used in next season’s Champions League.

“I am not at all against it but we must better explain when it will be used. We will see at the World Cup,” he added.

mds/em (AFP, AP)

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Naldo: ‘What are three months out when others are battling cancer?’ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:03:00 +0000 The post Naldo: ‘What are three months out when others are battling cancer?’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Schalke defender Naldo is enjoying time at his third German club. In an exclusive interview with DW, the Brazilian talked about his life, former clubs, racism in football and World Cup dreams.DW: How often are you asked about your age?

Naldo: (laughs) Often. Very often. It’s part of it though. I’m happy that I still have the desire to play football at 35.

You’re the oldest play in Schalke’s squad. Your teammates call you ‘Papai’ [Portuguese for father].

Yes, that’s true. It’s respectful and because I always try to be an example. I try to help the team and not just on the pitch. I explain to them they should always keep their feet on the ground. That’s why they call me ‘Papai’. I’m an experienced player, but still have the feeling I can learn something from the lads. I learn every day at the same time as using my experience. You always have to keep talking and respect one another. That’s hugely important.

Your head coach, Domenico Tedesco, is three years younger than you. How would you describe him?

He’s the boss. He’s a very intelligent head coach and he’s good for us, very good. I have huge respect for him. It doesn’t matter that I’m a little older than the head coach. He’s still the boss.

Thirteen years ago, you came to Germany from Brazil. Do you remember that time still?

That’s a long time ago, but I still feel like I came to Werder Bremen yesterday. I want to thank my head coach back then, Thomas Schaaf, for integrating me into the team so quickly. I knew then I wanted to stay in Germany.

That’s unusual for a Brazilian, isn’t it?

Definitely, but I come from the south of Brazil and it’s similar there to here in Germany. Punctuality for example [is one common trait] and the weather is not always ideal. Sometimes it’s flipping cold there. I think that’s why it worked out so quickly. It’s a shame that so many Brazilians go back to Brazil so quickly.

Why do you think that is?

The wife always plays a big role. When you come home and she or your family are sad – that’s not easy. It was different for me. My wife always had a smile on her face and that was really, really important for me.

At your first two clubs, Bremen and Wolfsburg, you played until the end of your contract. Meanwhile, many players swap clubs quickly with money playing a big role. How do you see it?

Ten years ago, it was different. Everything is much quicker now. Young players aged 18, 19 play one good season and think they’re ready for the next level and think they’ve already achieved everything. But that is wrong. They have to be careful not to take that step too soon. I gave everything for Bremen, Wolfsburg and now Schalke and try to be there for the club. Not just on the pitch, but also off it too. I want to be an example and represent the club well.

You’ve had many highs, but also some lows in your career. What’s stayed in your mind?

I will never forget returning to the pitch after my serious injury [in the 2010/11 season]. It was on my birthday and it was against Hamburg, so it was a derby. The whole stadium stood up and shouted my name – it was a very special day for me. I’m a positive person and I knew I would come back. I fought and overcame the injury. An injury is nothing though when you see how many people are in hospital fighting for their lives. What are three months out when others are battling cancer? We have to think that way – that’s why an injury is never really that bad.

With your equalizer against Borussia Dortmund a few weeks ago, you put your name in Schalke’s history books.

(laughs) Yes, that’s true. That 4-4 draw was indescribable. It was incredible. To equalize in Dortmund after being 4-0 down… And to score the equalizer in injury time. That is a memory that will never fade. We still talk about it, and not just at the club, but the fans as well of course. It was a moment I will never forget.

Sadly racism and discrimination are still topics in football. Recently, there were incidents in Hanover, and in other European leagues. What do you think?

I am an integration mentor of a Bundesliga charity and have been involved through them. I don’t understand that we still need to talk about racism and that these incidents still happen. It’s just sad. I’m fighting so that it won’t happen in the future. We are all the same. We always have to have respect for one another – only then will the world be a better place.

Your next Bundesliga game is against your old team, Wolfsburg. If you win there, things could be really tight for ‘The Wolves’.

Yes, that’s sadly true. I follow Wolfsburg, but also Bremen. Both are fighting against relegation – it’s no easy time for them right now. I think Wolfsburg have enough quality though. They just have to play more as a team, everyone has to run for each other – only then will it work. But I definitely want to win the game on Saturday.

What emotion do you have playing against a former team?

I have huge respect for Wolfsburg and had four great years there. If I score, I won’t celebrate out of respect. Both former teams are in my heart and I have my fingers crossed for them.

To finish, a look into the future. What dreams have you got?

I won the German Cup with Bremen and Wolfsburg. I’m in the semifinals with Schalke against Eintracht Frankfurt. They’re playing well this season, but it’s a dream of mine to head back to Berlin and win the cup one more time.

A World Cup final with Brazil this summer would also be nice though?

Yes, that would be a possibility, but it’ll be tight. I won’t be at the upcoming friendly games as the head coach didn’t select me. It’s almost impossible for me to be involved. But even when the chances are small, I still have hope. I’ll play well every week and then we’ll see whether the head coach will consider me.

You have dual citizenship – German and Brazilian. Who are you crossing your fingers for in Russia?

Both. If Germany and Brazil play each other, then I’ll be cheering on Brazil. If Brazil are knocked out, then of course I’ll cross my fingers for Germany.

Ronaldo Aparecido Rodrigues, Naldo for short, was born on September 10, 1982 in Londrina, Brazil. In 2005, the central defender joined Werder Bremen. He won the German Cup with Bremen and later with Wolfsburg. In 2016, he joined Schalke. Since 2014, the 35-year-old has had German citizenship.

This interview was conducted by Thomas Klein.

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Liverpool’s Salah equalises Odemwingie record, writes history in EPL Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:00:12 +0000 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month award for February. It is the second time this season that the Egyptian winger gained that trophy after winning it last November. Salah scored four goals and provided two assists as Liverpool claimed two wins and a draw in the league last …

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month award for February. It is the second time this season that the Egyptian winger gained that trophy after winning it last November.

Salah scored four goals and provided two assists as Liverpool claimed two wins and a draw in the league last month.

Salah became the second African player in history to win the Premier League’s POTM award twice in one season after the Nigerian international player Peter Odemwingie, who won the accolade twice in the 2010-2011 season with West Bromwich Albion.

The “Pharaoh” is the ninth African player to win the award. Ghana’s Tony Yeboah was the first African player to join the Premier League POTM list, as he won the award in the 1994-1995 season with Leeds United. It was the first season in which this award was granted.

Salah is also the third African player to receive the league’s POTM more than once, after Yeboah, who won it in March and September 1995, and Odemwingie who received in September 2010, April 2011, and February 2012.

African players who won Premier League Player of the Month

Name Club Nationality Date
Tony Yeboah Leeds United Ghana March 1995
Tony Yeboah Leeds United Ghana September 1995
Jay-Jay Okocha Bolton Wanderers Nigeria November 2003
Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion Nigeria September 2010
Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion Nigeria April 2011
Demba Ba Newcastle United Senegal December 2011
Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion Nigeria February 2012
Diafra Sakho West Ham United Senegal October 2014
André Ayew Swansea City Ghana August 2015
Odion Ighalo Watford Nigeria December 2015
Sadio Mané Liverpool Senegal August 2017
Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt December 2017
Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt February 2018


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German Football Ambassador 2018: Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger? Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:27:00 +0000 The post German Football Ambassador 2018: Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Last year, Bastian Schweinsteiger was selected as the German Football Ambassador. Who will win this year? Toni Kroos, Per Mertesacker or maybe Dzsenifer Marozsan? Vote for your favorite!Leroy Sane, Toni Kroos or Per Mertesacker. When a footballer moves abroad, some things really change for them because they are more than just professional players. Since Germany won the World Cup in 2014, the country’s footballers and coaches have been in particularly high demand abroad — in the other top European leagues, much is being made of Germany’s talented young players.


Many Germans around the world don’t just play, but become actively involved in their communities in the countries in which they live, because football can do more! Since 2013, a club known as the German Football Ambassador has been recognizing German players and coaches who, through their actions abroad, contribute to German football’s positive image.

Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger?

Deutsche Welle offers you the opportunity to vote for your favorite of the following 11 nominees for the player award:

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona
Toni Kroos, Real Madrid
Sami Khedira, Juventus
Dzsenifer Marozsan, Olympique Lyon
Per Mertesacker, Arsenal
Lukas Podolski, Vissel Kobe
Leroy Sane, Manchester City
Ilkay Gündogan, Manchester City
Loris Karius, Liverpool
Amin Younes, Ajax
Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea

Bastian Schweinsteiger won it last year, and his predecessors were Emre Can (2016), Mesut Özil (2015), Andre Schürrle (2014) and Sami Khedira (2013).

Voting until April 25

You can cast your vote on the website. Every participant has three votes, with them being weighted from top to bottom. You have until April 25 to cast your vote. Deutsche Welle is a media partner and will publish a portrait of the winner.

Engels, Bücker and Middendorp nominated

The German Football Ambassador in the coaching category is to be selected by a panel of six experts. This year’s nominees are…

Gert Engels, former player and Japanese Cup winner with Yokohama Flügels
Theo Bücker, former player and former coach of the Lebanese national team
Ernst Middendorp, former Arminia Bielefeld coach and currently the technical director of Bangkok United

Additionally, a player or a coach can be honored in the category “honorary prize” for his or her extraordinary commitment.

26 charity projects in five years

The award winners use their status as public figures to promote cultural and social work. They use the fame that they have attend through sports to promote social development in particular. So some of their most important work takes place away from the playing field. The German Football Ambassador award also comes with prize money that the winner then passes on to social projects. Since 2013, 26 charity projects have benefitted from their support. The Peres Center for Peace in Israel is an example, in which frameworks were established, which are designed to help Jewish and Arab children (and adults) to learn how to overcome religious and cultural barriers through football.

Football can do more!

Thomas Hitzlsperger has shown how much football can do to improve the social climate and foster a more cooperative spirit. He won the 2015 honorary prize for his efforts to combat racism, homophobia and right-wing extremist violence.

Last year’s honorary prize winner was the man who has scored more goals for Germany than anyone else, Miroslav Klose. The first honorary prize winner was Dettmar Cramer, in 2013, who worked in the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia. His work was as unique as that of globetrotter Rudi Gutendorf. The man who has coached more national teams than anyone else (18) is the patron of this initiative. Gutendorf remains active at the age of 91.

Honored in Germany’s foreign office

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, is to present the player award, coach award and honorary award for 2018 at a gala to be held at the headquarters of the German Foreign Office in Berlin in early May. Participate again this year and vote on our website.

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Champions League: Centurion Lionel Messi guides Barcelona past Chelsea Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:19:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Centurion Lionel Messi guides Barcelona past Chelsea appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Lionel Messi has chalked up his 100th goal in the Champions League as his brace helped see off a timid Chelsea at Camp Nou. Ousmane Dembele also found the net as Barcelona sealed their place in the quarterfinals.Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (4-1 agg.), Barcelona win 4-1 on aggregate
(Messi 3, 63′, Dembele 20′)

Lionel Messi was the architect of Chelsea’s downfall as Barcelona beat a poor Chelsea side to ease into the last eight of the Champions League.

Not only did this game see Messi reach 100 Champions League goals, a feat he has achieved in 123 games — 14 fewer than his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo — but his opener was the fastest he has ever scored, stopping the clock at 128 seconds.

Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez were both involved in the build-up as Messi drove through the heart of the Chelsea defense, and slotted the ball under goalkeeper Thibault Courtois from a tight angle.

Barcelona added a second not long after, and it came from former Borussia Dortmund winger Dembele, who was found in space by Messi, and the Frenchman found the top corner with his weaker right foot.

Impenetrable defense

Chelsea offered occasional flickers of potential, but struggled to turn their possession into clear-cut chances against a Barca defense that has now gone four games without conceding a goal. Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso came close in the second half, but his shot was blocked by the impenetrable Gerard Pique.

Reaching a milestone

Instead, Messi added a third to score his milestone goal, collecting a short pass from Suarez and dribbling his way into space before firing low under Courtois again.

It completed another memorable night for Barcelona, who also set a new record by becoming the first team to reach the quarterfinals in 11 consecutive seasons.

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Troubled Amin Younes struggling to progress at Ajax Wed, 14 Mar 2018 20:56:00 +0000 The post Troubled Amin Younes struggling to progress at Ajax appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

After a fantastic season with Ajax last term, the Germany winger has endured a torrid time recently on and off the pitch. A Bundesliga return could be on the cards, according to reports.Amin Younes had a great season in 2016/17. The young German attacker was key to Ajax’s run to the Europa League final, and made his debut for the German national team during the Confederations Cup, scoring in the semifinal and drawing plaudits for great performances in the process, including from Germany’s national team Joachim Löw.

“(Younes) has incredible one-on-one abilities,” explained Löw when asked about his decision to call up Younes ahead of the Confederations Cup. “He can take out three players in one go. That’s an ability not many of our players has.”

However, this season played out entirely differently for the former Gladbach player. Younes, who was a regular starter for the Amsterdam side, had to sit on the sidelines for two months due to a knee injury in November, allowing others to take his place in the XI. Since his return to fitness, the attacker only came on as a substitute on four occasions, mostly for a single-digit number of minutes.


It doesn’t stop there. Younes made the headlines across the continent as he refused to come on for the last minutes of Ajax’s 4-1 home win against Heerenveen after being asked to by coach Erik ten Hag. The incident was caught on video, and is now doing the rounds on social media.

“I wanted to reward him for his hard work in training, but he felt that his presence on the pitch wasn’t necessary,” said ten Hag after the game. “I’ll talk to him privately.”

As a result, Younes has been demoted to Ajax’s reserve team until further notice.

Deal or no deal?

The 24-year-old, whose contract runs up at the end of the season, has reportedly agreed a move to Napoli in the January transfer window.

Younes passed his medical, and the deal looked as good as done, but Younes then asked the Italian club to postpone the deal to the summer due to “family reasons.””I don’t know if I’ll go to Napoli in the summer,” the attacker told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, while also speculating that he might renew his contract at Ajax after all. However, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis argues otherwise, saying that Younes has reached a pre-agreement with the club, adding that he hasn’t joined the club in January due to “family problems.”

De Laurentiis also insinuated that Younes’s sudden change of heart is as a result of what he called “a triangle of friends,” referring to Juventus and Bayern Munich, who have reportedly tried to sign Younes.

Bundesliga a possible getaway
According to tabloid Bild, Borussia Mönchengladbach are interested in resigning Younes.

The club’s hierarchy allegedly believe that putting their trust in the German during this difficult time for him would prove to be worth it. The fact that Younes would also get to play and live close to his hometown of Düsseldorf is also playing a big role in the player’s decision, according to the report. Other sides that will reportedly look to secure the 24-year-old attacker’s signature include RB Leipzig and Schalke.

Whatever his next opportunity, Amin Younes will probably get another chance to prove himself, and it is most likely to happen back home, close to his family his friends. But given his behavioral record over the last few months, he’s going to need to take that with both hands for his career to take off.

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Bundesliga: Cologne and Claudio Pizarro misfire against Bremen as relegation looms Mon, 12 Mar 2018 23:10:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Cologne and Claudio Pizarro misfire against Bremen as relegation looms appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The scene was set for Cologne and Claudio Pizarro to instigate the start of a miraculous great escape. It was not to be, however, and now Cologne’s Bundesliga status looks as good as over, writes DW’s Janek Speight.Werder Bremen 3-1 Cologne, Weserstadion
(Veljkovic 33′, Rashica 58′, Eggestein 90′ — Osako 53′)

Leading into Cologne’s critical Monday night match against Werder Bremen, coach Stefan Ruthenbeck said his team would fight for every ball and weren’t scared by the challenge ahead of them.

“After all, we’ve felt like we were relegated 10 times already this season,” he said.

Following their 3-1 defeat at a rain-drenched Weserstadion, his players must surely feel like they’ve been relegated for an 11th time, and this one could be for good.

Eight points off Mainz in 17th, bottom of the league since Matchday 3, and with just eight games remaining, Cologne are running out of second chances. This defeat should be one of the final nails in the coffin.

In the first half, Cologne looked a shadow of the team that had claimed vital away wins in Hamburg and Leipzig this year. The players appeared daunted by the occasion, unable to make headway when safe in possession and prone to errors when put under pressure.

Passes went astray, Yuya Osako was helpless in controlling the ball, while both Marcel Risse and Jorge Mere were guilty of giving up possession in dangerous areas.

Even veteran Claudio Pizarro, accustomed to these big matches, was to miss a huge opportunity to become a hero late in the game.

Read more: Hamburg steamrolled in Munich, Dortmund and Leverkusen pick up key wins

Bremen control first half

Bremen duly took advantage of Cologne’s timid first-half display, taking the lead after 34 minutes.

Milos Veljkovic was allowed to ghost in at the far post during a corner and calmly slotted home unmarked. Cologne’s players remonstrated with referee Benjamin Brand, claiming Thomas Delaney had impeded Veljkovic’s marker Dominique Heintz in the build-up, but to no avail.

For a club that was denied a last-minute winner by the VAR against Hannover last month, it must have felt frustrating to be denied at least a video review. But when you’re down the bottom of the scrapheap, luck doesn’t present itself too often.

Pizarro’s return falls flat

That disallowed goal against Hannover had been scored by Claudio Pizarro, the 38-year-old striker who became a legend in Bremen after scoring 104 goals for the green and white.

Ruthenbeck was clearly relying on Pizarro’s experience in this high-stakes game, and withdrew centre forward Simon Terodde at half-time to allow the Peruvian to flourish better alongside Osako.

On 53 minutes, the tactical change paid dividends. Pizarro, afforded too much time at the top of the box, appeared to move in slow motion as he played through Osako. The Japan international took the ball in his stride and rifled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the Bremen net. Cologne looked a different beast and the confidence was visibly returning.

The comeback was short-lived, however, home debutant Milot Rashica netting a beautifully taken runaway goal as Cologne’s defence fell asleep just minute later.

The Bremen crowd was nervous, though, and every time Pizarro got on the ball it felt like destiny was pulling him towards a dramatic, emotional equaliser. He was given the opportunity to turn the game on its head on 76 minutes.

Marcel Risse, set free down the right-hand flank by Osako, floated in an inch-perfect ball, Pizarro rose high, unmarked, free as a bird, and poked his header agonisingly wide of Pavlenka’s post.

Bremen’s fans let out sighs of relief and then burst into song, serenading Pizarro for his poor marksmanship – a first for all involved. “I’m sure Claudio has scored that goal 100 times before,” Ruthenbeck lamented in the post-match presser.

Bremen rejuvenated, Cologne in despair

As the clock ran down, Bremen added a third through Maxi Eggestein, sealing victory and surely putting them out of relegation danger. This team is now eight games unbeaten at home and have only lost one match in their last seven games.

For Cologne, it looks like the end of the road. Finally. Ruthenbeck and goalkeeper Timo Horn put on brave faces post-match, but it truly would be a miracle if they can avoid a drop to the second division.

They do have clutch games against Mainz (Matchday 29) and Wolfsburg (Matchday 34) to come, but they also face three of the top four teams before the season ends.

Ruthenbeck has done an admirable job revitalising the club since jumping on board in December, but it hasn’t been enough. While just one win in seven games may not reflect their performances, it’s the reality for a team that has failed to get the job done when it matters.

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Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg steamrolled in Munich, Cologne look doomed Mon, 12 Mar 2018 22:18:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg steamrolled in Munich, Cologne look doomed appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Bayern did what they do when they host Hamburg, while Werder Bremen may have hammered the final nail in Cologne’s coffin. Elsewhere, Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia sets an unwanted record.Good weekend for: Robert Lewandowski, Leverkusen, Dortmund, Michy Batashuayi, Bremen

Bad weekend for: Hamburg, Mainz, Bruno Labbadia, Gladbach, Leipzig, Cologne

The Lowdown

— For the third time this season, the Bundesliga Matchday has stretched across a four-day weekend from Friday night to Monday evening. There are still two more to play — on Matchday 29 and 30 — and more unrest from Bundesliga fans is expected.

— Bayern Munich’s 6-0 win at home to Hamburg seemed like little more than a formality. Everybody knew who would win this one; it was just a question of by how many. The latest victory for Bayern against HSV means that in Hamburg’s last eight trips to Munich they have concede a whopping 50 goals. Bayern are better than most in Germany, but seriously HSV?

— Chaos rules in the north. Hamburg look ready to accept life in the second division after sacking their head coach Bernd Hollerbach just seven games after appointing him.

— Michy Batshuayi scored a 94th minute winner after Frankfurt thought they had earned a point with a 91st minute equalizer. The Belgian now has five goals and one assist in six games. For all the mistakes Dortmund have made this season, signing the 24-year-old on loan was not one of them.

— Cologne suffered another defeat, and this time it looks terminal. Victory over fellow strugglers Werder Bremen would have closed the gap on Mainz and Wolfsburg to just five points with eight games to play. But Bremen were too good for the Billy Goats and, despite a great effort to preserve their Bundesliga status, the gap now appears to large to bridge.

The Stats

— Robert Lewandowski’s hat trick is worth a mention. The last of the three was his 100th since joining Bayern, and he only needed 120 matches to do it.

— Lewandowski’s teammate Franck Ribery also earns a mention. The goal that he opened the scoring with against Hamburg was the 51,000th in Bundesliga history.

— Hapless Bruno Labbadia made a bit of history of his own, becoming the first Bundesliga coach to go eight consecutive matches without a win at two clubs – Hamburg and now Wolfsburg. Incidentally, since gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in 1997, Wolfsburg have never had so few points this late in the season (25 from 26 matches).

— Julian Nagelsmann is now Hoffenheim’s most successful coach in the Bundesliga – the 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg was his 33rd, one more than Ralf Rangnick had during his tenure in Sinsheim.

— Since Christian Heidel moved to Schalke from Mainz, Heidel’s former club hasn’t scored a single goal against the Royal Blues. Friday’s 1-0 defeat was their fourth straight against Schalke since Heidel moved from the Rhineland to the Ruhr district.

— With Schalke’s 1-0 win over Mainz on Friday, there have been 39 games that have ended 1-0 in the Bundesliga this season. Stuttgart have won six games by that scoreline, and Hertha are the only team not to register that result this season. It’s a fine line.

The quotes

“They didn’t underestimate us today.”
Hamburg coach Bernd Hollerbach after his team’s 6-0 defeat in Munich.

“It’s not much fun to have to face questioning after a game like that.”
Wolfsburg’s coach Bruno Labbadia after his team lost 3-0 in Hoffenheim.

“Since Jupp Heynckes joined us in October, the club has been floating on a cloud.”
Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness.

“Maybe we should take away the goals when we train. Maybe that would increase the lads’ level of determination.”
Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai on his team’s recent lack of goal production.

“I’m not all that interested in the fact that I am more successful than my predecessor. If I were to quit now, I wouldn’t be proud at the end of my life. So I guess we can carry on for a while longer.”
Julian Nagelsmann on becoming the most successful coach in Hoffenheim’s Bundesliga history

“No, that’s up to the coach. Actually, I’m happy about it, because I was a bit tired. You could see that I was fresh when I was brought on.”
Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi on starting the match on the bench

The News

Hamburg have fired their head coach for the second time in 2018, parting ways with Bernd Hollerbach less than two months after his appointment.

Dortmund’s Roman Bürki picked up his fourth yellow card of the season, leaving him one short of a potential suspension. Roman Weidenfeller is retiring this summer and has played just one game this season — the memorable 4-4 home draw against Schalke.

Gladbach’s injuries are piling up. Jannik Vestergaard broke a metatarsus and strained a ligament in the 2-0 loss to Leverkusen. Teammate Vincenzo Grifo strained a knee ligament, while Englishman Reece Oxford tore a muscle in his upper thigh. Christoph Kramer is also suffering from a knee injury.

Josip Brekalo suffered a concussion against Hoffenheim on Saturday. The Wolfsbug attacker will be out of training for a while, but could return for the next game if cleared.

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Egyptian tweets on Harry Kane injury: ‘100m prayers’ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 17:09:54 +0000 Egyptians tweeted on Tottenham striker Harry Kane’s injury on Monday, spreading photos and posts joking that the injury comes as a response to “100m prayers,” of people who are mostly big fans of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. Twitter users launched a hashtag which was widely circulated by users about Kane, circulating photos showing Salah “happy” …

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Egyptians tweeted on Tottenham striker Harry Kane’s injury on Monday, spreading photos and posts joking that the injury comes as a response to “100m prayers,” of people who are mostly big fans of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Twitter users launched a hashtag which was widely circulated by users about Kane, circulating photos showing Salah “happy” for the absence of his competitor for a while from the English Premier League. Some comments included: “it’s the Pharaohs’ curse” and “OH! Egyptian sense of humor,” while others wished him a speedy recovery.

The England forward, 24, sustained an injury to his ankle during Tottenham’s FA Cup quarter final victory over Millwall. His is seen as the biggest challenger to Salah. Both have scored 24 goals in the Premier League’s 2017-18 season until now.

The race towards the 2017-2018 Premier League Golden Boot is intensifying, with Kane and Salah leading the way, followed by the Argentinian Manchester City top scorer Sergio Aguero who also recently suffered a training injury. Kane scored a remarkable 29 goals last season, winning the Golden Boot. However, Salah’s fans are hopeful of his chances to win it this season.

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Opinion: Per Mertesacker’s honesty deserves nothing but support Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:14:00 +0000 The post Opinion: Per Mertesacker’s honesty deserves nothing but support appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Per Mertesacker’s revealing comments about the pressure of modern football have been met with some surprising criticism. DW’s Jonathan Harding asks, what is the world coming to?Per Mertesacker’s comments in Spiegel about being so anxious before games he would nearly vomit are startling, but they are also to be respected and appreciated. Anything else would be inhumane.

Lothar Matthäus who might appreciate Mertesacker’s world more than most ended up showing why he is in the studio and not the dugout. Speaking on Sky Sports in Germany, the 1990 World Cup winner asked how Mertesacker could possibly approach his job working at the Arsenal academy next season in the wake of these revelations.

The comments of some ex-professionals and other media outlets are part of the problem. They smack of men talking about a game they remember rather than the reality of what it is. They — the voice of the all-knowing expert — are part of the reason athletes don’t reveal a deeper truth. They contribute to football’s chamber of pressure. They are partly the reason why it’s so often “I give my all in training” and not “the experience is draining.”

In a world of unimaginable pressure and expectation, athletes are constantly expected to perform superhero feats week in, week out without any care given to their human traits. Why? Because they live in a world of unimaginable privilege? To reduce any athlete to their earnings is anything but human. Money may well change a life but it is still a human life.

Mertesacker’s comments are an example of a man not only football needs, but also the world. A good man, an honest man, for whom the world extends beyond the realms of the football field, deserves support. This is a man who was a teammate of Robert Enke, the former Germany goalkeeper who committed suicide.

Anyone brave enough to reveal a truth as startling as his — in a world as unrelenting as his — deserves support.

In an era of football where many fans are being pushed further and further from the game, finances are astounding and come from questionable sources, what could be more necessary than Mertesacker’s comments? The personal experience of pressure and how it affected him not only makes him more a tangible sportsman — a rare thing indeed — but also makes him a better coach. Most of all, it makes him more human.

Truth is harder to find today than perhaps ever before. When it arrives, it should be commended. Most of the responses to Mertesacker’s moving interview did show that change is already here, that acceptance of the human aspect does exist. But this has to be a start, not an anomaly.

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Bundesliga: Dortmund snatch late winner over Frankfurt Sun, 11 Mar 2018 16:52:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Dortmund snatch late winner over Frankfurt appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Matchday 26 in the Bundesliga reached its climax with fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund playing host to fifth-placed Frankfurt in a battle for the Champions League places. Dortmund went third with a last-minute decider.Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Russ o.g. 11′ , Batshuayi 77′, 94′ – Jovic 75′, Blum 91′)

Borussia Dortmund won the battle of two of the teams vying for next year’s Champions League with a goal in the dying seconds of the contest. Michy Batshuayi broke Hessian hearts after getting in behind the Frankfurt defense and beating Lukas Hradecky for the winner in the 94th minute. Just seconds after Frankfurt kicked off to restart play, referee Deniz Aytekin blew his whistle to bring to an end a match that was seldom pretty, but hard fought all the way through.

A yellow card and an own goal

Early on, it looked like Dortmund might have a surprisingly easy time and it didn’t look like being Frankfurt defender Marco Russ’ night. Just three minutes into the match, Russ was handed the first yellow card of the night, when he recklessly clattered into Marco Reus. Eight minutes later, it was Russ who beat Reus to a low Pulisic cross, but to his dismay, he directed it past Hradecky into his own goal for an early BVB lead.

This was just one of a number of Dortmund chances in the first quarter hour of the match. One of the best was an inadvertent header by Andre Schürrle that sailed wide of the mark.

It took Frankfurt until the later 20 minutes of the first half to really find their way into the game, but even then, they never troubled Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki and BVB took the one-goal advantage into the break.

Both coaches made a change at the half taking off players who had already received two of the five yellow cards handed out in the first half. Peter Stöger sent on Julian Weigl for Mahmoud Dahoud for BVB, while Jonathan de Guzman replaced Ante Rebic for Frankfurt.

Substitutions pay off

Niko Kovac’s substitution paid off quickly, with de Guzman helping to create danger in the Dortmund half, taking corners and free kicks – including the one that resulted in Frankfurt’s first equalizer, when another sub, Luka Jovic, got onto the end of it to head it past Bürki.

By this time, though, Stöger had made his second substitution, and it would be a crucial one, as he brought on Batshuayi for Maximilian Philipp, and less than two minutes after Jovic had drawn Frankfurt level, the Belgian international on loan from Chelsea found himself free in Hradecky’s area and stroked it home for the go-ahead goal.

Short-lived joy for the visitors

This is when Kovac made his third substitution, bringing on midfielder Danny Blum for defender Carlos Salcedo – and this change worked too, when Blum beat Bürki for Frankfurt’s second equalizer. However, three minutes later, Batshuayi ensured that Frankfurt’s joy was short lived.

As it happened:

95′ Aytekin blows the final whistle. Dortmund win 3-2 and go to third in the table. Frankfurt remain in fifth.

94′ Goal for Dortmund! Batshuayi strikes again. Surely that must be the win for BVB!

91′ Goal for Frankfurt! Danny Blum gets on the end of a low cross though Bürki’s box.

90′ Four minutes of time added on to be played.

87′ Time to secure the three points, thinks Peter Stöger. He sends on Sokratis for Reus.

85′ Reus forces Hradecky into a good save off a Dortmund corner.

84′ Batshuayi with a good individual effort to get into a shooting position, but he misses the target.

83′ A counter from Frankfurt, Wolf gets to it on the byline, his attempted cross is caught by Bürki.

80′ Kovac sends on midfielder Danny Blum, takes off Salcedo.

78′ That’s really put Frankfurt on the back foot.

77′ Goal for Dortmund! Batshuayi makes no mistake, not even two minutes after Frankfurt had equalized.

75′ Goal for Frankfurt! The Serbian sub draws Frankfurt level. He heads in from the free kick, that de Guzman dropped into the area. The Prince was right!

74′ Boateng draws a foul and a free kick, urges his team forward again, he thinks Frankfurt can still get something out of this match.

70′ Twenty minutes to go and it’s hard to see where a goal is going to come from for Frankfurt.

67′ Sebastian Haller comes off for Eintracht. He’s replaced by Luka Jovic.

65′ De Guzman launches himself acrobatically into a volley, but it is well off target. Kovac claps, urging his team forward.

62′ Substitution for Dortmund. Michy Batshuayi replaces Maximilian Philipp.

59′ Boateng has a crack from the top of the box. Corner for Frankfurt. Boateng plays to the away fans, urging them to be louder.

56′ Frankfurt have been continuing to plug away but haven’t troubled Bürki since that backheel. Pulisic gets an opportunity for BVB, but his effor is well off the mark.

48′ Another corner, this time Boateng gets it and backheels towards the bottom corner, forcing Bürki into a good save.

47′ The Canadian-born Dutchman, Jonathan de Guzman has come on for Ante Rebic. He gets a free kick from a good distance, but it is deflected wide. The resulting corner kick causes no trouble for the BVB back line.

46′ We’re back underway at the Signal Iduna Park!

46′ Deniz Aytekin blows his whistle right on 46 minutes to end the half. After looking much the weaker side early, Frankfurt steadied the ship in the last 20 minutes or so. Down just a goal, Niko Kovac’s men have it all to play for in the second half. Peter Stöger’s men would have liked to have made more of their early chances.

45′ Just one minute of added time to be played.

43′ Eintracht have indeed had more of the ball in the last little while, but Bürki could be relaxing in a rocking chair for all the work he’s had.

36′ Salcedo joins him in the book. Frankfurt take a 3-2 lead in terms of yellow cards. At this rate, it’s hard to see both teams finishing this match with 11 men.

33′ Now Manuel Akanji goes into the book for his challenge on Ante Rebic. This is very much the physical battle that we had expected.

30′ Dahoud takes a crack from outside the box, but that fails to trouble the Frankfurt goalkeeper.

28′ Ante Rebic picks up a yellow card. That doesn’t particularly help Frankfurt’s cause.

27′ The second yellow goes to Mahmoud Dahoud.

22′ Schürrle makes his way into the Frankfurt area, but his shot is deflected wide. The resulting corner is easily plucked down by Hradecky.

18′ Dortmund look to be in complete control, Frankfurt have had precious little of the ball to this point.

12′ Goal for Dortmund! It’s an own goal for Marco Russ. What a terrible start to the match for the Frankfurt defender. First a yellow card, then an own goal! Had he not got a foot to it, Reus was just behind him waiting to knock it in.

10′ Pulisic with a nice cross for Schürrle, but his header goes wide. Actually, that header looked involuntary, almost as if Schürrle saw it too late.

9′ Corner for BVB, but the Frankfurt defenders are able to clear the danger.

7′ The ball falls for Reus but his volley goes just wide of Hradecky’s cage.

6′ Chandler fouls Pulisic and Frankfurt may have been lucky not to have received a second yellow.

3′ Marco Russ draws the first yellow card just over two minutes into the game. It was a deserved one after he went lunging in on Marco Reus.

1′ Dortmund kick off to start the match!

17:58: Frankfurt win the toss and the captain, Abraham chooses to stay put on their side.

17:56: And the players make their way onto the pitch. This should be quite a battle!

17:54: We start with the lineups:

The late Sunday kickoff on Matchday 26 in the Bundesliga sees two teams that are tied on 42 points face each other in the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. The two are part of a pack of teams between second and fifth spot in the standings, who are separated by just four points. The winner of this one – if there is a winner, will claim an important three points in their bid to finish in the top four Champions League places.

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Bundesliga: Bayern Munich crush Hamburg, Hoffenheim and Augsburg win Sat, 10 Mar 2018 16:30:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Bayern Munich crush Hamburg, Hoffenheim and Augsburg win appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A pitiful Hamburg rolled over again in Munich as Bayern thrashed them 6-0. Impressive Augsburg beat Hannover 3-1 while Hoffenheim beat Wolfsburg comfortably. Freiburg will be happy with a point in Berlin.Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg
(Ribery 8’, 81’, Lewandowski 12’, 19’, pen 90’, Robben 55’)

Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich restored their 20-point lead at the top oft he Bundesliga with a crushing win over Hamburg, who remain seven points behind 16th-placed Mainz.

Franck Ribery broke the deadlock early, rounding the keeper and finishing well before two goal from Lewandowski — the first a header and the second a tap in — put Bayern three goals to the good inside 17 minutes.

The hosts were made to wait until the second half for their fourth, which came courtesy of a trademark Arjen Robben finish into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Ribery grabbed his second of the game late on when he cut in from the left and forced his way through a crowd of Hamburg bodies before finishing low into the far corner.

Lewandowski chalked up his hat-trick from the penalty spot, after sending his first spot-kick over the bar. But Joshua Kimmich was fouled and Lewandowski made no mistake the second time, completing the rout.

Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg
(Schulz 18‘, Gnjabry 77‘, Guilavogui og 80‘)

Hoffenheim secured back-to-back wins in the Bundesliga for the first time since September with victory over Wolfsburg.

The hosts led through Nico Schulz but Wolfsburg stayed in the game until Serge Gnabry drove into space on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot beyond Koen Casteels.

Hoffenheim quickly scored a third — an own goal after a ricochet off the unlucky Joshua Guilavogui — to sew up the three points, which sees Julian Nagelsmann’s side put the pressure on sixth-placed RB Leipzig.

Hannover 1-3 Augsburg
(Sane 37’ — Gregoritsch 26’, 83’, Kacar 45’)

Michael Gregoritsch scored twice as Augsburg ended a four-game winless streak to win in Hannover.

Gregoritsch gave the visitors the lead with a header at the far post, but Hannover equalized in stunning fashion when Salif Sane rifled home a thunderbolt from distance.

Augsburg put their noses back in front on the stroke of half time when Gojko Kacar flicked a header home and Gregoritsch finished a scintillating counter-attack to put the result beyond doubt.

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg

Mitchell Weiser had Hertha Berlin’s best chances as they were held to a draw by a dogged Freiburg.

Christian Günter had Freiburg’s best chance but he could only fire a long-range effort just over the bar.

Hertha have picked up just one win — against Bayer Leverkusen — in their last eight Bundesliga games, while Freiburg are now winless in three.

— As it happened —

Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg
Hannover 1-3 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg

90′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 6-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski – pen)
The Pole makes no mistake this time after a foul on Kimmich. Hat-trick for Lewandowski and another humiliation for HSV. Just send them down now and put them out of their misery.

86′ PENALTY MISSED (Lewandowski – Bayern)
Papadopoulos fouls Thiago and the refere points to the spot – but Robert Lewandowski shoots over!

83′ GOAL! Hannover 1-3 Augsburg (Gregoritsch)
A fantastic counter-attack from Augsburg wraps up the points! Great combination play down the right wing involving Caiuby, Gregoritsch and Max. Finally, the latter crosses and Gregoritsch slots home his second of the afternoon. It’s Gregoritsch’s 11th goal of the season and Max’s 12th assist.

80′ GOAL! Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg (Guilavogui OG)
A calamity in the Wolfsburg box as Robin Knoche tries to clear but the ball rebounds comically off Guilavogui and into the net.

80′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 5-0 Hamburg (Ribery)
What. A. Goal. The Frenchman cuts inside from the left wing and beats one, two, three HSV defenders before slotting home Bayern’s fifth. Too easy.

77′ GOAL! Hoffenheim 2-0 Wolfsburg (Gnabry)
Mark Uth squares to Gnabry on the edge of the box and the Bayern loanee takes one touch to control, another to find a shooting position and a third to wrong-foot Casteels. A lovely goal to make it 2-0 and you can’t see Wolfsburg getting back into this.

76′ Big chance for Hannover! Jonathas (on for the disappointing Martin Harnik) has a free header only six yards from goal but heads over the bar! That really should have been 2-2.

70′ At the other end, Wolfsburg create their first good chance of the second half as Malli crosses to the back post but Didavi can only find the side-netting.

65′ Hoffenheim are looking to double their lead as Serge Gnabry attacks down the right wing. He squares the ball to Rupp who attempts to flick it on towards Kramaric but Bruma clears at the last minute and Wolfsburg survive.

65′ Tolisso has only been on the pitch since half-time but he’s had to be helped off the pitch with a problem to his left leg. He’s replaced by Sebastian Rudy.

57′ Hannover continue to push for a second equalizer. Fossum latches onto Füllkrug’s lobbed through-ball but his shot his blocked in the box – and Bebou completely mis-cues the rebound.

54′ Good save from Marwin Hitz! Ihlas Bebou feeds Felix Klaus but the Hannover forward can’t beat the Augsburg keeper and it remains 2-1. Meanwhile, Niclas Füllkrug is perhaps fortunate to still be on the pitch. He saw yellow for an unnecessary challenge on Daniel Baier but it could have been red …

55′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-0 Hamburg (Robben)
Substitute Corentin Tolisso (on for Arturo Vidal) looks like he wants to shoot but Arjen Robben takes over – and it was a good decision, as the Dutchman fires a left-footed rocket into the back of the net.

50′ A first sight of goal for Freiburg in Berlin as Christian Günter fires a long-range effort just over the bar. Hertha dominated proceedings in the first half but the visitors from the south have made a better start to the second half.

48′ Almost a fourth goal in Munich as Franck Ribery crosses towards Thomas Müller but the German’s clever flick goes just wide.

The second halves are underway!

Bayern Munich 3-0 Hamburg
Hannover 1-2 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 1-0 Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Freiburg

45′ GOAL! Hannover 1-2 Augsburg (Kacar)
Augsburg’s corner is cleared but only as far as Caiuby. The Brazilian pulls off a clever turn in the box before sending a cross-cum-shot towards goal which Gajko Kacar heads over the line! Two assists for Caiuby, the man of the match so far here.

40′ The latest chance for Hoffenheim as Denis Geiger sends Andre Kramaric through one-on-one with Casteels – but the Wolfsburg keeper does well to save. Wolfsburg have a chance to advance ahead of Mainz here after their defeat to Schalke but they don’t look like they want to take it.

37′ GOAL! Hannover 1-1 Augsburg (Sané)
Augsburg clear from a Hannover free-kick but the ball falls to Salif Sané on the edge of the box who volleys home spectacularly. What a finish!

31′ Goalmouth scramble in Hoffenheim! Serge Gnabry’s shot comes back down off the bar and Wolfsburg throw bodies in the way to block the rebound. They somehow survive and it remains 1-0 …

26′ GOAL! Hannover 0-1 Augsburg (Gregoritsch)
It’s been a fairly even start in Hannover but the hosts fell apart then. First, a long ball up field from goalkeeper Marwin Hitz finds Caiuby in acres of space on the left. The Brazilian sends a looping cross towards the back post where Gregoritsch, also with all the space in the world, heads home. Terrible defending.

23′ Hertha come close again! Lazaro crosses dangerously across the face of goal where Ibisevic gets a touch but can’t direct it over the line!

19′ Another chance for Weiser! The German U21 international shoots just wide of the post.

19′ Hertha Berlin have made a good start in the Olympic Stadium, the best chance so far falling to Mitchell Weiser – but Schwolow in the Freiburg goal got down well to his left to tip the ball around the post.

19′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski)

19′ GOAL! Hoffenheim 1-0 Wolfsburg (Schulz)
Serge Gnabry cuts the ball back and Nico Schulz is on hand at the back post to put the home team ahead.

12′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-0 Hamburg (Lewandowski)
Kimmich’s cross, Lewandowski’s header. Another shrug.

8′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Hamburg (Ribery)
Well, that didn’t take long. Franck Ribery dribbles into the box, dances around Mathenia and prods it home. The goal is greeted with a general shrug across Germany.

6′ After a crunching challenge on Robert Lewandowski from Douglas Santos, David Alaba sends a first free-kick sailing over the bar for Bayern.

We’re underway across the four games

– With Bruno Labbadia, Wolfsburg are already onto their third coach of the season after dismissing Andries Jonker and Martin Schmidt. And having not won in six, they find themselves in a battle to avoid a second consecutive relegation play-off. In Labbadia however, they have a coach who has experience down the bottom – he saved Hamburg in dramatic fashion in 2015. They travel to inconsistent and unpredictable Hoffenheim.

– Hamburg are staring relegation in the face after failing to beat Mainz at home last week and today they face what many are calling a “Mission Impossible” away at champions-elect Bayern. In their previous seven visits to Munich, HSV have lost by a combined total score of 44-3.

– Guten Tag! Welcome to DW’s coverage of Matchday 26 in the Bundesliga. Today’s fixtures:

Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg
Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg
Hannover vs. Augsburg
Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (18:30 CET)

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What next for Babelsberg and the fight against racism? Fri, 09 Mar 2018 20:03:00 +0000 The post What next for Babelsberg and the fight against racism? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Fourth-tier Babelsberg have reached an agreement with their regional football association to end a racism row that attracted attention across Germany. The club is now working to support others in tackling discrimination.After a months-long battle with the North-east German football association (NOFV), SV Babelsberg 03 have come out on top.

The source of the row was a home game that Babelsberg played against Energie Cottbus in April 2017 in which right-wing extremist chants were heard from the away end.

These initially went unpunished, but the NOFV ordered Babelsberg to pay a fine of €7,000 ($8,600) for what it described as “crowd trouble.” The statement announcing the verdict specifically mentioned chants of “Nazi pigs out” which were directed towards the Cottbus end in response to the right-wing chanting. The latter wasn’t mentioned.

The Potsdam-based club refused to pay the fine, not an easy decision for a fourth-tier amateur club that is hardly flush with cash. However, the club not only refused to pay up, but it launched a fund-raising campaign to support its already existing efforts to counter racism and right-wing extremism.

The story received broad coverage nationwide and a number of Bundesliga clubs including Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, Cologne and Stuttgart began taking measures to support Babelsberg’s anti-racism efforts. Some of them set up donation boxes and many started selling merchandise in support of the cause.

No isolated battle

Now, that an agreement has been reached to resolve the differences between Babelsberg and the NOFV, the club’s president, Archibald Horlitz, has told DW that despite Babelsberg having had to pay the fine, he sees the fact that the whole sum will essentially be dedicated to the fight against racism and right-wing extremism as a victory for the club.

“I think it became obvious that this is about much more than a single club… It became a movement that involves many players, nationally and internationally, so for that I’m happy with the agreement that has been reached” Horlitz said.

The Babelsberg president believes that the support the club has received for its anti-racism efforts is not about to disappear as soon as the campaign stops. Babelsberg are now known all over Germany for having stood up to racism, and they intend to use this traction when other lower league clubs face similar cases of racism and discrimination.

“We feel an obligation to take the support we have generated and pass it on to other lower league clubs,” said Horlitz, who described those who stand up against racism in Germany’s lower leagues as “the real heroes.”

The battle is far from over

Babelsberg is located at the heart of the eastern German state of Brandenburg, where the far-right-wing Alternative For Germany (AfD) won 20 percent of the vote in September’s federal election, making them the second most popular party in the former East. Although the party denies being racist, it seems pretty clear that Babelsberg’s anti-discrimination stance won’t be popular with a lot of people in the region.

However, after having “won” its legal battle with the NOFV, Babelsberg are determined to fight on. The battle against right-wing extremism in German football may be far from over, but the next time there is a similar incident to what happened in April 2017, the Babelsberg precendent will already have been set.

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‘Ciao, Capitano’: Emotional farewell to Davide Astori, ‘a man with a capital M.’ Thu, 08 Mar 2018 17:21:00 +0000 The post ‘Ciao, Capitano’: Emotional farewell to Davide Astori, ‘a man with a capital M.’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Thousands gathered outside the Santa Croce Basilica in Florence, Italy, on Thursday to bid an emotional farewell to Davide Astori, the Italian international footballer who passed away suddenly on Saturday night.Astori, the captain of local team Fiorentina, was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday morning, a post-mortem on Tuesday confirming that the 31-year-old had suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his rate. He leaves behind his partner and two-year-old daughter.

Outside the basilica, where Italian renaissance greats such as Michelangelo and Galileo are buried, Fiorentina supporters waved violet scarves and flags and set off purple flares, while others held signs reading “Ciao, Capitano” and “Our captain forever.”

Inside, family members were joined by the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, and Astori’s Fiorentina teammates, as well as other top Italian footballers such as Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Giorgio Chiellini, whose Juventus team had taken part in an emotional minute’s silence at Wembley ahead of their Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

“Like a robbery, death takes life from us in unexpected ways,” said Cardinal Guiseppe Betori, whose sermon was broadcast to the masses outside and whose words were greeted by spontaneous outbreaks of applause and football chants.

“You couldn’t speak any foreign languages but everybody understood you because you spoke with your heart,” said teammate and vice-captain Milan Badelj, reading from a letter composed by the squad which spoke of a “simple, direct and pragmatic player – but like no other.”

“Your parents had everything they wanted with you, Davide,” the Croatian midfielder continued. “You are the son and brother that everybody wishes to have. You were football pure, the football of children.”

Referring to Astori’s young daughter, he added: “Those of us remain will have the duty of telling your princess, Vittoria, who you were, Davide: a man with a capital M.”

Astori will be buried on Friday in his birthplace of San Pellegrino Terme near Bergamo in northern Italy.

On Sunday, vice-captain Badelj will lead the team against Benevento, Fiorentina’s first match since Astori’s death.

Both Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari have announced they will retire his number 13 shirt in his memory.

mf/ (dpa/afp)

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Top 10 most popular sports in the United States Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:00:48 +0000 Despite the fact that soccer is by far the most popular sport globally, many Americans believe that world football is unfair. American cultural values have deep love for the concept of justice. The “American Dream” is a story about justice. Those who are honest, hard-working, get what they deserve. Americans are more interested in other …

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Despite the fact that soccer is by far the most popular sport globally, many Americans believe that world football is unfair. American cultural values have deep love for the concept of justice. The “American Dream” is a story about justice. Those who are honest, hard-working, get what they deserve. Americans are more interested in other sports that have always been the most important part of the country’s culture.

Sports like American football, baseball, ice hockey, golf, and basketball have long seized the American citizen’s interest at the expense of traditional football, unlike most countries of the world.

1- Basketball 

Presently, basketball takes the second position in the world and the first among top games that are most popular in America. Basketball is a limited-contact sport played on a rectangular court. It is played as a team sport with five players on each side. The objective is to shoot a ball through a 46-cm hoop in diameter and 3.048 metres high that is mounted to a backboard at each end of the court. The game was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith.

Naismith was a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day. He sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. He wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 3.0 metre elevated track.

The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the “bounce pass” to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls.

The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York, on January 20, 1892, with nine players. In 1959, a basketball hall of fame was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, the site of the first game. Its rosters include the names of great players, coaches, referees and people who have contributed significantly to the development of the game. The hall of fame has people who have accomplished many goals in their career in basketball.

An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA’s dominance until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Today the NBA is the top professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition.

2 – American football

American football evolved in the United States, originating from rugby. The first match of American football was played on 6 November 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton.

Football games are played on a rectangular field that measure 110 metres long and 48.76 metres wide. Lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known respectively as the end lines and sidelines, and goal lines are marked 9.1 metres inward from each end line. Weighted pylons are placed on the inside corner of the intersections of the goal lines and end lines.

In American football, the winner is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the game. There are multiple ways to score in a football game. The touchdown (TD), worth six points, is scored when a live ball is advanced into, caught in, or recovered in the end zone of the opposing team. The scoring team then attempts a try or conversion, more commonly known as the point-after-touchdown (PAT), which is a single scoring opportunity. A field goal (FG), worth three points, is scored when the ball is placekicked or dropkicked through the uprights and over the crossbars of the defence’s goalposts. After a PAT attempt or successful field goal, the scoring team must kick the ball off to the other team.

The National Football League was founded in 1920 and has since become the largest and most popular sport in the United States. There was a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was re-designated as a “conference”, and the game has since been played between conference champions to determine the NFL’s league champion. Each conference includes 16 teams. The final game or Super Bowl, held in early February each year, ranks among the most-watched club sporting events in the world.

American football has overtaken baseball in the last 20 years, becoming the most popular game in the United States, while unpopular outside the United States, although there are several countries which play it regularly such as Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

3- Baseball

The earliest known reference to baseball is in a 1744 British publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, by John Newbery. It contains a rhymed description of “base-ball” and a woodcut that shows a field set-up somewhat similar to the modern game. Baseball is the first team sport registered and officially approved by the US government, since 1846.

The game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. It is played between two teams, each composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense (batting and base running) and defence (pitching and fielding). The object of baseball is to score more runs than your opponent. The idea is to hit the ball thrown at you as far as you can before running around four bases to complete a run. Once a player manages to get around the four bases before being tagged out then another batter comes in.

In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of the oldest sports league in the history of the United States. It has been held regularly since 1903 and consists of 30 permanent teams representing 29 American states as well as the Canadian Toronto team. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series.

Baseball is considered a national sport in the USA. It was the most popular sport in the country until it was surpassed by American football. Baseball is very popular in most of America’s neighbouring countries such as Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Venezuela, as well as some East Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

4- Ice Hockey

Being the fourth most popular game in America, ice hockey is simply called hockey. Especially in the northern part of America, the popularity of this sort of hockey is the highest. It is believed that the game was first played in Canada on glacial lakes since the mid-19th century.

Ice hockey is played on a hockey rink. During normal play, there are six players per side on the ice at any time, one of them being the goaltender, each of whom is on ice skates. The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting a hard vulcanised rubber disc, the puck, into the opponent’s goal net, which is placed at the opposite end of the rink. The players use their sticks to pass or shoot the puck.

North America’s National Hockey League (NHL), founded in 1817, is the highest level for men’s ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world. It consists of 23 American teams and seven teams from Canada. The winner of the title gets the Stanley Cup.

The popularity of ice hockey grew in America in the 1990s. Hockey is also popular in some cold-weather countries such as Russia, Finland, and Norway. It is also played in some Arab countries, especially Gulf countries such as, UAE, Kuwait, and Oman.

5- Golf

While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game’s ancient origins are unclear and much debated. However, golf is similar to another old game played by cavalries on their horses, which was known hundreds of years before golf in Persia and the Arab countries.

A golf course consists of either nine or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area. The player uses a stick with a pointed head to hit the golf ball trying to get it into the nearest hole with the lowest number of attempts.

Similar to tennis and most individual ball games, a group of annual golf tournaments is held in a number of countries across the world, where players collect a number of points that contribute to improving their position within the monthly classification issued by the world association of the game. Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer now. His fame has spread all over the world.

This game happens to be the one played by some of the most notable people of America. It surpasses tennis, freestyle wrestling, boxing, and motor racing as the most popular individual sport in the United States. The game is widely played in some Western European countries and Australia as well as in the Gulf states. Iraq, however, was one of the first countries in the world to play golf during the 1940s.

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Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt’s president calls for an end to Monday matches Wed, 07 Mar 2018 17:55:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt’s president calls for an end to Monday matches appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The president of Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt has called on the league to do away with Monday kickoffs. The first two such matches have been met with fan protests and a partial boycott.Eintracht Frankfurt President Peter Fischer used an interview with public broadcaster WDR on Wednesday to call for an end to Monday evening kickoffs, which have been unpopular with many German fans.

Fischer conceded that the clubs, including his own, had agreed to introduce Monday night kickoffs, ostensibly to make it easier on teams involved in the Europa League, which plays its games on Thursday.

“We all supported it, because it was about money,” he said. “This was about money, and playing on a Monday brought extra funds into our club.”

He also indicated that the extra revenue was a “manageable sum,” indicating that doing without it should not pose a major problem for his club or the league.

A lesson learned

“We have learned what Bundesliga football on Mondays means,” the 61-year-old Fischer said with a view to fan protests at Eintracht’s home game against Leipzig two weeks ago. These were followed a week later by protests and a partial fan boycott of Dortmund’s home match against Augsburg.

Fischer, who made international headlines earlier this year by saying he would refuse to allow members of the far-right political party AfD to join his football club, conceded that the Bundesliga’s television contract, which mandates the Monday kickoffs, isn’t set to expire until 2021.

However, he also said he was optimistic that the league, the clubs and the broadcast rights holder would all come to the conclusion that holding Bundesliga matches on Monday nights wasn’t good for anyone involved, and that they come up with a way to avoid scheduling them in future.

“If you have nobody in the stands, nobody in the stadium is waving a flag, or booing or cheering, it makes for a pretty dull television broadcast,” he concluded.

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Champions League: Ronaldo helps Real Madrid brush off Paris Saint. Germain Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:56:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Ronaldo helps Real Madrid brush off Paris Saint. Germain appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring as Real Madrid cast aside a disappointing Paris Saint. Germain side to reach the Champions League quarterfinals. Liverpool will join them in the last eight after they saw off Porto.Paris Saint-Germain (2) 1 – 2 (5) Real Madrid
(Ronaldo 52′, Casemiro 80 – Cavani 70′)

They were without Neymar, they may well soon be without Unai Emery and Paris Saint-Germain will remain without a Champions League trophy after a tepid surrender from the French underachievers on Tuesday night.

The first half was high on intensity but only offered real quality in flashes. Alphonse Areola kept PSG in the game early with an excellent reflex stop from a close-range Sergio Ramos effort, before Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema both spurned decent opportunities.

Cristiano Ronaldo spent much of the opening period protesting various perceived injustices but got involved in a more positive fashion after the break. With the smoke from the PSG fans’ pyrotechnics still hanging over the pitch, the Portuguese star powered home a header at the back post to make his side’s comfortable position impenetrable. In the process he equalled the record for goals in consecutive Champions League matches, with nine. Those nine games have brought 14 goals.

The latest effort owed much to some excellent work from two of Real’s less-heralded talents. Marcos Asensio dispossesed Dani Alves before combining brilliantly with Lucas Vasquez, who stood one up at the back post for Ronaldo.

The Parisian fans tried to lift their players but four goals in just over half an hour was the tallest of tasks. It became gigantic just after the hour mark when Marco Verratti vented his frustrations at the referee and received a second yellow card.

They got a fortuitous helping hand when an attempted Casemiro clerance cannoned off Edison Cavani’s leg and dribbled in after 70 minutes. But the Brazilian didn’t have to wait long to make amends when his strike looped in to the PSG net courtesy of a huge deflection.

In truth PSG got what they deserved. One of the pre-tournament favorites for the competition created little of any real note against a Real Madrid side who, in the first leg at least, were at a relatively low ebb. But Zinedine Zidane’s men are the holders for a reason and, despite domestic travails, they will be fancy their chances of a hat-trick of titles.

Liverpool (5) 0 – 0 (0) Porto

Liverpool will join the Spaniards in the draw for the last eight on March 16 after a stunning first leg performance allowed them the luxury of cruising through the home leg on Tuesday night.

Coach Jürgen Klopp rested a number of his first choice eleven including top scorer Mo Salah, with qualification all-but assured by a Sadio Mane-inspired 5-0 win in Portugal.

There were no such fireworks in the first half at Anfield with neither side producing a shot on target in a tepid 45 minutes. The second half was a little brighter but Iker Casillas managed to keep Liverpool at bay, despite Salah’s introduction. But it mattered little and few sides will be keen to draw Klopp’s confident outfit in the quarters.

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Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg plumb new depths, Bayern Munich close in on record Sun, 04 Mar 2018 20:08:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga Bulletin: Hamburg plumb new depths, Bayern Munich close in on record appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The Bundesliga’s longest serving club look more doomed than usual, while Cologne have reverted to shooting themselves in the foot. At the other end, the only question is whether Bayern can break their own record.Good week for: Schalke, Stefan Kiessling, Headers, Mario Gomez

Bad week for: RB Leipzig, Gladbach, Timo Horn, Hamburg

The Lowdown

– Hamburg seem to be reaching a new nadir every week. They missed a penalty and failed to beat debutant keeper Florian Müller on Saturday, despite playing against 10 men for the last half an hour. Their impotence comes as little surprise, HSV haven’t scored more than once in a match since November, average 0.72 goals per game and have won two of their last 23. Reports in Germany suggest Hamburg intend to clean house — both in the squad and in the front office — for what will presumably be a first ever Bundesliga 2 campaign in 2018/19.

– RB Leipzig’s winless run stretched to four games this weekend after they shared the points with Borussia Dortmund in a 1-1 draw. Perhaps the additional European schedule is slowing them down — they have played as many games this season (35) as they did in the whole of last term. Both sides relied on in-form forwards for their goals. Jean-Kevin Augustin and Marco Reus both have three goals in their last three games.

– But that pair have some work to do to keep up with the Bundesliga’s most in-form goalscorer Andrej Kramaric. The Hoffenheim man has six goals in his last five after failing to find the net between August and February, despite featuring in every league game.

– Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win over Freiburg means they are in with a decent chance of breaking their own record for the earliest Bundesliga title win. Three more wins will do it, but if Schalke, Dortmund and Frankfurt all drop points in the next two games, a sixth title in a row could be won at Leipzig on matchday 27 – which would break their 2014 record under Pep Guardiola. If not, Bayern could seal the tiltle at home against Dortmund on March 31.

– Headed goals may have only accounted for 3 of the 22 goals on matchday 25 , but they were all significant. Thomas Delaney’s goal on Friday helped spark a two-goal comeback in Mönchengladbach, Andrej Kramaric’s thundering header helped Hoffenheim dispatch Bundesliga surprise package Augsburg and Danny Da Costa’s first goal for Frankfurt lifted the Eagles to victory over Hannover.

The Stats

– Stefan Kiessling’s career is slowly winding down, but that hasn’t stopped him for hitting a few more milestones. In Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-0 win against Wolfsburg, Kiessling made his 400th Bundesliga appearance when he replaced Julian Baumgartliner at the end of the contest. With 441 games under his belt, he has made the third-most appearances in Leverkusen history. If he plays twice more, he’ll leapfrog second-placed Ulf Kirsten.

The Quotes

“I’m just happy that I got another chance to play again. That is a special statistic.” — Stefan Kiessling to Sky Sports in Germany about his 400th Bundesliga appearance.

“Many names are being reported every week: Nagelsmann, Tuchel, Kovac. I’d almost be disappointed if my name wasn’t mentioned as well.” Freiburg coach Christian Streich on rumors linking him with the Bayern Munich gig.

“Well, to be honest, my feet feel like blocks of ice. It’s not pleasant, but that’s how it is.” Werder Bremen’s goalscorer Thomas Delaney on the sub zero temperatures that gripped Germany for most of the past week.

“We need a few extraordinary weeks, ” Hamburg’s sporting director Jens Todt appears to be losing hope.

“We are the hunters now, maybe this suits us a little more.” RB Leipzig skipper Willi Orban on his side’s slip to 6th.

The News

Augsburg defender Kevin Danso picked up a knock in his side’s 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim.

“We have to wait for the diagnosis,” Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter was quoted by German sports magazine Kicker as saying. “I hope that is not something bad.”

There was also a scary moment for Foals fans when Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer had to be carried off the field after not being able to walk on his right leg. However, the club said it was just a trapped nerve. The World Cup winner trained on Saturday and is not expected to miss any time.

The Weird

Cologne fans had got used to their team throwing away points early in the season but their goalkeeper taking matters in to (and then quickly out of) his own hands is another blow in an already-tough campaign. After their brief renaissance, Cologne had the chance to move within five points of safety on Sunday and looked comfortable at 1-0 up as the break approached against Stuttgart. Horn could do little about Mario Gomez’ first but seemed to still be dwelling on that as the German striker gently swung one towards him on the stroke of half time. Horn got behind the ball, got both hands to it but somehow managed to throw it in his own net before failing to get down quick enough to Stuttgart’s third in a 3-1 win.

“I think we played our best first half of the season and then something like that happens, I do not know when I last made a mistake like that,” said a disconsolate Horn after the match.

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Thomas Müller drives Bayern Munich to routine victory over Freiburg Sun, 04 Mar 2018 17:09:00 +0000 The post Thomas Müller drives Bayern Munich to routine victory over Freiburg appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to 20 points as they struck four past Freiburg. Thomas Müller led the rout, creating one and scoring one as Robert Lewandowski watched from the bench.Goals from Sandro Wagner, Corentin Tolisso and Thomas Müller sealed a comfortable 4-0 victory in Freiburg, after an own goal from the hosts’ goalkeeper, Alexander Schwolow, got them off the ground.

The win moves Bayern 20 points clear of second placed Schalke with just 9 games to go, meaning they could already have the title wrapped up before Dortmund visit on March 31. It’s testament to their dominance this season that, in a game in which they never got out of first gear, they struck four times without top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski ever leaving the comfort of the subs’ bench.

The opening 25 minutes were a tighter contest than Bayern trainer Jupp Heynckes would have liked. His side looked sluggish as Freiburg repeatedly looked to hit them on the break. But, as so often happens against Bayern, it only required a goal for the floodgates to open. Müller’s attempted cross ricocheted off Freiburg defender Çağlar Söyüncü before bouncing onto his goalkeeper’s knee and into the net after 25 minutes.

From then on, it was routine. Corentin Tolisso doubled the visitors’ lead a few minutes later after his fierce strike from 25 yards found the top corner with the help of a defelction.

Wagner’s second half strike certainly won’t be a contender for goal of the season, with the target man bundling home after a goal line scramble.

Müller rounded things off on 68 minutes, turning in Joshua Kimmich’s low corner at the front post. The ball arrived with plenty of whip and simply required a stray leg to knock it in. Something the Bayern man has made a career out of. All in all, a simple day at the office.

+++ As it happened +++

Freiburg 0 – 3 Bayern Munich
(Schwolow og 25′, Tolisso 28, Wagner 54′, Müller 68′)


It’s all over in Freiburg, with FC Bayern running out comfortable winners thanks to goals from Tolisso, Wagner and Müller. That win puts them 20 points clear at the top of the table.

83′ – He’s closely followed by Arturo Vidal, who’s replaced by Nick Süle.

80′ – Thomas Müller’s work is done and he’s replaced by Rafinha.

74′ – Thiago is replaced by Sebastian Rudy with three points already in the bag. The former Hoffenheim man arriving to add some fresh legs, no doubt.

68′ – Müller makes it 4. It’s another strike from close range but this time from a corner. Joshua Kimmich whips it towards the front post and Müller gets to it first and before rifling a shot into the roof of the net.

63′ – Some great stuff from Bayern almost brings a fourth. Boateng sprays one to Müller, who does well to keep it in play then whips a delicious ball to Bernat. The Spaniard should head in but messes it up, heading down in to the ground and wide.

60′ – A yellow for Koch after a late one on Wagner. Bayern can’t do much from the free kick.

58′ – A chance for Bernat now. He flies up from the left and has a decent view on goal but puts it wide. This could be a rout. Freiburg bring on Ravet for Höler.

54′ – The goal stands. It was as scrappy as they come but Wagner won’t care. Bernat controlled a ball on the left – VAR ruled it wasn’t with his hand – and drilled low to Müller. He coulnd’t finish but it fell to Wagner who stabbed in at the second attempt.

54′ – Wagner has the ball in the net but they’re checking something with VAR.

49′ – Sandro Wagner heads narrowly wide after Thomas Müller picks him out in the Freiburg area. A very close call for Freiburg.

45′ – Things get underway again in Freiburg. The home side are going to need a huge performance to salvage anything from this match.


After a slightly unsettling opening, it’s become very much business as usual for Bayern. An own goal forced by Thomas Müller and a long-ranger from Corentin Tolisso have them firmly in command.

41′ – Petersen goes down under Hummels’ challenge on the edge of the box but nothing is given, much to the annoyance of the home fans.

38′ – Freiburg enjoy a rare spell of possession in Bayern’s half but don’t begin to look threatening.

34′ – The early sting has gone out of this one now. Bayern dominating the ball and on the hunt for more.

28′ – It’s two. Tolisso picks it up 30 yards out, has a stroll then takes a speculative hit. It’s a sweet strike but a deflection off a defender’s back takes it away from the keeper. You’d have to imagine that’s game over.

25′ – Ugh, this is so harsh on Freiburg. Hummels picks out Müller with a raking pass. He tries to lay it back but Söyüncü flicks it back to him. Müller again tries to force it across goal, it hits the keeper and bounces in.

22′ – Some lovely stuff from Bayern, who work it left to right before Müller lays one off to Thiago on the edge of the box. He doesn’t have much time but snaps off a decent effort that’s held by Schwolow.

19′ – Schwolow out quickly to punch clear Kimmich’s cross. Wagner has barely had a kick yet.

17′ – Bayern yet to really get in to this one and Freiburg look dangerous on the counter, Abrashi the latest to go close.

12′ – Huge chance for Freiburg. A pass from deep splits the Bayern defence and Höler is in but Ulreich sticks out a foot to divert it round the post. A good save but Freiburg should be up.

11′ – Tolisso finds a bit of space on the edge of the box and fires off a shot. But the Frenchman was off balance and it flies harmlessly over.

8′- Freiburg have started fairly well here and nearly got in a minute ago with a simple ball over the top. But Petersen just couldn’t latch on to it.

4′ – Bernat releases Alaba on the overlap and his crossed is just about hacked over his own bar by Söyüncü.

2′ – Haberer tries to bring down a deep cross from the left but can’t get it under his spell. Bayern clear.

1′ – And we’re off!

17:40 – Freiburg coach Christian Streich is interviewed by Sky ahead of the game about reports in the German media that he could be in line for the Bayern job. He looks perplexed, saying there’s “absolutely nothing” in it. That’s that then.

17:30 – Good evening, and welcome to the final game of Bundesliga matchday 25. Bayern Munich will want to remain on track for an earliest ever Bundesliga title win with three points in Freiburg today.

They’ll have to do it without their leading scorer though, at least from the start – Robert Lewandowski joins Arjen Robben on the bench. Freiburg’s hopes may well rest on Bayern old boy Nils Petersen, the Bundesliga’s top scoring German this season with 12 goals.

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Hamburg, the Bundesliga dinosaur, stares extinction in the face Sat, 03 Mar 2018 19:42:00 +0000 The post Hamburg, the Bundesliga dinosaur, stares extinction in the face appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Despite being the better team, Hamburg failed to win against Mainz due to a man-of-the-match performance by a Bundesliga debutant. The fans are already thinking of life in the second tier of German football.It’s been a tense afternoon at the Volksparkstadion. Hamburg’s fans knew that only a win against Mainz would really suffice in the club’s battle to avoid its first ever relegation from the Bundesliga. Yet it seemed like they didn’t really believe HSV could dodge the drop, even if they got three big points against the guests from the Rhineland.

Fan conversations before the game were about the potential derby against local rivals St. Pauli in the second division next season, about the post-relegation rebuilding mission, or about whether those in charge should keep their jobs. In other words, about anything but the game itself. When the HSV team bus arrived, no fans had chosen to wait to support the players and spur them on.

Read more — Bundesliga roundup: Hamburg only draw in do-or-die Mainz match

Good performance, great support, no result

However, it was a different ball game on entering the ground. Hamburg’s hardcore “ultras” had pulled a trick on the police, deciding to stay away from the Nordtribüne, where they usually form the most vocal part of HSV’s support. If the atmosphere during the first part of the game was anything to go by, it worked. Noise levels were quickly rising in support of the local team, despite it being about 3,000 people short of HSV’s usual attendance average; briefly, change seemed to be in the air.

Like the fans, Hamburg’s players seemed raring to go, outplaying Mainz in every department early on. They were led by 19-year-old winger Bakery Jatta and surprise inclusion Sven Schipplock up front, who very nearly opened the scoring within five minutes.

But despite controlling the game, HSV were still missing the final piece of the puzzle — namely a goal. Florian Müller made his debut as keeper for Mainz with both Rene Adler and Robin Zentner out injured; in keeping with HSV’s luck of late, Müller was man of the match. The 20-year-old managed to pull a few saves from one-on-ones and looked commanding in the box, the highlight being a 61st-minute penalty stop. Fans and journalists alike were shaking their heads in disbelief at this point, as a more familiar sense of doom descended over the stadium. Coach Bernd Hollerbach waved his hands in despair. It would become Hamburg’s 12th match without a win, six of them under the former Hamburg player.


After the final whistle was heard, the mood at the Volksparkstadion became even grimmer than during the build-up. “Relegated, relegated,” the HSV faithful barked at their own players, a chant usually reserved for visiting teams who are battling the drop. Boos were heard from across the stadium as soon as the stadium announcer said that Hamburg “played so well.”

Hamburg’s sporting director Jens Todt and coach Bernd Hollerbach had to face the media. It felt like they didn’t want to be there. While rolling out the old platitudes about fighting for as long as survival is still mathematically possible, their expressions said so much more than their words could. They seem to know it’s most likely over, and that their names will forever be remembered as those who got HSV relegated for the first time in the club’s history.

HSV travel to Munich to play Bayern next week, so bouncing back is not going to be easy.

A self-fulfilling prophecy

Walking back to the train station, fans’ conversations were, again, about anything but the game itself. “It’s over. Whatever. St. Pauli away next season!” shouted one fan on the train.

Perhaps the most appropriate summary of the mood at HSV at the moment was already written a few days before the 0-0 with Mainz even kicked off. In an article aptly headlined “The Dinosaur is beyond saving,” Germany’s Kicker magazine wrote the following: “HSV is lacking in just about every department: Calmness, the backing of the supporters, and most of all — quality in the squad.”

Even if it was one of their better performances of the season, the goalless draw with fellow strugglers Mainz still reflected every word.

Read more — Opinion: Bakery Jatta shows what belief in refugees can achieve

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Boring Bundesliga: what can be done about Bayern Munich’s dominance? Fri, 02 Mar 2018 19:24:00 +0000 The post Boring Bundesliga: what can be done about Bayern Munich’s dominance? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Bayern Munich are 19 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and could wrap up a sixth consecutive title as early as this March. DW asks what can be done to make Germany’s top division more competitive?Bayern Munich could wrap up a sixth consecutive title as early as March and, while the battle for the European places and the scrap to avoid relegation are as exciting as ever, German fans haven’t witnessed a genuine title fight since the 2011-12 campaign.

So what can be done? From the abolition of the 50+1 rule to an American-style draft system and everything in between, everyone has an opinion. DW looks at some of the options.

A brand new Bundesliga system

Writing in his column for t-mobile online last month, former Bayern Munich captain Stefan Effenberg presented his idea for a revamped Bundesliga format, which looks something like this:

Effenberg would split the league into two random groups of nine (Group A and Group B), in which teams play against each other home and away across 16 matchdays before Christmas.

After Christmas, two new groups are formed (Group 1 and Group 2). The top four from Groups A and B plus the best fifth place team would go into Group 1 and, starting again on zero points, They would compete for the title and the European places in the second half of the season. The rest would go into Group 2 and fight against relegation.

When advocating his system, Effenberg said that the title wouldn’t be decided so early and that even teams from a weak Group A or B could end up with a shot at the title. He also said that the format wouldn’t involve too much change in terms of scheduling and organization, and argued that the initial preseason draw could become an exciting event.

However, Frank Hellmann, a journalist at the Frankfurter Rundschau daily, dismissed Effenberg’s idea as “nonsense.” He said that there would be a risk of certain marquis match-ups never taking place (an extreme example being a season with no Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke) and argued that the format would still do little to address Bayern Munich’s superiority. Hellmann went on to jokingly suggest that a better solution might be to award Bayern just two points for a win.

Abolition of the 50+1 rule

The 50+1 rule stipulates that 50% of the shares in a Bundesliga’s professional football team, plus one share, must belong to the sports club behind the team, thus preventing any outside entity from acquiring majority control.

Opponents of 50+1 such as Hannover 96 investor Martin Kind argue that the unique ruling discourages investment which would otherwise make Bundesliga clubs better able to compete — both domestically with Bayern Munich and internationally with top European sides.

However, a simple glance around Europe’s other top leagues, where no such rule exists and where clubs belong to American businessmen, Russian oligarchs or Middle eastern states, reveals that this is no quick fix.

In France, Qatari-owned Paris St Germain are 14 points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Even in England this season, where the majority of Premier League clubs are foreign-owned and where the competition should therefore theoretically be more balanced, Manchester City are 16 points clear with backing from the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich were ranked the fourth-richest club in the world in 2018 by Deloitte while still adhering to the 50+1 rule. Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also controlled by their members.

“Without 50+1, local factors and organically developed structures will play a less important role,” said Jochen Spaier, SC Freiburg’s sporting director. “The deciding factor in sporting competition will then simply be the financial power of each new owner.”

Read more: Opinion: 50+1 is the root of all that is good about German football

Fairer re-distribution of TV money

Bayern Munich didn’t just top the Bundesliga last season, they topped Germany’s TV money rankings too.

The Bavarians received total of €150.6m from domestic and international TV rights – including €95.84 million ($117.81m) from the German Football League (DFL), just under 10% of the total pot, and €54.76m from the Champions League. They also earned €32.2m in prize money for reaching for quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Their closest rivals in financial terms, Borussia Dortmund, received a total of €139.3m from TV money while Borussia Mönchengladbach received €98.5m. Non-Champions League clubs in the bottom half of the Bundesliga such as Freiburg and Hamburg only received around €40m from TV rights. But if you think the situation in Germany is slightly unbalanced in this respect, it could be worse.

As the New York Times reported in February, Greek side Olympiacos have won their league in 19 of the last 21 seasons, including every year since 2010. Over the past five years, they have received more than $125 million from their Champions League appearances, an amount none of their domestic rivals can hope to compete with, perpetuating Olympiacos’ cycle of dominance.

The Bundesliga’s current TV deal will see €4.64 billion ($5.7bn) distributed to clubs across Germany’s top two divisions between 2017/18 and 2020/21.

The rest simply have to do better!

“Reforms? No, they’ll have to think of something else,” said Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes. “The others just need to get stronger.”

Rather than pointing the finger at the Bavarians’ financial advantage, an unfair league format or rich newcomers such as Red Bull-backed RB Leipzig, perhaps it’s time some of the Bundesliga’s other big clubs looked a little closer to home.

In recent years, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and Borussia Mönchengladbach have all spent various lengths of time in the Champions League but have failed to invest and build wisely.

Off the pitch, Borussia Dortmund have made move to mimic Bayern in terms of their global marketing by opening offices in Singapore and Shanghai and embarking on preseason tours of the Far East. In 2018’s off-season, BVB will twice travel to the United States.

But on the pitch, they have still been unable to keep hold of their best players while personal disputes led to a premature end to Thomas Tuchel’s reign as coach. Schalke have faired equally poorly, with Leon Goretzka set to join Julian Draxler, Mesut Özil, Leroy Sané and Manuel Neuer on the list of top German talents to leave the Royal Blues.

A European Super League

With the Champions League increasingly becoming something of a closed shop, ensuring that Europe’s elite teams play against each other more and more often, perhaps the time has come to create the “European Super League” that many suspect UEFA and the top clubs want.

With Bayern Munich – and perhaps Borussia Dortmund – joining Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and the Manchester clubs in a new elite competition, the rest of the Bundesliga could get back to playing in a competitive league. Although their status as B-list clubs would also be cemented forever.

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Grozny: Egypt’s World Cup training base Thu, 01 Mar 2018 17:30:08 +0000 Grozny is majority-Muslim city, has one of largest mosques in Europe

The post Grozny: Egypt’s World Cup training base  appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The Egyptian Football Association, headed by Hany Abu Reda, announced that FIFA endorsed Grozny city to be the Egyptian national football team’s training base during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Grozny, which means “fearsome” in Russian, is the capital city of the Chechen Republic and it will not host any games of the 2018 World Cup. Grozny was selected by Egypt from a list of 67 options presented to the World Cup finalists. Daily News Egypt reviews the most important features of the city.

Grozny has a long history. It was founded in 1818 as a Russian military outpost on the Sunzha River by General Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov, in which it played an important role in the Caucasus War. The city has a population of 213,600, down from about 500,000 before the Caucasus War.

Grozny is one of the largest cities with a majority-Muslim population in Russia. It has Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Europe, which accommodates 10,000 worshipers at a time.

The mosque is part of the Islamic architectural complex, which also consists of the Russian Islamic University, Kunta-Haji, and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Chechnya, which regularly receives delegates from Al-Azhar.

The city grew slowly until the development of oil reserves in the early 20th century. This encouraged the rapid development of industry and petrochemical production. In addition to the oil drilled in the city itself, the city became a geographical centre of Russia’s network of oil fields.

Putin Street, previously known as Border Street, is known as the most beautiful place in Grozny. It has a large ceremony hall, and features more than 700 trees.

Grozny is known for its modern educational institutions. It is home to Chechen State University, Institute of Oil and Education, and a theatre that provides classical works.

The city has significant economic resources, most notably oil production, and is one of Russia’s largest oil sources.

The Chechen language used to be written in Arabic letters until the 1920s, when they was replaced with Russian letters.

A survey carried out in 2012 by eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc described Grozny as the happiest among Russian cities, given the improved living conditions and enterprises and the low unemployment rates in the city.

The Battle of Grozny was the Russian Army’s invasion and subsequent conquest of the Chechen capital, during the early months of the First Chechen War.

The attack lasted from December 1994 to March 1995, resulted in the military occupation of the city by the Russian Army, and rallied most of the Chechen nation around the separatist government of Dzhokhar Dudayev.

The Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, also known as the Heart of Chechnya mosque, is one of the largest mosques in the world. It was opened on 17 October 2008 during a massive forum, titled “Islam – the religion of peace and creativity”. The mosque is located on the picturesque bank of the Sunzha River in the middle of a huge park. It was built in the classical Ottoman style, with a central hall covered with a huge dome.

The height of the four minarets measures 63 meters—one of the highest minarets in the South of Russia. Exterior and interior walls of the mosque are marble, travertine, and the interior is decorated with white marble. The area of the mosque is 5,000 square metres.

Egypt is set to train at Akhmat Arena and will be staying at the Hotel of Grozny. The Pharaohs were drawn into Group A alongside hosts Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia, with their opening game coming against the South American side on Friday, 15 June in Yekaterinburg, 1,800 kilometres away from Grozny.

They will then face hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on 19 and 25 June in Saint Petersburg and Volgograd respectively. The distance between Grozny and Yekaterinburg or Saint Petersburg is about 2,600 kilometres, while Volgograd, which will host Egypt’s encounter with Saudi Arabia, is 800 kilometres away.

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Current Egyptian football generation writes their names in history: Emam Thu, 01 Mar 2018 17:00:38 +0000 Salah is Pharaohs' wild card in 2018 World Cup, says Emam 

The post Current Egyptian football generation writes their names in history: Emam  appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Hazem Emam, known as the Little Fox, is seen as one of the most talented footballers in the history of Egyptian football. The former Zamalek player’s high morals earned him admiration of the Al Ahly and Zamalek clubs’ fans. Eman was born to a football family. His father is Hamada Emam, a former Zamalek midfielder, while his grandfather, Yehia Emam, was a brilliant goalkeeper for Zamalek.

Emam started his football career at the Egyptian Shooting Club, where he showed promising talent. Al Ahly tried to sign Emam, but his father refused. Then, he moved to Zamalek to start a long journey of achievements at the White Castle.

Zamalek fans called him “Little Fox”, “Emperor”, “The People’s Artist”, “Engineer”, “Prince of the Talented”, and “Beloved of the Public”.

Emam is now a member of the Egyptian Football Association’s board of directors. He is the only board member who participated with the Egyptian national team in the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Emam, where he talked about his predictions for the national team in Russia’s World Cup.

The Pharaohs were drawn into Group A alongside hosts Russia, as well as Uruguay and Saudi Arabia, with their opening game coming against the South American side on 15 June in Yekaterinburg,

Emam said that he expects the national team will achieve great success at the World Cup under the leadership of veteran Argentinian coach Hector Cuper.

Emam praised Cuper’s efforts that contributed to Egypt’s return to the World Cup after a 28-year absence.

“Cuper succeeded in separating criticism from his sense of self. He acted in accordance with only his own vision and refused to follow the views of the public,” Emam added.

He added that Cuper mostly has not listened to others’ opinions throughout his road to the World Cup, noting that the coach’s way of thinking is very different from what Egyptians are used to dealing with, even from other foreign coaches.

“In Egypt, for example, we used to put pressure on the other team and control the game, but Cuper started to think differently in not conceding goals,” Emam said.

He added that this mentality gave Egypt a good start in the qualifiers, collecting six points from the first two games, which helped Egypt to qualify for the World Cup.

Emam pointed out that Jose Mourinho, coach of Manchester United, gave all his players defensive missions in their game against Liverpool in the English Premier League, which ended goalless.

“Everyone says Mourinho is a great coach and hopes to see him in Egypt. I wanted those to look at him as he ‘parked the bus’ in front of Liverpool,” Emam said.

He noted that defensive play exists everywhere, adding that Cuper is expected to make some changes to his style in the coming period.

Emam nominated some players to strengthen the Egyptian squad. “Zamalek midfielder Ru’aa is very good, and so is the case with Al Ahly’s Amr Al-Sulaia,” he said.

Emam also applauded Zamalek’s players Mustafa Fathi, Abdulla Gomaa, and Ahmed Medbouli, and hopes to see them in the national team.

Omar Al-Saeed is also a good player and his physical strength makes him perfect for Cuper’s plans, he said.
Egypt will rely on Liverpool’s star Mohamed Salah being one of the most important players in the world now, Emam added.

“Yes, the Egyptian team relies on Salah, but if we looked at Portugal or Argentina, we will find the same thing,” he said.

“I hope Salah continues his brilliance and may Allah protects him from injuries,” Emam said.

He added that Egypt has many good players who can make a difference, but Salah is the most prominent one.

Regarding the previous Egyptian football generations who could not qualify for the World Cup, Emam stressed that they spared no effort and did their best to achieve this dream, but they were not fortunate.

“I am sure that all previous football generations did all what it takes to achieve this dream,” Emam added.

Regarding the team’s major challenges, Emam said that the Egyptian Football Association is trying to convince players not to fast for Ramadan during the tournament. “It is hard to convince the players not to fast because even if they get the permission not to fast, they will find difficulty in taking the advice,” he said.

The coaching staff will find difficulty in developing the team’s training plan if the the players insist on fasting for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Emam said. Moreover, he added, the climate changes will affect the biological clock of the players.

As for Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s chances in the World Cup, Emam said, “of course I hope that Egypt go far in the World Cup, as the team now has a special generation of professional players, most of whom play outside Egypt, unlike the previous generations that had bright names, but were playing in the local league.”

“I believe that Salah, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Al-Nini, Hegazy, and others are capable of making the difference at the World Cup,” Emam said.

He added that Egypt may qualify for the Round of 16 with Russia or Uruguay. “If we could not qualify to the next round, I hope that Saudi Arabia make it, but I rule out the qualification of both teams.”

He predicted that the Russian team will take the lead, benefiting from the public support it will receive during the tournament because of hosting this global competition for the first time in their history.

All other teams have equal chances to qualify for the Round of 16 in the World Cup, he said.
He expects that more than 10,000 Egyptian fans will attend the national team’s matches in Russia.

He added, “I am happy that our return to the World Cup came in Russia because we share good political, cultural, and historical relations with the Russian people.”

The Egyptian Football Association, headed by Hany Abu Reda, announced earlier that FIFA endorsed Grozny city to be the Egyptian football national team’s training base during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Emam refuted the media reports that claim that Egypt chose Grozny for religious reasons, as it has a majority-Muslim population.

He noted that the team’s coaching staff believe that the atmosphere of Grozny suits the players, and the hotel that will host the team is near its airport. The Egyptian team is set to train at Akhmat-Arena in Grozny.

The team’s opening game, coming against Uruguay, will be held on 15 June in Yekaterinburg. It is 1,800 km away from Grozny. They will then face hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on 19 and 25 June in Saint Petersburg and Volgograd respectively.

The distance between Grozny and Yekaterinburg or Saint Petersburg is about 2,600 kilometres, while Volgograd, which will host Egypt’s encounter with Saudi Arabia, is 800 kilometres away.

Emam said he would have chosen Kazan, as he knows the city well. He noted that he attended the opening ceremony of the stadium there.

“Egypt basically chose Kazan and Saint Petersburg to host its team, but they had been already booked,” Emam said.

Emam expressed his pleasure at seeing the national team playing in Volgograd, as the city’s club has a twinning programme with Port Said’s Al-Masry SC.

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What you need to know about Group B of 2018 World Cup Thu, 01 Mar 2018 16:30:12 +0000 Morocco is in the ‘group of death’ along with Portugal, Spain, and Iran 

The post What you need to know about Group B of 2018 World Cup  appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

In the final draw of the 2018 World Cup, the Moroccan national football team was placed in Group B along with Portugal, Spain, and Iran.

Morocco will make their first appearance at the global finals since the World Cup in France in 1998. It will be their fifth participation in the tournament, as they also played in the 1970, 1986, and 1994 editions.

Morocco will clash with two major competitors: Portugal, which held the 2016 UEFA European Championship, and Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners.

It will be the second time Morocco faces Portugal in the World Cup after their first clash in the third round of Group F in the 1986 World Cup, when the Lions of the Atlas beat the Spanish side 3-1, thanks to goals from Abderrazak Khairi (2) and Abdelkrim Merry, known as Krimau.

After beating Portugal in 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African team to qualify for the Round of 16 of the World Cup, despite its 0-0 draws with Poland and England. However, Morocco was knocked out by West Germany.

Daily News Egypt reviews major figures and results of the 2018 World Cup’s Group B teams in this infograph:

  1. Portugal 

– Local football federation established in 1914

– Joined FIFA in 1923

– Joined UEFA in 1954

– Nickname: Selecção das Quinas

– First international match: Portugal lost 1-3 to Spain on 18 December 1921

– Biggest wins: Portugal 8-0 Liechtenstein in Lisbon on 18 November 1994

Portugal 8-0 Liechtenstein in Portugal on 9 June 1999

Portugal 8-0 Kuwait in Portugal on 19 November 2003

– Biggest defeat: Portugal lost 0-10 to England in Lisbon on 25 May 1947

– World Cup appearances: 6 (first appearance in 1966)

– Global titles: None

– Continental titles: UEFA Euro 2016

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 3rd place (23 November 2017)

– Best ranking: 7th place in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017

– Worst ranking: 43rd place in August 1998

– Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo with 79 goals

– Portugal’s most capped player of all time: Cristiano Ronaldo with 147 caps

– Current coach: Fernando Santos

Portugal won the 2016 UEFA European Championship, held in France, for the first time in its history.

The Seleção participated in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, hosted by Russia, and finished third at the expense of Mexico. Portugal fought back from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in extra time in the Confederations Cup third place match.

After losing the first World Cup qualifier to Switzerland, Portugal won the remaining nine in an assertive fashion, finishing top of their qualifying group with an impressive 32 goals scored—the fourth best team in European qualifiers.

Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers:

Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Switzerland v Portugal (2-0)

Friday, 7 October 2016
Portugal v Andorra (6-0)

Monday, 10 October 2016
Faroe Islands – Portugal (0-6)

Sunday, 13 November 2016
Portugal v Latvia (4-1)

Saturday, 25 March 2017
Portugal v Hungary (3-0)

Friday, 9 June 2017
Latvia v Portugal (0-3)

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Portugal v Faroe Islands (5-1)

Sunday, 3 September 2017
Hungary v Portugal (0-1)

Saturday, 7 October 2017
Andorra v Portugal (0-2)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Portugal v Switzerland (2-0)

2- Spain

– Local football federation established in 1909

– Joined FIFA in 1913

– Joined UEFA in 1954

– Nickname: La Furia Roja

– First international match: Spain beat Denmark 1-0 on 28 August 1920

– Biggest win: Spain 13-0 Bulgaria in Madrid on 21 May 1933

– Biggest defeats: Spain lost to Italy 1-7 in Amsterdam on 4 June 1928

Spain 1-7 England in London on 9 December 1931

– World Cup appearances: 14

– Global titles: 2010 World Cup winners (held in South Africa)

– Continental titles: Euro 1964, 2008, and 2012

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 6th place (November 2017(

– Best ranking: 1st place in July 2008

– Worst ranking: 25th place in March 1998

– Spain’s all-time top goalscorer: David Villa with 59 goals

– Spain’s most capped player of all time: Iker Casillas with 167 caps

– Current coach: Julen Lopetegui

In the 2010 World Cup final match, Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0, after an extra time goal by Andrés Iniesta. The win gave Spain its first World Cup title. However, La Roja failed to defend its title in the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. Spain were eliminated from the group stage after suffering two defeats in their opening two matches, as it lost 1-5 to Netherlands and 0-2 to Chile.

Spain recovered in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and won nine of 10 games. Spain defeated Italy in UEFA Group G, qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, prevailing 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, contributing to the first absence from the competition of the four-time World Cup winners since 1958.

Italy failed to qualify for first World Cup in 60 years after a play-off defeat to Sweden.

Spain led UEFA Group G for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification with 28 points and 36 goals, while it conceded only three goals.

Spain’s World Cup qualifiers

Monday, 5 September 2016

Spain v Liechtenstein (8-0(

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Italy v Spain (1-1(

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Albania v Spain (0-2(

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Spain v Macedonia (4-0(

Friday, 24 March 2017

Spain v Israel (4-1(

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Macedonia v Spain (1-2(

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Spain v Italy (3-0(

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Liechtenstein v Spain (0-8(

Friday, 6 October 2017

Spain v Albania (3-0)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Israel – Spain (0-1)

3- Morocco

– Local football federation established in 1956

– Joined FIFA in 1960

– Joined Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1959

– Nickname: The Atlas Lions

– First international match: Morocco drew 3-3 with Iraq in Lebanon on 19 October 1957

– Biggest win: Morocco defeated Saudi Arabia 13-1 in Casablanca on 3 September 1961

– Biggest defeat: Morocco lost 0-6 to Hungary in Tokyo on 11 October 1964

– World Cup appearances: 5 (first appearance in 1970(

– Global titles: None

– Continental titles: 1976 Africa Cup of Nations

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 40th place (23 November 2017(

– Best ranking: 10th place in April 1998

– Worst ranking: 95th place in September 2010

– Morocco’s all-time top goalscorer: Ahmed Faras with 42 goals

– Morocco’s most capped player of all time: Nourredine Naybet with 115 caps

– Current coach: Hervé Renard

Morocco will make their first appearance at the World Cup finals since France 1998. Morocco’s road to the 2018 World Cup began on Thursday, 12 November 2015 with defeating Equatorial Guinea 2-0, before losing in the second leg 0-1.

Morocco’s CAF Group C for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification included Ivory Coast, Gabon, and Mali.

The Atlas Lions qualified for the 2018 World Cup after recording an impressive 2-0 victory away to Ivory Coast in the final round of the qualifiers.

Nabil Dirar gave Morocco the lead 25 minutes in, delivering a cross that Khalid Boutaib came close to heading, but the ball ended up finding the back of the net.

The Atlas Lions then doubled their lead just five minutes later through Mehdi Benatia’s neat finish off a corner, ensuring Renard’s men finished top of Group C.

Morocco led Group C with 12 points, collected from three wins and three draws, without conceding any defeats or goals, becoming the only team to maintain a clean sheet among all the teams that qualified for the 2018 World Cup, while it scored 11 goals.

– Morocco’s World Cup qualifiers

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Gabon v Morocco (0-0(

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Morocco v Côte d’Ivoire (0-0(

Friday, 1 September 2017

Morocco v Mali (6-0)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mali v Morocco (0-0(

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Morocco v Gabon (3-0(

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Côte d’Ivoire v Morocco (0-2)

4- Iran

– Local football federation established in 1920
– Joined FIFA in 1945
– Joined Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1954
– Nickname: Lions of Iran
– First international match: Iran drew 0-0 with Afghanistan in Afghanistan on 25 August 1941
– Biggest win: Iran defeated Guam 19-0 on 24 November 2000
– Biggest defeat: Iran lost 1-6 to Turkey in Turkey on 28 May 1950
– World Cup appearances: 4 (1978, 1998, 2006, and 2014)
– Global titles: None
– Continental titles: AFC Asian Cup in 1968, 1972, and 1976
– Current FIFA World Ranking: 32nd place (23 November 2017)
– Best ranking: 15th place on 15 July 2015
– Worst ranking: 122nd in May 1996
– Iran’s all-time top goalscorer: Ali Daei with 109 goals
– Iran’s most capped player of all time: Javad Nekounam with 151 caps
– Current coach: Carlos Queiroz

Iran became the first team from the AFC and the second in world to book their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, following Brazil. Iran led its group in the first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification which included Oman, Turkmenistan, Guam, and India. Iran collected 22 points from six wins and four draws, without conceding any defeats, becoming the only team to reach the second round of qualifiers unbeaten.

Iran qualified with South Korea directly to the World Cup 2018. Iran set a new record in World Cup qualifying by keeping a 12th successive clean sheet. Across their entire campaign, Iran conceded just three goals in 17 matches.

Iran’s World Cup qualifiers

First Round

Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Turkmenistan v Iran (1-1)

Thursday, 3 September 2015
Iran v Guam (6-0)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015
India v Iran (0-3)

Thursday, 4 October 2012
Oman v Iran (1-1)

Thursday, 12 November 2015
Iran v Turkmenistan (3-1)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Guam v Iran (0-6)

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Iran v India (4-0)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Iran v Oman (2-0)

Second Round

Thursday, 1 September 2016
Iran v Qatar (2-0)

Tuesday, 6 September 2016
China v Iran (0-0)

Thursday, 6 October 2016
Uzbekistan v Iran (0-1)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Iran v South Korea (1-0)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Syria v Iran (0-0)

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Qatar v Iran (0-1)

Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Iran v China (1-0)

Monday, 12 June 2017
Iran v Uzbekistan (2-0)

Thursday, 31 August 2017
South Korea vs Iran (0-0)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Iran v Syria (0-0)

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Most famous ‘death’ groups the history of World Cup…Morocco latest victim Thu, 01 Mar 2018 16:00:16 +0000 The draw for the 2018 World Cup is tough for the Moroccan team, as it is in a strong group that includes Portugal, European champion Spain, and Iran. FIFA uses the name the “death” group or “iron” group for such groups, based on their strength. This standard is reflected in a simple calculation through adding …

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The draw for the 2018 World Cup is tough for the Moroccan team, as it is in a strong group that includes Portugal, European champion Spain, and Iran.

FIFA uses the name the “death” group or “iron” group for such groups, based on their strength. This standard is reflected in a simple calculation through adding the teams’ rankings—based on FIFA’s World Ranking for October—in one group and dividing them by four, the number teams in each group. The closer the final number is to one, the stronger the group is and the closer it is to the “death” group classification.

In this report, Daily News Egypt reviews the most famous death groups, according to FIFA World Rankings, which started for the first time in late 1992.

World Cup America 1994:

The fifth group of this tournament was its death group. It included: Mexico, ranked 17th, Ireland ranked 13th, Italy, ranked first in the world at the time, and Norway, ranked fifth.

Mexico, Ireland, and Italy qualified for the second round, and the Azzurri went to the final, which they lost in penalties against Brazil.

World Cup France 1998:

The death group in this World Cup was the seventh group, which included: Romania, ranked fifth in the world, England, ranked sixth, Colombia, ranked ninth, and the Tunisian Arab team ranked 23rd.

The average rating of this group is 10.75. Conflict in this group raged until the last round, and Romania and England settled their qualifications, while Colombia was the victim of the death group alongside Tunisia.

However, the qualified pair disappointed hopes, as Romania came out of the knockout stage against Croatia, and Argentina managed to knock out England.

World Cup Japan and South Korea 2002:

The sixth group was the death group, included Sweden, which was ranked 61st in the world, England ranked 10th, Argentina ranked second globally, Nigeria ranked 40th, making the average rating 17.

For the second time in a row, England’s team managed to reach the second round, coming after Sweden. Argentina disappointed its fans and left early.

However, in the second round, leading Sweden lost to Senegal, with a surprising golden goal. Brazil succeeded in excluding Beckham and his teammates in the quarter-finals with Ronaldinho’s goal, which tricked goalkeeper David Seaman.

World Cup Germany 2006:

The fifth group won the title of death group, where Italy ranked 21st, Ghana 50th, the Czech Republic second, and America eigth, with an average rating of 18 for the group.

After a last-minute conflict, Italy managed to lead the group, accompanied by Ghana, which surprised everyone by qualifying at the expense of the Czech Republic, because of its leading player Pavel Nedved.

South Africa 2010:

Group eight was named the “iron” group. It included Spain, which ranked second, Chile 71st, Switzerland 13th, and Honduras 35th, making the average rating 16.75.

Despite the loss in the opening game, the Spanish team managed to dominate, and eventually qualified for the second round, accompanied by Chile, which was eliminated  after a match against Brazil in the semi-finals.

Brazil 2014 World Cup:

The seventh group was named death group, and included Germany ranking second globally, Ghana ranking 23rd, Portugal 14th, and the US 13th, making the average ranking 13.

Germany qualified for the second round, but was eliminated by Belgium.

The last three World Cups from 2006 to 2014 were won by a team from the so-called death group. They were Italy, Spain, and Germany.

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Smallest 3 countries participating in World Cup Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:30:22 +0000 For more than two and a half years, the 2018 World Cup Russia qualifiers have witnessed hundreds of matches that have qualified 32 teams for the international competition. Daily News Egypt sheds light on the smallest three countries in terms of population censuses participating in the most important football event in the world. The smallest …

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For more than two and a half years, the 2018 World Cup Russia qualifiers have witnessed hundreds of matches that have qualified 32 teams for the international competition.

Daily News Egypt sheds light on the smallest three countries in terms of population censuses participating in the most important football event in the world.

The smallest country to qualify for the competition is Iceland, with a population of about 320,000.

Iceland, which had a big surprise in the UEFA Euro 2016, reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament, continued its series of football successes to top its group with 22 points and qualifying for the World Cup.

In a group of teams with a long history in football, such as the Turkish and Croatian teams, the number of professional players registered with the Football Association of Iceland does not exceed 100 players.

The country’s population is about 330,000, while it has about 900,000 sheep, according to official Icelandic statistics.

Panama is also one of the surprises of the World Cup, as the country qualified for the World Cup after taking the qualifying spot for the North American and Caribbean continent.

The spot came at the expense of the Costa Rican team in a historic match, in which Panama won over Costa Rica with two goals.

The third surprise is Costa Rica, which is participating in the World Cup for the fifth time in its history, despite the population of the country being no more than 4 million people.

Costa Rica, ranked second in the North American and Caribbean qualifiers, has a number of professional players in international leagues.

For the first time in its history, Russia will host the FIFA World Cup between 14 June and 15 July 2018.

The tournament will be played in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Rostov-on-Don.

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Accommodation prices in Russia doubled 20 times, reaching EGP 41,000 per night Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:00:39 +0000 The Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) has issued a stern warning to the hotels of Volgograd, which will host the match between Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the end of Group A of the 2018 World Cup. According to the Russian news agency Tass, the Rospotrebnadzor confirmed that …

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The Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) has issued a stern warning to the hotels of Volgograd, which will host the match between Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the end of Group A of the 2018 World Cup.

According to the Russian news agency Tass, the Rospotrebnadzor confirmed that hotels in the city of Volgograd are trying to discredit Russia during the World Cup, as the prices of hotels are 20 times the usual price of a night’s stay in the range of RUB 130,000, which is equivalent to $2,300, or EGP 41,000, which is the price at Hotel Gallery Park Volgograd.

Hotel Gallery Park Volgograd is the most famous hotel in the city, which has 314 hotels. Hotels in the city are between three and seven stars, making the city’s hotels able to accommodate nearly 21,000 people a day.

The Russian parliament, the Federal Assembly, is considering setting up a price list for hotels during the tournament to prevent fans from being exploiting during the tournament.

Egypt will start the World Cup against Uruguay on 15 June in Yekaterinburg and then play with host Russia in Saint Petersburg. The first round match against Saudi Arabia will be held on 25 June.

Russia will host the World Cup between 14 June and 15 July in 11 Russian cities.

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Your guide to Russia Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:30:37 +0000 For football fans wanting to travel to support Egypt in the World Cup, transportation there is free and the price for a night’s stay is only around $25. The draw for the 2018 World Cup, held at the Kremlin Palace in Russia, put the Egyptian team in Group A alongside the Russian, Uruguayan, and Saudi …

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For football fans wanting to travel to support Egypt in the World Cup, transportation there is free and the price for a night’s stay is only around $25.

The draw for the 2018 World Cup, held at the Kremlin Palace in Russia, put the Egyptian team in Group A alongside the Russian, Uruguayan, and Saudi Arabian teams.

The national team starts their Group A matches against Uruguay on 15 June, then Russia on 19 June and Saudi Arabia on 25 June. The Egyptian team, also known as the Pharaohs, will be playing their three group games at three different venues.

Many Egyptian fans are looking for ways to reach the cities hosting Egypt’s matches. Egypt will play in the first round in the three Russian cities of Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, and Saint Petersburg.


Egyptian fans can get to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg through flights from Egypt, laying over in Dubai, and thenflying to Yekaterinburg, where the city has an international airport called Koltsovo.

The Russian city of Yekaterinburg was founded on 18 November 1723, with a population of 1.455 million.

The fans can reach the city of Yekaterinburg a few days before the start of the game, scheduled for Friday 15 June against Uruguay at 4:00 pm at the Ekaterinburg Arena.

Fans can book a Fly Dubai flight to reach the city of Yekaterinburg and search for cheaper hotels and places to stay for at least two days.

The stadium can also be reached through public transport in Russia, which will be available to all fans of the World Cup free of charge, or a special taxi stand that takes people to the stadium in six minutes.

Spectatorrs can book a room at Hostel RED in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, where a room is priced at EGP 420 per night.

Saint Petersburg

After Egypt’s match in the city of Yekaterinburg,  Egyptian fans will need to reach the next match in Russia’s oldest city, Saint Petersburg, a day away from Yekaterinburg using free trains that will be available to all match-goers in the city where the team will play.

Before arriving in Saint Petersburg, fans must book a hotel room for at least two days. The Egyptian team match which is on 15 June in Yekaterinburg will force fans to leave the city on 16 June to get to Saint Petersburg the next day.

Spectators can get a room at RED’s branch in Saint Petersburg, named Red HouseHostel where a room’s cost will be slightly higher than other cities.

The city’s Saint-Petersburg Stadium can be reached in one hour via a free train for World Cup fans.


After Egypt’s match in Saint Petersburg on 19 June, Saudi Arabia will face the final match in the Russian city of Volgograd, which is also a day’s travel from Saint Petersburg, using free trains for World Cup fans.

The trip is different from the other journey from the city of Yekaterinburg to Saint Petersburg, where fans can stay for a while in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg to enjoy the beauty of the Russian city, as the match between the Egyptians and Saudis on 25 June provides a chance to enjoy the city for several days.

Fans should go to the train station at 10:00 pm to arrive in the Russian city of Volgograd the next evening, as the journey takes 24 hours by train.

Before leaving Saint Petersburg, fans must book at hostel, such as Scotch Hostel, where the average room rate is EGP 200. Fans can go to the train station to travel to the city stadium where the Egyptian team will meet the Saudi team at Volgograd Arena.

The post Your guide to Russia  appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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