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Mario Goetze
Mario Goetze Credits: Sky Sports
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2014 World Cup Winner Mario Goetze To Part Ways With Borussia Dortmund After The Current Season

The goalscorer for Germany in the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Mario Goetze will no longer be a part of Borussia Dortmund after this season. Dortmund’s sports director Michael Zorc confirmed on Saturday that Mario Goetze will end his run with the team after the season comes to a close.

Although Goetze had helped Borussia Dortmund win the league and cup double in 2011 and 2012 before he left for Bayern Munich in 2013, he made a space for himself in world football only when he made Germany the world champions in the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a superb volley against Argentina in the final.

Mario Goetze
Mario Goetze Credits: Bundesliga

However, his prowess faded away with time and in 2016, he returned to Borussia Dortmund only to warm the bench time and again. And with Erling Haaland’s addition to the side this year, Mario Goetze does not find himself a regular fit in the team anymore.

Mario Goetze To Part Ways With Borussia Dortmund After The End Of This Season

“We will stop working together with Mario Goetze in the summer,” Zorc told Sky before Saturday’s Bundesliga game away to Wolfsburg.

Mario Goetze
Mario Goetze

“It is a joint decision after a constructive conversation. Mario is a really good guy,” he added.

Borussia Dortmund March On In Their Bundesliga Campaign

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund have once again carried on from where they left it in the last game. Tremendous possession, a very high pressing, and jaw-dropping runs from midfield, this was how Borussia Dortmund began when they took on Vfl Wolfsburg on Matchday 27 at the Volkswagen Arena.

Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund Credits: Bundesliga

Dortmund beat Wolfsburg by 2-0 and inch closer to Bayern Munich on the Bundesliga points table. The goalscorers for Dortmund were Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi. Thorgan Hazard and Jadon Sancho claimed the assists respectively.

Also Read: On This Day In 2014: Real Madrid Scripted History To Win Their 10th Champions League Title- La Decima

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Toni Kroos, retire
Toni Kroos (Image Credit: Google)
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Toni Kroos Speaks About His International Retirement Plan

German midfielder Toni Kroos has recently revealed that he will think about his international future after the next year’s UEFA Euro competition.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has a successful career. Apart from achieving many successes for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, Kroos also played a crucial part for Germany to win the FIFA World Cup 2014. He was one of the ten contenders to win the Golden Ball of that tournament.

However, four years later, he had an awful experience in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, where the defending champions Germany were eliminated from the Group Stages. According to the speculations, Kroos was considering to retire from international football after that 2018 WC.

Toni Kroos, retire
Toni Kroos (Image Credit: Google)

However, he has destroyed those speculations by continuing his international career. Recently, he has claimed that he will think about his international future after the UEFA Euro 2020.

Kroos recently told Kicker, “After the tournament, it’s a good time to think about it.”

Toni Kroos’ big goal is winning the UEFA Euro

Kroos is now eyeing to win the UEFA Euro 2020. He participated in the two previous UEFA Euro editions (2012 and 2016), and both times, his nation lost the semi-finals. Now, his big goal is to win the UEFA Euro.

He said about the European Championship trophy, “Of course, winning the title is a big goal.”

After the last World Cup, Germany had another disappointing performance in the inaugural UEFA Nations League (2018/19). Fighting in the Group 1 of League A system along with Netherlands and France, Germany finished in the last position. They failed to win at least one match in that edition as they drew twice and lost twice in that tournament.

Toni Kroos, retire
A moment during France vs Germany in Nations League (Image Credit: Google)

However, Kroos has claimed that their playing style has improved since the 2018 WC.

He claimed, “Even in the Nations League, which is not the most important competition, there was a certain change in our playing style, even if it wasn’t reflected in the results.”

They have proved it in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying where they have won all their first three matches.

He has also admitted that they need to overcome the lack of experiences ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020.

Germany FIFA World Cup 2018
Germany would defend their title at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
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FIFA World Cup 2018: Team Analysis – Germany

The Die Mannschaft are going into the mega tournament as defending champions. Once again, Germany assembled a dream team with plenty of world-class talents on their roster.

Having won the World Cup after 24 years back in 2014, the burden of expectations is once again high on the German national team. They are undoubtedly the most successful team in World Cups beside Brazil. The team had also won the curtain raiser, Confederations Cup last summer with a plethora of youngsters.

Joachim Low continues to amaze people with his man management skills. The coach was forced to take some harsh decisions in deciding his final squad. He left out in form Leroy Sane, as the youngster could not deliver for the national team yet.

On the other hand, the coach retained the core of the team that won the World Cup four years ago. Let us take a deeper look at their squad.

Defense

With Manuel Neuer back in the goal, the team has a genuine leader at the back to motivate the troops.

He was dearly missed at FC Bayern Munich throughout the season after his injury back in September. Both Jerome Boateng and Mat Hummels form the best Center-Back duo in the world.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Team Analysis - Germany 1
Manuel Neuer

Meanwhile, Joshua Kimmich made himself the best right back in the world after his stellar performances for Bayern last season. Jonas Hector is expected to start at the left-back position after his consistent performances for the team over the past couple of years.

All in all, the defense looks well positioned and Niklas Sule has proved to be a very good backup.

Midfield

The German national team has an abundance of riches in the midfield. The likes of Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan will be amongst the front-runners for the three midfield positions for Germany.

FIFA World Cup 2018
Toni Kroos would be a vital cog in the wheel for Germany for FIFA World Cup 2018.

Mesut Ozil would primarily play as a No.10 in this lineup. Another pass master Toni Kroos is expected to start in the role of an anchor behind Ozil to set the tempo of the game.

Meanwhile, Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira should play as the defensive midfielder in the set-up. They are pretty well stocked up in this area.

Attack

The only major concern for Germany going into this FIFA World Cup 2018 is not having an in-form striker.

Although Joachim Low picked Mario Gomez, the player is no longer in his prime. Apart from the veteran striker, there is Timo Werner, but the youngster is no classic No.9.

Muller says not many satisfied with Germany's performance at Euro
Muller says not many satisfied with Germany’s performance at Euro

But the Germans have Thomas Muller, who can poach goals out of nothing. He already has ten World Cup goals to his name and will look to extend his tally.

He is expected to start on the right wing. Whereas, either Marco Reus/Julain Draxler will be starting on the other wing.

Germany Squad for FIFA World Cup 2018

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern München), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St-Germain).

Defenders: Jérôme Boateng (Bayern München), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jonas Hector (1.FC Köln), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Niklas Süle (Bayern).

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern)

Strikers: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Müller (Bayern), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).

Image Source: Twitter
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Germany Hold France In Football Friendly

Berlin, Nov 15 (IANS) Germany snatched a late 2-2 draw on home soil after substitute Lars Stindl provided the injury-time equalizer in Cologne.

FIFA World Cup champions Germany avoided a defeat at the last international match in 2017 as the hosts fought back twice on goals from Timo Werner and Lars Stindl on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Both sides staged a lively opening period as Germany tested France goalkeeper Steve Mandana through Mesut Oezil before Blaise Matuidi rattled the side netting from close range with seven minutes played.

Germany Hold France In Football Friendly 3
Germany (Image Source: Twitter)

As the match progressed, France assumed control of the ball and the proceedings on the pitch. They took a well-deserved lead 34 minutes into the encounter when Anthony Martial’s square pass allowed Alexandre Lacazette to tap home the opener from very close range.

The hosts needed the break to recover from the setback as Anthony Ruediger had a promising chance to level the scores before Timo Werner capitalized on a through ball from Oezil to restore parity in the 56th minute.

Joachim Loew’s men gained momentum but failed to grab the lead as Toni Kross rattled the woodwork following a free kick in the 70th minute. France punished the hosts’ wastefulness as Kylian Mbappe teed up for Lacazette, who provided the second goal of the evening against the run of the game.

France should have sealed the deal in the 89th minute, but Anthony Martial failed to overcome Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp following a one-on-one encounter.

Thus, Germany had the last laugh as Lars Stindl benefitted from Mario Goetze’s lay up to make it 2-2 in the dying minutes of the game to shock the visitors from France.

“I am very satisfied with the last two test games. Both games provided important insights for us. Today we played against a good team with excellent players. We staged an average first half but we improved our performance in the second half. However, France remained always dangerous,” German head coach Joachim Loew said.

Germany Hold France In Football Friendly 4
Joachim Loew
FIFA 2018 World Cup draw
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FIFA World Cup Home Kits For 5 Nations Launched

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) adidas, a sportswear manufacturer, revealed the new home kits of Germany, Spain, Argentina, hosts Russia and Japan for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it was announced on Monday.

The kit for Germany is a modern interpretation of one of the country’s most famous jerseys worldwide, the iconic 1990 shirt.

The new jersey builds on this classic design with an improved and reworked performance silhouette featuring dropped shoulder cut lines.

Host nation Russia’s home kit is a modern interpretation of the jersey worn by the Soviet Union during the 1988 Olympic Games, where the team won Gold. The red jersey features solid white lines running from the back across the arms and onto the chest, offering a modern and bold look.

The new Argentina home kit is a celebration of the AFA’s 125th year anniversary. The kit pays tribute to the anniversary by subtly incorporating laurels, a key element of the Argentinean coat of arms and the AFA crest, into the iconic blue and white stripes.

The Spain home shirt pays homage to one of the country’s most famous shirts, the jersey worn at the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

FIFA World Cup Home Kits For 5 Nations Launched 5
Spain’s home shirt (Image Source: Google)

It features a dynamic line graphic design consisting of diamonds in red, yellow and blue.

The home jersey for Japan takes inspiration from handcrafted Japanese Apparel Design. The graphic mimics the traditional craftsmanship of the Sashiko stitching technique, which is made by white rough threads on an indigo dyed base.

The kit features a new shade of blue with hues of red and white in representation of the national flag.

Commenting on the development, Hrishikesh Shende, Director Football, adidas India said: “adidas has created so many products, innovations and looks through the decades which became true icons in the football world. We want to celebrate those icons in the world of today.”

Mario Gotze (Image Source: Google)
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I’m Back To 100 Percent: Goetze

Berlin, Nov 9 (IANS) “I am back to 100 percent,” said Mario Goetze in advance of his return to international action with the German national team in a friendly football match against England this Friday evening in London.

I'm Back To 100 Percent: Goetze 6
Mario Goetze (Image Source: Google)

Due to a disorder, the 25-year-old midfielder made his last appearance for the 2014 world champions 12 months ago, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I am on a good way and feel well. It was a hard time for me,” he said after having to accept an unusual illness, “It is nothing you can grab like a torn ligament or a broken bone.”

Goetze said he will focus on the future. “I have watched the games of the German team telling myself I want to be back as soon as possible. I am looking forward to 2018.”

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is optimistic of further progress in the months until the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“Our team is on a good way, and we will have a competitive squad. Our goal is clear: We want to play a good tournament and go for the title.”

Goetze not only restructured his private life but changed his role on the pitch as he moved back from the first line to his favourite position in midfield to address his team’s needs as a conductor between the lines.

“I have played several positions, but the one in midfield is my favourite one,” said Goetze.

Being sidelined for so long, “you start to think a lot about yourself and your game. You think about your future goals,” Goetze said.

“The way is to show a constantly good performance in my club. As far as the national team is concerned a lot of time has passed, we had the European Championships in France and the Confed-Cup. I am the returning one now,” said Goetze.

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Midfielders Goetze, Guendogan Back In Germany Squad

Berlin, Nov 4 (IANS) Midfielders Mario Goetze and Ilkay Guendogan made a comeback to the German squad for football friendlies against England and France, Germany head coach Joachim Loew has confirmed.

After 354 days of absence, Dortmund’s Goetze and Manchester City’s Guendogan have been appointed again for Germany’s national team, reports Xinhua news agency.

Midfielders Goetze, Guendogan Back In Germany Squad 7
Mario Gotze (Image Source: Google)

“Mario Goezte and Ilkay Guendogan have stabilised after their injury breaks. They play important roles in their clubs and are in rhythm. They have proven what they can do for their team when they are fit. We are glad that they are back,” Loew said.

Midfielders Goetze, Guendogan Back In Germany Squad 8
Joachim Loew

Loew ensured a surprise after appointing Leipzig’s 26-year-old defender Marcel Halstenberg for the first time for the national team.

“Marcel has consistently performed well in his club and has proven in the Champions League that he can compete on an international level. We are convinced of his potential. Now we have the opportunity to test him against strong teams,” Loew explained.

The 25-man squad is composed of eight 2014 FIFA World champions and 16 players, who won the FIFA Confederations Cup in the summer 2017.

The Germans travel to England to take on the “Three Lions” on November 10 before France encounter the “Nationalelf” four days later in Cologne. The upcoming international caps are part of Loew’ s preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018.

“At the end of the year, we meet two top national teams at eye level. These are going to be really good tests, which will provide us further insights with a view to the World Cup,” Loew said.

“England is very strong at the moment and has many good young players. France has also many outstanding players, all of them are well trained, fast and athletic.”

Germany’s full squad:

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St. Germain)

Defender: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Marcel Halstenberg (Leipzig), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich)

Midfielder/Forwards: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (FC Liverpool), Julian Draxler (Paris St. Germain), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gunedogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Oezil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Lars Stindl (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sandro Wagner (Hoffenheim), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Amin Younes (Ajax).

Image Source: Getty Images
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Germany Thrash Azerbaijan For Perfect World Cup Qualification Campaign

Kaiserslautern (Germany), Oct 9 (IANS) Reigning World Cup champions Germany registered their 10th win in as many games easing past Azerbaijan 5-1 in the last game of Group C in the World Cup qualifiers.

Germany have completed a perfect qualification campaign on the road to Russia 2018 as a brace from Leon Goretzka helped the hosts to overcome Azerbaijan here on Sunday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

The hosts ensured a perfect start as Germany broke the deadlock eight minutes into the game when Leon Goretzka picked up the ball following a corner to slot home with his back heel.

Joachim Loew’s men should have added another goal to their lead at the half-hour mark but Sandro Wagner rattled only the woodwork from inside the penalty box.

Azerbaijan bounced back and shocked the hosts with the equalizer out of the blue after Ramil Sheidaev overcame Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from sharp angle to make it 1-1 on the scoreboards moments later.

The equaliser put the hosts on the back foot, as Joachim Loew’s needed half time to reload his team’s offence. Germany grabbed the 2-1 lead through Sandro Wagner, who benefited on Julian Brandt’s cross in the 54th minute.

Germany gained momentum and extended their lead ten minutes later when Antonio Ruediger’s deflected header on target found the back of the net before Goretzka wrapped up his brace after tapping home Leroy Sane’s low cross in the 66th minute.

Azerbaijan were unable to put up resistance, whereas Germany kept it bowling to increase their advantage to 5-1 as Emre Can unleashed a hammer to beat custodian Kamran Aghayev with nine minutes to play.

World Cup holders Germany have completed their perfect run with 10 wins from as many games in the qualifiers.

Germany finished at the top of the standings in Group C with 30 points followed by Northern Ireland (19 points), the Czech Republic (15 points), Norway (13 points), Azerbaijan (10 points) and San Marino (0 points).

FIFA 2018 World Cup draw
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Germany, England Clinch 2018 FIFA World Cup Berths

London, Oct 6 (IANS) Germany remained perfect in the European zone qualifiers while England secured the top place in their group as both sides assured themselves of berths in the 2018 football World Cup in Russia.

Germany and England on Thursday joined host nation Russia and Belgium, who clinched it in the previous round, in the European contingent, which will ultimately include 14 teams in all, reports Efe.

Germany, the 2014 World Cup winners, have 27 of 27 possible points after besting Northern Ireland 3-1 on goals by Sebastian Rudy, Sandro Wagner and Joshua Kimmich in Belfast.

“The fact that we’ve now already qualified shows that we’ve had a great World Cup qualification campaign,” Germany defender Jerome Boateng was quoted as saying by Germany football association’s website.

The Northern Irish side, with 19 points and a lock on the second spot in Group C, will look to increase their total when they face Norway next week in the 10th and final qualifying match.

Eight of the nine second-place finishers will face each other in playoffs for a chance to go to Russia.

A late goal by Harry Kane gave England a 1-0 victory against Slovenia.

Leading second-place Scotland by six points with one match to play, the English are assured of winning Group F.

“We know we have to get better but that’s for tomorrow,” England chief coach Gareth Southgate said in a statement.

“But tonight, as a country, we go to the World Cup. This team has potential, but we’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do,” he added.

“We come off the back of what happened in the last European Championships with the change of coach, a lot of difficulties throughout the campaign, but we’re there and we look to where we can improve all the time.

“This is a young team, they’re still learning all the time and nights like this aren’t straightforward.”

Scotland, who defeated Slovakia 1-0 on Thursday, have only a two-point advantage over the Slovaks and are three points up on Slovenia.

Scotland can secure second place with a victory against Slovenia on Sunday.

Poland moved a step closer to clinching the top spot in Group E with a 6-1 rout of Armenia. Robert Lewandowski had a hat trick, becoming his country’s all-time leader scorer, with 50 goals in 90 appearances for the national squad.

The Poles have 22 points, three more than second-place Denmark, who defeated Montenegro 1-0 on Thursday and look likely to reach the playoff, given that the Montenegrins must contend with Poland in their final match.

Thursday’s other four European qualifiers involved teams already out of contention.

The Czech Republic defeated Azerbaijan 2-1; Romania cruised to a 3-1 win against Kazakhstan; Malta and Lithuania deadlocked 1-1; and Norway pounded hapless San Marino 8-0.

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India Drop 10 Places In FIFA Rankings, Germany Leads

Zurich, Sep 14 (IANS) The Indian football team have dropped 10 places to 107 in the FIFA rankings released on Thursday. Germany tops the list after displacing Brazil to the second spot.

The Sunil Chhetri-led side registered two victories and a draw in three matches after they were placed at the 97th spot in August. But this did not help India.

India defeated Mauritius and held St Kitts and Nevis to a draw to clinch the Tri-nation football series before defeating Macau in an away fixture in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualification third round.

The Tri-nation football series didn’t fall on the designated FIFA match days, and so they were not counted for the rankings.

India have dropped below the 100th spot for the first time since May.

Meanwhile, Germany displaced Brazil to take the top spot. The reigning World Cup champions rose one spot from last month’s rankings while Brazil are currently placed second.

Current European champions Portugal climbed three rungs to the third spot while Argentina dropped one spot to the fourth position. Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, France, Chile and Colombia round off the top 10.

Iran continued to be the top ranked nation in Asia although it dropped one spot to 25th. Japan are the second highest in the continent at 40 followed by Australia (50), South Korea (51) and Saudi Arabia (53).

Egypt was the highest ranked among African nations at 30 followed by Tunisia (31), Senegal (33) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (42).

Zambia made some dramatic gains, jumping 18 places to make their strongest ever rise in the FIFA rankings. The former African champions rose from 96th to 78th following back-to-back victories over formidable Algeria in the World Cup qualifiers.

The defeats cost Algeria dearly as they dropped 14 places to 62.

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