Tag Archives: beckenbauer

Lionel Messi deserves Ballon D"Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, say football greats

Football greats say Messi deserves Ballon D'Or ahead of rival Ronaldo

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lionel Messi should be crowned the best footballer in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to some of the game’s greatest players.

In a poll of 13 of the Ballon D’Or’s past winners, Messi beat his greatest rival Cristiano Ronaldo by seven votes to three with three others claiming they could not choose between them.

France Football, the publication that originally commissioned the trophy back in 1956, spoke to past winners Kaka, Alfredo di Stefano, Ruud Gullit, Luis Figo, Kevin Keegan, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Marco Van Basten, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Raymond Kopa, Matthias Sammer, Franz Beckenbauer, Andrei Shevchenko and Gianni Rivera.

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Asked to give their choice, former England captain Keegan, who won the trophy in 1978 and 1979, sided with brilliant Barcelona star Messi. His view was shared by Rumenigge, van Basten, Suarez, Kopa, Sammer and Shevchenko.

Surprisingly, former Real Madrid stars di Stefano and Figo plus ex-Chelsea midfielder Gullit all said they couldn’t decide while Kaka voted for his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo as did Beckenbauer and former Milan midfielder Rivera.

Messi, who first won in 2009, is the favourite to win again at the award ceremony in Zurich on January 7.

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

The golden ball trophy was originally made to recognise the best player in Europe when it was awarded for the very first time by France Football in 1956 to Stanley Matthews and 44 players have won it in total.

It merged with FIFA’S World Player of the Year award in 2010.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

1 Sergio Aguero
2 Mario Balotelli
3 Karim Benzema
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Sergio Busquets
6 Iker Casillas
7 Didier Drogba
8 Radamel Falcao
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 Andrs Iniesta
11 Lionel Messi
12 Manuel Neuer
13 Neymar
14 Mesut zil
15 Gerard Piqu
16 Andrea Pirlo
17 Sergio Ramos
18 Cristiano Ronaldo
19 Wayne Rooney
20 Yaya Tour
21 Robin van Persie
22 Xabi Alonso
23 Xavi Hernandez

David Beckham boosts football crowds in US

The 'Beckham effect' is working as football crowds grow in the US

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UPDATED:

12:10 GMT, 31 October 2012

When David Beckham moved to the MLS from Real Madrid, it was said he had only gone for the money and how he had 'sold out'. But the Americans knew they were onto a good thing and believed that 'Brand Beckham' would help them finally grow 'soccer' domestically.

That was in 2007. Most others had failed, even in the days of Pele, Beckenbauer, Best and the razzamatazz of the North American Soccer League, which eventually crashed and burned after a bright start.

It may have lasted from 1968 to 1984 and gates for the New York Cosmos regularly topped 40,000, but it wasn't taken seriously and was seen by many as a retirement home for some of the world's best players – a final chance to earn a few quid.

The same was said about Beckham when he joined LA Galaxy. But the Americans are beginning to see the effect of signing players like the former England captain, ex-Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane.

Having a ball: Beckham and LA Galaxy team-mate Robbie Keane drop in to watch the LA Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA

Having a ball: Beckham and LA Galaxy team-mate Robbie Keane drop in to watch the LA Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA

While once there was only one game of football in America and it was the gridiron kind, that's no longer the case. With NBC winning the rights to show Barclays Premier League football next season, its seems the popularity of football is on the increase.

While the growth has been slow, attendance figures revealed by FIFA show the MLS is now the seventh highest average attendance in world football.

LA Galaxy midfielder Beckham, the highest paid player in the MLS, has done his bit.

Average attendances grew to 18,807 during their 'regular' season and while that is less than Wigan's home gate for their 2-1 win against West Ham (the smallest weekend gate in the Barclays Premier League) and less than Cardiff, Leeds and Leicester attracted in The Championship in their most recent home games, it is an increase of almost 1,000 supporters on last season.

MLS fans cover David Beckham as he is about to take a corner against Toronto

MLS fans cover David Beckham as he is about to take a corner against Toronto

Stream on: Beckham looks to be searching for the ball in Toronto their fans shower him with streamers

Stream on: Beckham looks to be searching for the ball in Toronto their fans shower him with streamers

More than six million supporters watched matches in 2012 – the first time the MLS has reached beyond the six million mark since its inception in 1996.

The highest average was for the Seattle Sounders, for the fourth successive campaign, with a record-breaking 43,144.

Beckham, who won the 2011 MLS Cup, with The Galaxy has had a successful career with Manchester United and Real Madrid. he signed a new two year contract to stay in America when he was recently courted by Paris St Germain.

Pele (New York Cosmos, left) and George Best of the LA Aztecs were good friends and rivals in the North American Soccer League.

Pele (New York Cosmos, left) and George Best of the LA Aztecs were good friends and rivals in the North American Soccer League.

He will be able to watch more English football soon too.

NBC have explained the thinking
behind their three year contract. John Miller, the NBC Sports President
of programming said: “I have a 23-year-old and a 27-year-old son and I
have a lot of friends who have sons and daughters of the same age – they
have all become Chelsea fans, Arsenal fans, Manchester United fans,
Tottenham fans.

'Even though there's just a handful of Americans playing on those teams, they are appealing.' NBC also screen MLS football.

Pele was the darling of the New York Cosmos in the 70's, but the league petered out

Pele was the darling of the New York Cosmos in the 70's, but the league petered out

THE AMERICANS ARE CATCHING UP (BUT STILL HAVE A BIT TO DO)
Country
League
Average attendance 2012
Germany
Bundesliga
42,387
England
Premier League
35,719
Spain
La Liga
28,138
Italy
Serie A
23,176
Argentina
Primera Division
22,491
Mexico
Primera Division
21,559
USA
Major League Soccer
18,807

Source: FIFA.com

Pele and Franz Beckenbauer FIFA group wound up

FIFA put Pele and Beckenbauer in charge of sexing up football… and all they came up with was a handshake

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 30 October 2012

A FIFA working group featuring Pele and Franz
Beckenbauer has been wound up after their discussions on how to make the
World Cup more exciting produced little more than a suggestion on
handshakes.

'The FIFA Task Force Football 2014, which started in
May 2011, has concluded its work following discussions on possible
reforms of the game,' said FIFA.

'Several members of this task force, including its
chairman Franz Beckenbauer, will now integrate with the FIFA Football
Committee, a permanent standing committee which will continue to present
proposals to improve the game.'

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

The task force, also featuring several other former
international players, was asked to find ways of making World Cup
matches less defensive after a number of lacklustre games at the 2010
edition in South Africa.

The committee made an inauspicious start when former
Germany captain and coach Beckenbauer and England 1966 World Cup winner
Bobby Charlton missed the first meeting in May last year while former
Brazil great Pele never took part.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter initially said he wanted
the task force to examine the possible return of the 'golden goal' and
the abolition of extra time after drawn matches in the knockout stages.

During this year's FIFA Congress in Budapest, Blatter
suggested Beckenbauer's group could even consider the abolition of
penalty shootouts.

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Chairman Beckenbauer, however, was reluctant to suggest anything that drastic.

At the group's last meeting in February the German spoke mostly about the importance of players shaking hands.

He suggested footballers should line-up in the centre
circle and shake hands after a game as he did in his schooldays, and
that teams should take the field together for the second half.

The task force put forward a proposal that teams be
allowed to make a fourth substitute during extra time but this was
turned down in March by the International Football Association Board
(IFAB), the sport's rule-making body.

Another suggestion to abolish the so-called triple
punishment – where a player who gives away a penalty is also sent off
and automatically suspended for the next match – was put on hold by the
IFAB.

Bobby Moore reached 100 caps in a dignified way, sharp contrast to Ashley Cole

Different class: The dignified way Bobby Moore reached 100 caps is in sharp contrast to the crassness of England defender Cole

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 9 October 2012

When the footballer acclaimed by Pele and Franz Beckenbauer as the best defender of all time won his 100th England cap, the occasion was marked by Bobby Moore doing one of the things he enjoyed most.

Driving the Scots demented with frothing frustration, suppressed rage – and grudging admiration.

On St Valentine's Day, 1973, the commanding figure of the only English captain ever to raise the World Cup aloft led his country to the massacre of Scotland at Hampden Park. Great and terrible was the gnashing of sporrans.

Otherwise, the celebration of that noble century was largely confined to a few mentions in the papers, something said by Sir Alf Ramsey, then a few beers with the chaps when we got back to London.

Enlarge

If the caps fit: Bobby Moore poses with 99 boys from the primary school opposite Upton Park on the eve of his 100th England game

If the caps fit: Bobby Moore poses with 99 boys from the primary school opposite Upton Park on the eve of his 100th England game

Bobby dazzler: Moore (right) wins his 100th cap as he and Billy Bremner lead the England and Scotland teams out at Hampden Park in 1973

Bobby dazzler: Moore (right) wins his 100th cap as he and Billy Bremner lead the England and Scotland teams out at Hampden Park in 1973

The jolliest item in the sports pages
was the photograph shown here for which the cameraman had to borrow not
only 99 schoolboys but some caps from other England players, because
each of those items of symbolic headgear was bestowed by the FA not for
each game but for clusters of matches.

An earlier battle with the Auld Enemy
in 1968 set the pattern for what to expect when we landed at Glasgow
airport. An intrepid tartan sportswriter had ventured: 'Welcome to
Scotland, Sir Alf.'

The glowering reply from the England manager in those less politically correct times, was: 'You must be effin' joking.'

The Scots never took to Alf but Bobby
was a different matter. No matter how feisty the sporting enmity,
admiration of greatness at the fitba' resides deep in their soul.

The score that day was 5-0. Take good note of the nil.

When, after games like this in which
their finest foundered on his haughty defending and they called him
'that bastard Moore,' it was said with enormous respect. When the bloody
English failed to knight him, the Scots were first to take to calling
him 'Sir Robert.'

Little or no fuss was made by the FA
as Moore joined the ranks of England’s precious few centurions.Certainly
nothing like the Wembley presentation of a golden cap in a
gold-plated case to Goldenballs when David Beckham reached his 100.

And, most damning of all, nothing like
the palaver that was being planned for the crass Ashley Cole when
expected to reach that landmark next week.

Cole is a very fine defender but Bobby
Moore he is not. Nor, as a leader of men, inspirational figurehead,
honourable gentleman or human being, would he have been fit to breathe
the same air as Mooro, let alone lace his boots.

Moore was intensely loyal but he would
have castigated John Terry, not least for his own good, for that ugly,
vulgar abusing of Anton Ferdinand.

The most imperial of captains had his
issues with the FA but – steeped as he was in the true values and
manners of genuine, old- fashioned working-class London – he would never
have stooped to tweeting crude insults had such a thing existed in his
day.

How soon the inhabitants of Chelsea’s
Bridge of Lies – along with so many of their foul-mouthed, cheating,
threatening colleagues in the Premier League – have forgotten the
dignified example of men like Moore. Forgotten those who paved the way
for them to bank theirinordinate (some would say obscene) pay cheques.

Centre of attention: Ashley Cole, seen here meeting Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at St Georges Park could reach 100 caps on Tuesday

Centre of attention: Ashley Cole, seen here meeting Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at St Georges Park could reach 100 caps on Tuesday

How the 100 club members celebrated

BILLY WRIGHT
(105 caps, captain in 90 games)
England 1 Scotland 0 (Wembley, April 11 1959) British Championship

Already captain. The first player to reach 100 caps. Bobby Charlton, who was the next centurion, scored the only goal. Wright was carried shoulder-high from the pitch by his team-mates.

SIR BOBBY CHARLTON
(106 caps, captain in 3 games)
England 3 N Ireland 1 (Wembley, April 21 1970) British Championship

Charlton was given the captaincy even though regular skipper Bobby Moore was in the team. Charlton, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst all scored. George Best replied.

BOBBY MOORE
(108 caps, captain in 90 games)
Scotland 0 England 5 (Hampden Park, February 14 1973) Scottish FA Centenary match

It turned out to be a stroll in the park for Moore, who was already captain. A Peter Lorimer own goal was added to by Allan Clarke (2), Mick Channon and Martin Chivers.

PETER SHILTON
(125 caps, captain in 15 games)
England 1 Holland 3 (Dusseldorf, June 15 1988) European Championship

The goalkeeper was given the captaincy but the must-win group match did not end well with Marco van Basten scoring a hat-trick. Bryan Robson netted for England.

DAVID BECKHAM
(115 caps, captain in 59 games)
France 1 England 0 (Stade de France, 26 March 2008) Friendly

The former captain was not given the armband in Paris and in a forgettable match, Beckham was booked for a foul on Franck Ribery and replaced by David Bentley in the second half.

The Mooro generation took their modest stipend and played their hearts out.

Although not poor while their careers
lasted – Bobby drove nice cars, lived in a detached house in stockbroker
Chigwell and dined in fine restaurants – they had to find work once the
glory days came to an end.

Class, he would have informed Master
Cole, does not come with the flash motor he almost crashed when told
Arsenal were only going to pay him as much in a week as Moore earned in a
year, at best. Class comes dressed in humility.

As arrogant Ashley struts his inflated
value of himself in the louche hideaways of today’s privileged
footballers, he might pause to ponder the truly great Bobby’s response
to a fan who came up to him in a pub after he had performed miracles for
West Ham and said: ‘People say you come across as aloof but you seem
really down to earth.’

Moore bought the guy a beer and said: ‘You know, if you’re quite good at something you don’t have to tell everybody.’

Quite good Of all the players in
English football history, Moore is one of the elite who might have been
forgiven for considering themselves worthy of just a modicum of special
treatment. Not him.

When he set the then-record of 107
caps in a friendly against Italy in Turin in the June of ’73, it was the
press, again, who had to salute the achievement.

We took a collection, bought an ornate
piece of Capi de Monte porcelain and presented it to him back at the
hotel after the match.

The celebration went on until we boarded the buses to the airport the following morning – but the party was almost over.

Moore had made a rare error – so rare
as to be a collector’s item – in a World Cup qualifier in Poland which
preceded the Italy game. Ramsey dropped Moore for the return match at
Wembley, only for his replacement Norman Hunter to make the identical
mistake.

Thus England drew a match, in which Poland barely got out of their own half, and failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

There was one Wembley game left in
’73, peculiarly another friendly with Italy. Ramsey recalled Moore as
captain for what was to be his 108th and last cap — a world record at
the time.

‘I sort of sensed it was the end,’ said Bobby. ‘But nothing was said on the night. I just went home.’

No grand farewell for a magnificent symbol of the national game. Not trumpets blaring. Just went home to wait for the letter.

Back then, even the greatest players
only found out whether they had been selected for the next England game
when the envelope from the FA dropped through the letter box.

For the first time since he made his
England debut in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, the letter did not come.
And that was the end of that.

Imagine the indignant, affronted,
self-righteous fury of Crass-ley and JT – and Becks for that matter – if
their England careers were abruptly ended without a personal,
sympathetic conversation with the manager and a sycophantic tribute from
the FA.

Scotland's 'Sir' Bobby Moore simply
said: 'The next World Cup is four years away. It’s time for younger
guys, fresh faces. I know they don’t need old Mooro any more.'

If the scorn being poured on Cole – as
well as his mate Terry – ignites a bonfire of false egos it will
perform a service to the game almost as important as that given by
England’s greatest captain.

INSIGHT – KENT GAVIN, photographer
Snapper: Kent Gavin

Bobby Moore and I were very good friends and we used to go on holiday to Marbella together along with the likes of Besty (George Best) and all the old crowd.

The summer before he played his 100th game for England I said to him that I’d like to take a photo to mark the occasion.

There used to be a primary school right in front of West Ham’s ground and I thought that would be perfect.

I told him I’d like to take a picture at the school with him right in the middle wearing his England shirt and 99 schoolchildren around him in the caps.

He said: ‘I’d love to do it, but there’s one problem – I don’t have 100 caps!’

I didn’t understand because everybody was saying he was about to play his 100th game. Bobby explained that when they used to play the home internationals they would only get one cap for the three games.

Anyway, I phoned Billy Wright and asked if he’d be willing to lend us his caps and he said he’d love to, so I made the arrangement for 32 of Billy’s caps to be picked up for the photo.

Then came the next problem – I didn’t want the caps to be mixed up as I knew that could be a nightmare with those kids.

I got the headmaster to give out Billy Wright’s caps and to make sure those boys gave their caps back to him, while I handed out Bobby’s caps and got the boys to give Bobby’s back to me.

There are only 99 children because it was just before his 100th game. We picked the 99 youngest at the school as it seemed the only way to make it fair.

If you look at the expressions on their faces you can see just how proud they are to be wearing those caps. It’s just magic.

I remember there was one cheeky devil who had to hand his cap back to the headmaster and came over to Bobby and pointing at the date on the cap, said: ‘I know you’re old, but you couldn’t have played in this game!’

Bobby just fell about laughing.

It took an hour to get the kids seated correctly and settled but it only took 12 frames, in the days of good old film, to capture the picture.

It worked because of the expression on the kids’ faces. Some of the caps don’t fit, some are pulling faces – it’s marvellous.

WERE YOU ONE OF THE CHILDREN IN THIS PICTURE If so, share your memories below

Franz Beckenbauer hits back at Sepp Blatter over World Cup vote claim

Beckenbauer blasts Blatter over suggestion of corruption in 2006 World Cup vote

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 16 July 2012

Franz Beckenbauer has hit back at suggestions by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that there was irregularity in the decision to award the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

In an interview with Switzerland's Blick newspaper yesterday, Blatter suggested the vote for the host of the 2006 World Cup had not run smoothly and he suspected malpractice.

However, Beckenbauer, who was head of the organising committee for that tournament, was unhappy with the comments.

Power games: Blatter (left) and Beckenbauer (right) at the 2006 World Cup

Power games: Blatter (left) and Beckenbauer (right) at the 2006 World Cup

'I cannot understand the remarks and suggestions of Sepp Blatter,' he said.

Blatter suggested the vote had been fixed to favour Germany over his own preference of South Africa.

Germany eventually won the right to host the tournament by 12 votes to 11, with New Zealand's representative of the Oceania confederation abstaining.

'When we talk about a World Cup being bought, I remember back to 2006 where, at the very last moment, somebody left the room and, instead of having a vote of 10-10, it finished 10-9 for Germany,' said Blatter.

'I am pleased because I did not have to cast a deciding vote but for somebody to suddenly leave the room – maybe I was too kind or too naive at the time.'

Can't kick me out: Blatter insists he'll never be forced out of his FIFA post

Can't kick me out: Blatter insists he'll never be forced out of his FIFA post

When asked if he presumed the vote had been fixed, Blatter said: 'I don't presume anything, I am stating facts.'

Those facts, according to Beckenbauer, are flawed.

'He has even got the result wrong,' he said in Germany's Bild newspaper. 'It was 12-11 and not 10-9.

'And what was decisive was that the eight Europeans all united behind us and voted for us.'

The president of Germany's Football League, Dr Reinhard Rauball, has called for Blatter to step down as a result of the ISL bribery scandal which has recently come to light, but Blatter has ruled that out.

'It is nothing new that people want rid of me,' said the Swiss. 'Sometimes it is the British media, then the American and then the German.

'The truth is, Rauball called me last Friday and told me that I should resign.

'I told him that it is not as easy as he imagines. The fact is, I have been elected by the congress.

'No club will decide whether and when I leave.'

Euro 2012: Joachim Low demands patience from German public

Low demands patience from the German public after 'lifeless' Euro 2012 exit

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UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 29 June 2012

Germany coach Joachim Low is certain his side will eventually turn their promise into trophies.

Another inquest has begun after the 2-1 Euro 2012 defeat by Italy, with 1990 World Cup-winning coach Franz Beckenbauer describing the Nationalmannschaft's performance as “lifeless”.

It was the third time in four major tournaments that Germany had crashed out at the semi-final stage.

Inquest: Low answers questions from the German press on his side's flight back from Warsaw to Frankfurt

Inquest: Low answers questions from the German press on his side's flight back from Warsaw to Frankfurt

Inquest: Low answers questions from the German press on his side's flight back from Warsaw to Frankfurt

On the other occasion, Germany were beaten by Spain at the last European Championship.

It is a sorry tale of woe for a country used to collecting major prizes and means they have still not lifted a trophy since Euro 96.

However, Low is using Spain as the example of patience now being required.

'It's hard to win a title,' he said.

'Spain waited years. It's a learning process for us, playing at this top level with these strong teams. You can't be impatient.'

Homeward bound: Low's squad board their flight at Warsaw

Homeward bound: Low's squad board their flight at Warsaw

Homeward bound: Low's squad board their flight at Warsaw

Low is adamant his side have improved since their third-place finish in the 2010 World Cup and can look back with pride on their achievements at this championship, where they set a new record of 15 consecutive victories in competitive games.

'The team has really moved forward in the last two years,' he said.

'We have caught up with lots of nations who were beyond us and we're at the same level as the really top teams.

'We didn't make it (against Italy), but there'll be other chances in the future.'

Inquest: Striker Miroslav Klose (left) and captain Philipp Lahm head walk across the tarmac at Frankfurt

Inquest: Striker Miroslav Klose (left) and captain Philipp Lahm head walk across the tarmac at Frankfurt

Inquest: Striker Miroslav Klose (left) and captain Philipp Lahm head walk across the tarmac at Frankfurt

Low conceded Germany were the architects of their own downfall on Thursday night, with poor defending leading to both Italy goals.

'One moment where you don't pay attention can cost you the game,' he said.

'We had three players on (Antonio) Cassano for that first goal, but he suddenly turns around and crosses. We should have stopped it.

'The second goal came after a long pass from a set-piece of our own.

'We didn't do well defensively twice, didn't pay attention and made mistakes.'

Back down to earth: Bastian Schweinsteiger was outshone by Italy's Andrea Pirlo

Back down to earth: Bastian Schweinsteiger was outshone by Italy's Andrea Pirlo

Now Germany must lick their wounds and respond during a World Cup qualifying group including fellow Euro 2012 contenders Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, from which only one side will definitely book their place in the finals in Brazil.

'Brazil is a while away yet,' he said.

'We'll go into a qualification campaign, but we've got a few new young players in the squad who have gained experience here, like Marco Reus.

'I don't think we'll change things around. We still have a very young team.'

Alternative penalty shootouts after Sepp Blatter call

Anyone for rock, paper, scissors Our 'alternative' options to shootouts…

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UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 25 May 2012

TODAY'S POLL

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VOTE

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As Sepp Blatter suggests football should call time on the penalty shootout, Sportsmail looks at the potential alternatives… and most of them seem pretty unworkable.

Hopefully Franz Beckenbauer and his Task Force will have a better stab at it than we have…

Glorious: Didier Drogba scores from the spot to win Chelsea the European Cup

Glorious: Didier Drogba scores from the spot to win Chelsea the European Cup

The Ice Hockey style

An even more demanding test of nerves than the spot-kick. The player taking the 'penalty' runs with the ball from the half way line, and has to beat the waiting goalkeeper in a one-on-one. Peter Schmeichel's dream scenario.

Play until they drop Type I

They could just drop the idea altogether. In this scenario, extra time carries on until someone scores a winner – regardless of time. With the players dropping like flies, this would surely be the football equivalent of a battle to the death.

Painful: Gareth Southgate after missing his crucial penalty against Germany at Euro 96

Painful: Gareth Southgate after missing his crucial penalty against Germany at Euro 96

Play until they drop Type II

Exactly the same as the first version, yet every five minutes a player from each team is taken off the pitch. So when 125 minutes is on the clock, the sides go to 10 players, at 130, nine players. /05/25/article-0-04B81F4C0000044D-280_468x361.jpg” width=”468″ height=”361″ alt=”Hard to take: Chris Waddle is comforted by Lothar Matthaus after 'that' World Cup shootout in 1990″ class=”blkBorder” />

Hard to take: Chris Waddle is comforted by Lothar Matthaus after 'that' World Cup shootout in 1990

Rock, paper, scissors

We could take football out of the equation. 'Bastian Schweinsteiger naively goes scissors, and Steven Gerrard goes rock… England win Euro 2012!' Unfortunately it seems a more likely scenario than beating Germany on penalties.

Call it a draw

Both sides could just dodge the agony of penalties by accepting the result after extra time. Deciding who progresses to the next round could be a potential pitfall of this alternative.

Jupp Heynckes: I could not work for Roman Abramovich

Heynckes blast for Abramovich: I could not be puppet for Roman

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 14 May 2012

Chelsea's search for a new manager is sure to gather momentum after Saturday’s Champions League final, and a win for Bayern Munich could conceivably add another name to those under review at Stamford Bridge.

Jupp Heynckes describes himself, with a glint in his eye, as a 'crafty old fox', and he was too wily for Roman Abramovich's preferred candidate, as Bayern sprang a semi-final shock at the Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho could only look on in disbelief, as Real Madrid faltered from the penalty spot to leave Heynckes one game away from a CV entry Abramovich may yet deem worthy of consideration.

Not for me: Heynckes (centre) wouldn't like to work under Abramovich

Not for me: Heynckes (centre) wouldn't like to work under Abramovich

As a two-times Champions League
winner, the Bayern manager's credentials would be up there with the
best, but he already has his answer ready, should the Chelsea owner come
calling.

'I could not possibly work for an
owner or chairman who tried to interfere with team affairs,' he stated.
'I would not tolerate that.'

Bayern hardly have shrinking violets
striding their corridors of power, but the likes of Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness and Franz Beckenbauer know better than to set
foot in the dressing room or impose an opinion on how the team should be
selected and set up.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's final
with Chelsea at the Allianz Arena, Heynckes explained how demarcation
works at Bayern and how it provides a sharp contrast to the hands-on
approach favoured by Abramovich.

'The guys I work for are football
people, but it is more about us really getting on as friends,' he said.
'We can have conversations where we don't all agree. We may enter the
room with three different opinions, but we leave it with one – mine!

'I would like to think we do reach a
common view, but I cannot imagine, under any circumstances, working for
someone who tries to tell me how to manage or coach the team.
Impossible!

'How can someone who is not there
with the players day-in, day-out make decisions about the team That is
why a coach is appointed, and I cannot imagine a president would ever
tell me what to do. No manager should ever accept that.

'People here know my character, so
no-one has ever tried it. They know I wouldn't put up with it. I would
not expect to have to explain my tactics. I have never done that and
never will. Most of them wouldn't understand, anyway. So, would I ever
work for Chelsea At my age, I don’t think so!'

If not Heynckes, then who Even
delivering Abramovich's dream against the odds might not be enough to
remove the interim tag from Roberto Di Matteo’s job title, but Chelsea
could do worse, according to Bayern's Moenchengladbach-born boss.

Final countdown: Roman is 90 minutes away from achieving his ultimate goal for Chelsea - becoming champions of Europe

Final countdown: Roman is 90 minutes away from achieving his ultimate goal for Chelsea – becoming champions of Europe

'The change of manager this season
looks to have brought them closer together,' he said. 'This is the last
chance for Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech to win
the Champions League together, but Di Matteo still deserves credit for
the way they are now playing as a team.

'Experience plays a big part, when
you are looking for a manager, but I am very impressed by the way Di
Matteo walks beside the pitch. He is very relaxed and seems to be in
control.

'That transmits itself to his team.
It tells them they are all in it as a unit, sharing one goal. That is
the psychological feeling he has achieved at Chelsea.

'People responsible at the club have
to decide if he is the right person. It is very difficult to judge that
from the outside, but the philosophy has definitely changed in the last
weeks.

'Whoever gets it will face a tough
job, but I'm not sure I'd call it the most difficult in football. Have
you ever heard of Real Madrid I had only one year there, so did Fabio
Capello, Guus Hiddink, John Toshack, the list goes on. The two clubs are
the same.

'It went without saying at Madrid
that they would change the manager every year, and you just have to be
totally emotionless about it. I said after just six months that I would
not still be there the following season.

'I knew even winning the Champions’ League would not be enough to keep me in the job, and, sure enough, that's what happened.'

Being rewarded with the sack for delivering Real's first European Cup in three decades has not soured Heynckes, 67 last week.

Inevitable exit Di Matteo is guaranteed to keep his current job

Inevitable exit Di Matteo is guaranteed to keep his current job

His relaxed approach has been warmly
welcomed by Bayern's players, after the rigid discipline of Louis Van
Gaal, who insisted they not only all reported for meals at precisely the
same time but always filled the same seats.

'As a manager, you have to have fun,'
he said. 'You have to enjoy your work and be content. You have got to
be satisfied. You have got to have an atmosphere where it is pleasant to
come in to work.

'At Chelsea, Mourinho showed that you
can do that very successfully. It is something you can achieve with
time and patience. You have to develop a team. Barcelona have done that
by bringing young local players up through their academy.

'For me, that is like a secret within
football. The players, if they grow up together, they respect each
other more, because they know each other better. We have players coming
through in the same way.'

As he watched Drogba edge Chelsea in
front, in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, Heynckes sensed they, rather
than clear favourites Barcelona, might be heading for the final.

'I wasn't that surprised, because I
knew the history of these games, and how Barcelona always seem to have a
difficult time against Chelsea,' he said.

'Towards the end of the second leg,
Barcelona did not look the fresh force we are used to. They looked
tired, Lionel Messi in particular. But that does not in any way diminish
the performance by Chelsea. I watch the Spanish League and know how
hard it is to beat Barcelona.

'Chelsea are up there with the best,
when it comes to the Champions League. They always play at the highest
level, and the way they dealt with Barcelona tells you the task we face
in the final.'

Bastian Schweinsteiger must prove his fitness ahead of Champions League final

Schweinsteiger must prove fitness to help Bayern lift Champions League, says Beckenbauer

|

UPDATED:

15:35 GMT, 14 May 2012

Franz Beckenbauer believes Bastian Schweinsteiger's fitness problems must improve if he is to help Bayern Munich overcome Chelsea in Saturday's Champions League final.

The 27-year-old has had a stuttering campaign due to injury, and according to the Bayern legend, he must shake off an ankle niggle to improve his erratic form.

The Bundesliga runners up face Chelsea at their Allianz Arena stadium in Munich on Saturday after seeing off Real Madrid in the semi-final.

Fully fit Franz Beckenbauer has questioned midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's (left) fitness

Fully fit Franz Beckenbauer has questioned midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's (left) fitness

Schweinsteiger and co under-performed in Bayern's 5-2 hammering by Bundesliga champions Boroussia Dortmund on Saturday in the DFB-Pokal cup final.

And with key players like defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo and full-back David Alaba missing the final through suspension, Beckenbauer is also concerned the side selected to face Chelsea will be too attacking.

'I assume that (Thomas) Muller will come into the starting XI,' Beckenbauer said.

Legend: Franz Beckenbauer feels that Schweinsteiger's fitness has hampered his recent performances

Legend: Franz Beckenbauer feels that Schweinsteiger's fitness has hampered his recent performances

'With (Franck) Ribery, Muller, (Arjen) Robben, behind them Schweinsteiger and (Toni) Kroos we would have a crazily attacking midfield.

But perhaps also a somewhat unpredictable one.'

Beckenbauer, nicknamed The Kaiser, said that based on Schweinsteiger's performance against Dortmund, it is evident that he is struggling for fitness.

'With Schweinsteiger you sense that he is still not 100 per cent fit after his injury,” Beckenbauer said.

He added: 'But despite the debacle against Dortmund, the Champions League final is not lost by a long shot.

And I would not like to imagine that Bayern will be without a single title at the end.'

Crushed: Bayern's players must bounce back from their 5-2 humiliation at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in Berlin on Saturday

Crushed: Bayern's players must bounce back from their 5-2 humiliation at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in Berlin on Saturday

Ribery has claimed he wants to win the Champions League for the club hierarchy like president Uli Hoeness, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Beckenbauer himself.

'They are extraordinary people, they love this club above all,” the France winger said.

'Their life is Bayern. My dream is to win this title for this club, these people. That would be special.'

Arjen Robben alerts Premier League clubs after row with Franck Ribery

City and Spurs on Robben alert with winger set to leave Bayern over Ribery row

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UPDATED:

06:27 GMT, 2 May 2012

Arjen Robben is ready to quit Bayern Munich this summer after a sensational row with team-mate Franck Ribery – opening the door to a Premier League return.

The Holland winger is out of contract in June 2013 and is unwilling to sign an extension at the Allianz Arena, according to German newspaper Bild, following his bust-up with France ace Ribery.

It is claimed that the pair argued during Bayern's Champions League semi-final first-leg win over Real Madrid over free-kick responsibilities, resulting in Ribery slapping Robben in the face.

Row: Robben could leave Bayern Munich this summer following a bust-up with team-mate Ribery

Row: Robben could leave Bayern Munich this summer following a bust-up with team-mate Ribery

Bayern attempted to resolve the spat by reportedly arranging a lunch meeting the following day with the pair but Robben is said to remain unhappy over the run-in, angered that Ribery was only fined around 40,000 for the alleged incident.

Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool
are all on alert for the 28-year-old former Chelsea star as Bayern
decide whether to hold another round of contract negotiations or cash-in
on his services before losing him on the cheap.

On alert: Spurs, Man City and Liverpool are keen on the Dutchman

On alert: Spurs, Man City and Liverpool are keen on the Dutchman

Robben cost the Champions League
finalists 20million from Real Madrid in and Bayern president Uli
Hoeness admitted: 'All I know is that he was just about to put pen to
paper, and now that has all been postponed.'

But Bayern legend Franz Beckenbauer – who recently criticised the Dutchman – believes Robben will stay.

He said: 'Robben knows what to expect here at Bayern. That's why I expect him to sign a new deal eventually.

'It would be in the best interest of both parties.

'I know that Robben is angry with me because I criticised him, but that doesn't change my positive opinion of him. I am a big Robben fan.'