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Klinsmann barred from returning to role on Hertha Berlin board

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Jurgen Klinsmann’s acrimonious exit as Hertha Berlin coach, where he slammed the club for “difficult conditions” where he “disagreed on many things,” has potentially cost him a position on the club’s board of directors.

During a press conference on Thursday, club owner Lars Windhorst, president Werner Gegenbauer, and general manager Michael Preetz stated that Klinsmann would not be allowed to transition back into a role on the Hertha Berlin board for the time being, until their differences are settled.

“Unfortunately, I must say that the way Jurgen Klinsmann resigned makes a further working relationship with him on the board of Hertha BSC impossible,” Windhorst said during the press conference. “Unfortunately, the way he left is so unacceptable that we cannot continue a constructive collaboration between him and the other people in charge.

Windhorst said that it would be possible for Klinsmann to return to the club, but not before time for the animosity to dissipate. “If we can count on him and his guidance in some other form in the future after all the dust has settled, we will see,” he said. “I am neither shutting any doors, nor am I knocking anyone out as it has been written today.”

“I believe he regrets the decision,” Windhorst said of Klinsmann’s resignation. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t fix things to keep hold of him, because even in the short time he was here, we noticed the effect on sponsors, advertising and income that his name had, that it could have led to big financial gains for Hertha.”

“There are different views [between Klinsmann and me] on how the job of a head coach is defined,” Preetz said. “It is correct that we could not agree until he resigned. However, things that I heard yesterday, that I am sitting on the bench and show up on the sideline, were never discussed between the two of us. If there are problems and conflicts then I am used to discussing them and to try and find a solution. You can’t do that if you turn around and run away.”

Klinsmann spent just 79 days in charge of Hertha Berlin, taking charge of nine matches distributed evenly among wins, draws, and losses. A 3-1 home loss to FC Mainz was the final straw.

The former U.S. national team coach took to Facebook to suggest a rift with the club hierarchy as the reason for his resignation. “Things are different in Germany, where everyone gets to have their say, everyone plays a role, the whole management structure,” Klinsmann said, suggesting he had bugs in his ear during his short tenure. “In the end only one can decide, and I feel it has to be the coach. And we disagreed there. Unfortunately we disagreed on many things.”

Klinsmann ruffled feathers during his short stint, demoting goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry upon arrival, which was a bad look given Petry’s critical comments of Jurgen’s son Jonathan during the latter’s stint at Hertha over a decade ago. He botched paperwork for his coaching license and closed training sessions to media and fans, a decision which was labeled a “misunderstanding” and reversed by the club the next day.

The 55-year-old was still expected to return to his position on the board after his departure as coach, a position which he left to take over the coaching role a few months ago. Klinsmann’s relationship with Hertha now seems teetering on the edge, if not entirely destroyed.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

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It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

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The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

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A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf