Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Manuel Neuer
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Neuer set for three more years at Bayern Munich

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Manuel may well finish his career at Bayern Munich.

Neuer’s signed a new deal keeping the German with the title-collecting giants through the 2022-23 season, when he’ll be 37 years old.

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Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called Neuer “the best goalkeeper” in the world in making the announcement, and he certainly has the accolades to make the claim.

Reared at Schalke from a very young age, Neuer made the first 203 appearances of his career there before moving to Bayern in 2011. He’s made a further 374 with Bayern.

He won the German Cup with Schalke in 2011, beating Duisburg, but really started his trophy haul at Bayern. He has seven Bundesliga crowns to go with four more German Cups, a Champions League, and a World Cup.

Neuer also converted a penalty in the 2011 Champions League Final, scoring in Bayern’s failed bid to beat Chelsea in Munich. He finished third in 2014 Ballon d’Or voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Bayern: Flick to stay manager ‘at least until Christmas’

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Bayern Munich is leaving the door open for Hansi Flick to snare its manager chair full-time.

Flick is 2-0 since taking over for Niko Kovac, including a 4-0 defeat of Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.

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Bayern announced last weekend that Flick would manage the club for an indefinite period of time, and has the support of players like Robert Lewandowski as a possible season-long boss.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has clearly tired of answering questions about what ‘indefinite’ means.

From Sky Sports:

“Last Saturday, Uli Hoeness, Hasan Salihamidzic and I publicly announced that Hansi Flick is our head coach ‘until further notice.’ And since we don’t want to be asked every Saturday whether Hansi will be our head coach for the next match, I’ll tell you, dear members: ‘until further notice’ means Hansi Flick will bear responsibility in terms of sport at least until Christmas, and potentially beyond,” he said.

Flick, 54, managed Hoffenheim from 2000-05 before spending eight years as an assist on the Germany staff. He was hired July 1 to assist Kovac.

He played for Bayern over 100 times between 1985-90.

Ambitious Leipzig bullish with new coach before Bayern clash

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BERLIN (AP) Fast-rising Leipzig is betting on new coach Julian Nagelsmann to provide the edge it needs to finally end Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga hegemony.

The sides meet in the league on Saturday.

Leipzig, which has made no secret of its title ambitions, has been making steady progress since its formation in 2009, rising through the lower leagues, clinching Bundesliga promotion in 2016, and qualifying for the Champions League.

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Former coach of the year Nagelsmann is supposed to build on last season’s third-place finish, and has made a good start.

The 32-year-old Nagelsmann is the only remaining coach in Germany with a perfect record – three wins from three in the league and progress secured to the second round of the German Cup.

Protests away from home – at Union Berlin and Borussia Monchengladbach – have had little effect on the players. Leipzig is unpopular among rival fans due to its fast ascent financed since its foundation by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull.

Nagelsmann is used to the animosity. Former club Hoffenheim was also unpopular due to its financial reliance on billionaire backer Dietmar Hopp, though not to the level of Leipzig, which has became a favored target for rival fans.

Nagelsmann has compared himself to Jurgen Klopp, saying it took three years for Klopp to win titles at Borussia Dortmund and then Liverpool.

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His goal is to do the same at Leipzig.

“Three years would be fine for all of us or even sooner. Four years would also be OK. Anyway, it would be great to do it and that’s my aim,” Nagelsmann said.

He can approach Saturday’s game relaxed knowing he has been given time to settle in at Leipzig.

“He doesn’t need to be nervous when there are one or two defeats,” Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff said before the season. “We know that it’s a new start and that there’s a certain settling in period as things adjust.”

Bayern counterpart Niko Kovac has had no such luxury, being under constant pressure since he took over the Bavarian powerhouse last year. Kovac had to dampen speculation over his future in the run up to Bayern’s 3-0 win over Leipzig in the German Cup final, and will be expected to do better after winning the league and cup double last season.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has been openly critical of Kovac at times, says he welcomes the competition that Leipzig has brought to the league.

“We’re always interested in competition for Bayern, because competition provides football with excitement and emotion. Leipzig is definitely one of the clubs that will establish itself at the top of the Bundesliga,” Rummenigge told Kicker magazine on Thursday.

But not just yet, he hopes.

“Our goal is to take over the league-lead with a win,” Rummenigge said.

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

Bayern grooms former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn as future CEO

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich is grooming former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to be its future chairman and CEO.

The German champions said Friday that Kahn has been appointed to the executive board on a five-year contract starting in January. He won’t take over as chairman and CEO until Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s contract expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness – who is also leaving the club soon – said the club picked Kahn for his mix of sports and business expertise.

Since retiring in 2008, the eight-time Bundesliga champion has studied for an MBA and started his own business, as well as working as a TV commentator.

“With an eye on the future, we are convinced that Oliver Kahn is the perfect solution,” Hoeness said in a statement. “Oliver Kahn knows football, he knows business, and he carries the DNA of FC Bayern. We are convinced that Oliver Kahn is the right man to lead FC Bayern into the future.”

Kahn joined Bayern from Karlsruher SC in 1994 and spent 14 years at the club, winning the Champions League in 2001. He made 86 appearances for Germany, winning the European Championship in 1996 and finishing runner-up at the World Cup in 2002.

Kahn was named the world’s Best Goalkeeper three times, European Goalkeeper of the Year four times and German Footballer of the Year twice.

“I am deeply connected with the club and it has decisively shaped my life,” said Kahn, adding it was “a great honor” to be appointed.

During his time as Bayern chairman, Rummenigge has been a key powerbroker in European soccer, heading the European Club Association from 2008-17.

Bayern announced on Thursday that Hoeness will not stand for re-election as president in November. Former Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer is lined up as his successor.

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

Bayern unhappy with opponents’ rough style in Bundesliga

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich wants more protection from referees.

The defending champions lost French midfielder Corentin Tolisso and Brazilian defender Rafinha to injuries sustained in last weekend’s win over Bayer Leverkusen. Both club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have called for a reaction from the German soccer federation.

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“It can’t go on like this. Otherwise we won’t have any players after the 10th round or we won’t be able to get 11 players together,” Rummenigge said ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga match against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

Tolisso was ruled out for several months after rupturing a cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus in his right knee, while Rafinha is out for several weeks with a partial tear of ligaments in his left ankle after a bad challenge from Karim Bellarabi, who was sent off.

Bellarabi, who apologized after the match, was subsequently banned for four games and fined 10,000 euros ($11,750).

After the game, Hoeness had called for Bellarabi to be banned for “three months – for stupidity.”

Bayern already lost French winger Kingsley Coman to injury in its first home game of the season, after which Rummenigge accused Hoffenheim of playing “football in a wild-west manner.”

Bayern coach Niko Kovac said his side was “fair game” for others to target with hard challenges.

It was different when Kovac was in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt from March 8, 2016, to June 30, 2018. No side committed more fouls per game (15.4) than Frankfurt in that time.

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Contrary to Bayern’s claims, both Kicker magazine and the Bild tabloid reported that promoted teams Nuremberg and Fortuna Duesseldorf, and Wolfsburg, all were fouled more the defending champions in the opening three games of the season.

Bayern’s 36 fouls is the same as Leipzig and Stuttgart, and its average of 12 per game is marginally below the average for last season.

Bayern’s players are more relaxed about the issue after winning their opening three league games and making winning starts in the German Cup and Champions League.

“I don’t think it’s so extreme,” Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich said.

On Saturday, the team can expect committed opponents again. Schalke, which finished runner-up last season, is looking for its first win after starting with three losses.

More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports