Oliver Kahn

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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.

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Lyon, YouTube legend Juninho Pernambucano linked with New York Red Bulls

Juninho Pernambucano (L) of Brazilian Va
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This might not be on Major League Soccer’s Christmas list, but it would make a heck of a stocking stuffer.

A rumor reported (in Portuguese) has former Lyon icon Juninho Pernambucano landing in Harrison next season, with his former head coach at Lyonnais, Red Bull’s Head of Global Soccer Gerard Houllier, eager to bring the free kick master to Major League Soccer.

And when I say free kick master, I mean congratulations, your life just changed forever:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL1bK34mPjQ]

I don’t know which one I like more. The one where Oliver Kahn almost impales himself on the right post? The slow-mo capture of the shot with almost zero spin (literally)? Or the 112 goals from 40 yards out into the upper corners? (Don’t bother counting. I’m right.)

The guy makes Beckham look like a potser.

Currently with Vasco de Gama in Brazil, the 37-year-old has been rumored to be leaving the Rio-based club. Officials at Vasco say they won’t let him leave to another club in Brazil. Given the Houllier connection, New York seems as logical a place as … well, almost any other club in the world. This is, after all, just a rumor.

The thing about Juninho, at this point in his career, is that he doesn’t go much else, and in a league where fitness, athleticism, strength, and industry are staples in every team, the central midfielder will likely see his contributions mitigated in open play.

There’s also the little matter of New York having three Designated Players on the books. Until they pass off Rafa Marquez’s millstone, Juninho can’t come.

Add in the fact that New York doesn’t even have a coach and the frequent use of big MLS markets as leverage in contract negotiations, there isn’t much cause for optimism. Sorry, friends. Christmas may never come.

Still, if Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam’s corner kicks are worth £13 million alone (as Sir Alex Ferguson once said, presumably with a straight face), Juninho is at least worth some kind of Designated Player deal. If Beckham’s still a plus-contributor for the Galaxy, Juninho can be one for New York.