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Bundesliga giants donate funds to struggling clubs

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The four Bundesliga clubs who qualified for the UEFA Champions League this season have donated over $22 million to help clubs struggling across Germany’s top two divisions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have each donated $5.5 million to help clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga impacted by the league suspension in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Germany and across Europe.

How the ‘solidarity payment’ — which consists of the four wealthiest clubs in Germany foregoing their combined share of undistributed broadcast revenue of $13.6 million plus $8.2 million of their own cash — will be distributed will be decided by the DFL Presidium.

“The aim of the campaign is to provide financial support for hardship cases triggered by the corona crisis. We have always said that we will show solidarity if clubs are at fault because of this exceptional situation, which they can no longer manage alone.”

Christian Seifert, spokesman of the DFL Presidium, added: “This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga is not a lip service. The DFL Presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs.”

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German participants in Champions League contribute to ‘solidarity pot’

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The Bundesliga’s four Champions League qualifiers are acting in the interest of the rest of the league given the financial unease caused by the coronavirus.

Bild reports that Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, and RB Leipzig met last week and hatched a plan to distribute their UCL winnings through Germany’s top flight.

The four clubs would add around $8 million to the approximate $14 million earned from making the UCL to form a “solidarity pot” which would be distributed equally through the league.

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According to the report, the German league has around $48 million in a separate reserve which was going to be allocated to “possible strategic projects” but could be divvied up to clubs as if it was television broadcast money.

A separate report from the BBC says Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund players will forego some of their wages to help their clubs.

Bayern will forego 20 percent while BVB’s number was not disclosed. Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski and his wife previously announced a $1 million-plus donation to fight COVID-19.

Union Berlin and Borussia Monchengladbach players had previously announced they would forego their wages for workers at the club.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Juventus in for Torres, Upamecano to Arsenal

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The coronavirus shutdown across Europe and the world has given teams time to focus on improving their squads for the future. There’s no certainty about when the transfer window will take place as the 2019/20 season continues to be pushed back possibly bleeding into the summer or even the fall. But clubs will have no excuse not to be ready once the time comes for players to make moves.

Liverpool has been linked with Valencia winger Ferran Torres for some time now, with the 20-year-old seeing his contract with the Spanish side expiring in the summer of 2021. However, according to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, the Reds will have competition for his signature.

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Juventus is reportedly interested in pursuing the Spaniard, which makes sense given the makeup of the Juve squad. On the flanks in Turin are 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, 31-year-old Juan Cuadrado, and the oft-injured Douglas Costa. Only Federico Bernardeschi can be counted on long-term at Juventus, leading to rumors such as these.

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Elsewhere, Arsenal has been linked by tabloids in England to RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, with the 21-year-old French youth international said to have asked to leave this summer – or whenever the upcoming transfer window takes place. Upamecano has started every single league match for RB Leipzig this season after missing the first four due to injury. He also played the full 90 minutes of the 3-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League that sent RB Leipzig through to the quarterfinals.

Upamecano’s contract with the German club expires in the summer of 2021, so like Torres’ situation at Valencia, it would be in the club’s best interest to sell the youngster this coming transfer window to maximize his transfer value.

Finally, Chelsea is reportedly interested in bringing aboard a second Ajax player after already securing Hakim Ziyech. According to Italian publication Calciomercato, the Blues are looking into left-back Nicolas Tagliafico after their chase of Ben Chilwell was turned down by Leicester City. Tagliafico, a 27-year-old Argentinian international, has been a fixture in the Ajax side since joining in January of 2018 from Argentine club Independiente. His Ajax contract runs out in the summer of 2022, so while there isn’t as much urgency to sort out his situation as with Torres or Upamecano, it is still within range.

The Blues currently have both Emerson and Marcos Alonso at left-back, so they are also not necessarily looking to urgently bring someone aboard in his position, but Tagliafico is versatility, able to play in the middle as well, making him a potentially useful player in a three-center-back system.

Leipzig dismisses disheveled Spurs from Champions League

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Marcel Sabitzer scored twice as RB Leipzig didn’t give Tottenham Hotspur’s comeback bid a chance in a 3-0 win at RB Arena in Germany on Tuesday.

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Emil Forsberg added an 87th-minute goal to complete the scoring and leave the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Leipzig advances to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal for the first time, while Spurs’ campaign to return to the final dies with a whimper.

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Three things we learned

1. Spurs go in 11 different directions: Okay, so this is a bit of an exaggeration, but the amount of times Spurs players went for glory over the smart play or chose the wrong run was almost overwhelming. Whether it be an extra touch for four with a dribble or a 25-yard shot with little hope of troubling the keeper, Spurs were both frustrated for space or tempted to think there was more of it. Almost every forward move with a modicum of promise featured these sorts of mistakes.

2. Clinical Leipzig put it to bed early: An early goal from Spurs would’ve put this tie on its ear, and Julian Nagelsmann men knew that. Leipzig came out of the gates with purpose and intensity, turning Spurs’ midfield and defense inside out. It didn’t help that Hugo Lloris was not at his best.

3. Adams makes long-awaited Champions League debut: A season-long battle with injuries meant Tyler Adams’ 55th-minute entrance for Nordi Mukiele was his first-ever UCL appearance. Adams played a role in the third goal, and finished his shift with 32 touches and a tackle. He was 3-for-3 on duels and 2-for-2 on dribble attempts.

Man of the Match: Well, it’s Sabitzer or bust, isn’t it?


Leipzig’s first goal was well-earned, as Spurs were all over the place by the time Sabitzer opened the scoring with a fine finish of a Timo Werner pass.

Werner thought he had it 2-0 off an Angelino assist, but the linesman’s flag was up. Sabitzer provided that goal from the same provider in the 21st.

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A goofy bounding ball forced Hugo Lloris to get horizontal and slap a ball free of the cage before halftime. Spurs finished the first half with a single shot on target.

There was a very scary injury to Nordi Mukiele in the the 54th minute after he was struck in the face by a loose ball. He was stretchered off the pitch.

Lucas Moura blazed around the left flank to cut back for Dele Alli in the 74th, but Peter Gulacsi was in the right spot to catch the ball.

Adams saw his shot blocked but Forsberg blasted in the rebound to finish the scoring in Germany.

Champions League preview: Spurs, Valencia face deficits

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Tottenham Hotspur made club history last season with a run to the Champions League final, but needs a big result Tuesday to keep hope of returning to that stage.

Spurs trail RB Leipzig 1-0 after one leg and are headed to Germany with the knowledge that multiple goals are a must.

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Doing that without Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, and now Steven Bergwijn is a tall ask.

Dele Alli has been leading the line for Jose Mourinho in recent weeks, and the English attacker is growing in confidence. That’ll be needed as he faces the joint-toughest defense in the Bundesliga.

From Football.London:

“We have to score two goals and play well and then going into the league at the weekend we have to pick up as many points as we can. We can’t keep letting opportunities slip away from us.”

If Spurs have significant work on hand to flip their result, Valencia has a doctoral thesis.

Serie A side Atalanta takes a 4-1 lead to Valencia, but is aware that the La Liga outfit has scored three or more goals thrice this season and will be playing for pride in front of its home crowd.

There’s also the matter of coronavirus, which has dominated Italian sports and is now making its way through Spain.

Here’s Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini. From Football-Italia:

“Being here is like being at home a month ago. We arrived here safely. It’s very different here compared to Italy,” Gasperini said. “We need to make assessments in terms of health but also from a social point of view: playing behind closed doors, like yesterday, even in a context that nobody likes, could be of comfort to the people locked up in the house. However the priority remains the health of the people.”

Both matches kick off at 4 p.m. ET.