Holders Barcelona will face Inter Milan, pitting Samuel Eto’o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against their former clubs, after the draw for the Champions League group stage was made in Monaco on Thursday.
Germany took a decisive step nearer the 2010 World Cup finals with a 2-0 win in Azerbaijan to open up a four-point gap at the top of European qualifying group four. Goals early in each half from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose sealed victory for Joachim Loew’s side, who have played a game more than closest rivals Russia. Germany’s trip to face Russia in Moscow on October 10 is likely to decide who tops the group, but Wednesday’s win gives the Germans breathing space as they retained their unbeaten record in qualifying
Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw by Hoffenheim in their opening match of the Bundesliga season and first under new coach Louis van Gaal. Dutchman van Gaal hoped to celebrate his 58th birthday with a victory at the Rhein-Neckar Arena, but could have no complaints with a point. Ivica Olic gave Bayern the lead in the 25th minute after an assist from Croatia teammate Danijel Pranjic, another new signing by the Bavarian giants
Wigan Athletic have confirmed that negotiations over the transfer of winger Antonio Valencia to Manchester United are expected to start "very shortly". United have indentified 23-year-old Valencia as one of the players they want to bring in as a replacement to Real-Madrid bound Cristiano Ronaldo with a fee in the region of £17 million ($28m) being mooted. Wigan chairman Dave Whelan told Press Association Sport that the Premier League champions have made their interest in the Ecuadorian international winger known for “the last two or three months”.
Manchester United have netted a sponsorship deal with American insurance giants Aon Corporation that will reportedly earn the Premier League champions a staggering $131 million over four years. That would send United to the top of football’s sponsorship income league ahead of the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea
Eredivisie giants Ajax Amsterdam have announced that Martin Jol has signed a three-year contract to coach the club, starting from July 1. The 53-year-old Dutchman moves from German side Hamburg, where he had recently secured a European place with a fifth-placed Bundesliga finish — as well as leading the club to the semifinals of this season’s UEFA Cup. Jol has also coached Den Haag and Roda — with whom he won the Dutch Cup — in his homeland.
Wolfsburg sparked wild celebrations when they clinched their first German Bundesliga crown after thrashing beaten UEFA Cup finalists Werder Bremen 5-1 on Saturday. The game was effectively settled after 26 minutes when Sebastian Proedl’s own goal put the hosts 3-0 up after strikes from Zvejezdan Misimovic after six minutes and Grafite on 15.
German champions Bayern Munich have confirmed the appointment of Dutchman Louis van Gaal as their new head coach. Van Gaal, who led AZ Alkmaar to the Dutch title this season, has been released from his contract with the Eredivisie club and will officially take up the reins as Jurgen Klinsmann’s successor on July 1
German champions Bayern Munich have sacked coach Jurgen Klinsmann and appointed the experienced Jupp Heynckes as his replacement for the final five games of the Bundesliga season. Klinsmann’s fate was sealed after a meeting with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, general manager Uli Hoeness and director Karl Hopfner on Monday morning. The 44-year-old took charge of Bayern last July, after leading an unfancied Germany side to the 2006 World Cup semifinals on home soil.
Lionel Messi scored a 19th minute winner as Barcelona moved ever closer to regaining the Spanish title with a 1-0 victory at Getafe on Saturday night. Barcelona had not won in the Coliseum since 2005 and owed victory to the Argentine’s 20th goal of the season.