Football: Neuer out until January after foot operation

This file photo shows Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer walking on crutches as he arrives for the trophy celebration after the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg, in Munich. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 19 September 2017
0

Football: Neuer out until January after foot operation

BERLIN: Bayern Munich have confirmed their Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will be out until January having undergone another operation on Tuesday after again fracturing his left foot.
The 31-year-old had only returned at the end of August after fracturing the same foot in April.
He suffered the fresh injury in training on Monday as Bayern prepared for Tuesday’s Bundesliga match at Schalke.
“The fact that Manuel Neuer has suffered a new injury means we are all very sorry for him,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chairman.
“The operation went optimally and that is the most important thing now.
“Manuel will be available for us again, back at his old strength, in January.”
This is Neuer’s third operation on the same foot in six months after minor surgery for a toe injury in March and then again in April after initially fracturing his foot.
Neuer’s latest injury blow sparks concerns about Germany’s skipper nine months before the World Cup kicks off.
He last played for his country in a World Cup qualifier in October 2016.
Neuer will miss Germany’s key qualifier against Northern Ireland in Belfast on October 5, where a draw will book the holders’ place at Russia 2018.
With Neuer out, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who deputised when Germany won the Confederations Cup in July, is set to fill in for the world champions.
Sven Ulreich will stand in for Neuer at Bayern until the winter break at the end of December.
Neuer will miss Bayern’s remaining Champions League group games, plus their league and cup double-header against RB Leipzig at the end of October and an away match at current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in early November.
Bayern confirmed Neuer underwent the operation at a clinic in Tuebingen, south-west Germany and has had a plate inserted in his foot.
The operation was carried out by Ulrich Stoeckle, the surgeon who has previously treated stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery and David Alaba.


Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

Updated 22 June 2018
0

Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

  • Saudi Arabia's 1996 Asian Cup-winning coach Nelo Vingada backs Pizzi to lead side into next year's Asian Cup.
  • Green Falcons face Egypt on Monday with both looking to land their first point in Russia.

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s 1996 Asian Cup-winning boss Nelo Vingada has called on the country’s football authorities to keep faith with head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi despite a disappointing showing in Russia.
The Green Falcons still have to face Egypt in the final match of Group A, but have already been eliminated following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Moscow and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay five days later in Rostov.
 “I was expecting a little more from Saudi Arabia to be honest,” Vingada told Arab News.
“In the first game they were disappointing but a first game of the World Cup is always hard and especially when it is the first game and everyone is watching. Plenty of teams at the World Cup did not play well in the first game.
“But playing Russia in Russia and to lose is what you would normally expect from Saudi Arabia and while it was far from positive, people should not get carried away.
“The game with Uruguay was much improved in terms of organization and defense and it showed more of the character of the Saudi Arabia team.”
In the past, coaches have been axed following disappointing World Cup campaigns but with the 2019 Asian Cup just seven months away, the Portuguese tactician would prefer to see some stability rather than yet another new man in the dugout.
 “The Asian Cup is in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be one of the contenders,” Vingada said. “It is better to stay with the same coach. He has a vision of how he wants the team to play and he now knows the players and the players know him.”
Constant changing has not helped Saudi Arabia in the past and Pizzi himself has been in the job just seven months.
“The problem is not the coach. He should not be changed, that has happened before but results did not improve, but the mentality has to change.”
Despite that Vingada, who has coached 
Egyptian club giants Zamalek and the country’s Under-23 team, believes that the Pharaohs, also eliminated, will prevail when the two regional rivals meet on Monday in Volgograd.
 “This is an important game for pride, the players and the countries. It is still the World Cup. Egypt have a little more quality I think and have Mohamed Salah too.” 
The Liverpool striker has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in late May and missed the opening game 1-0 loss to Uruguay. He played in the second game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, scoring from the spot late in the match to earn a consolation.
“Any coach would take Salah because he can win you games but overall Egypt have been a little disappointing and a little unlucky.”
The bad luck came when conceding a last-minute goal to Uruguay and a fluke own goal to get Russia off the mark. “Uruguay are a tough team and it is no shame to lose 3-1 to a Russia team at home who are playing to qualify for the next round. It showed that European and South American teams still have a little more quality.”
 “Egypt just made some mistakes at the wrong time but this is football and without mistakes there are no goals.”
Ahead of the clash against Egypt Pizzi confirmed his intention to stay as Saudi Arabia boss, looking to build on the seven months he has had to imprint his ideas on the team ahead of the Asian Cup.