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
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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.


WHAT WE LEARNED: Reflective Cristiano Ronaldo and title-chasing Liverpool

Updated 17 September 2018
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WHAT WE LEARNED: Reflective Cristiano Ronaldo and title-chasing Liverpool

  • Liverpool look ready to mount a serious title challenge this season.
  • Barcelona unbeaten but look beatable.

LONDON: It was another busy weekend of action across Europe with all the big clubs in action ahead of the return of the Champions League. Here is what we learned.

RONALDO IS HUMAN

After three matches and no goals, everyone was wondering whether Cristiano Ronaldo had left his scoring boots in Madrid. Two hundred and seventy minutes without a goal is not so much a lean period as a drought of epic proportions for the Portuguese. But the new Juventus star was never going to wait too long for his first Serie A goal, as he got a brace in the Old Lady’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo — the first a tap in from 30cms, the second a drilled shot from the edge of the area. But even Ronaldo was forced to admit he had been worried about his “slow” start. “There’s been a bit of anxiety in general since my move from Madrid — there was a great expectation,” he said after the match. Ronaldo suffering a bit from self-doubt? That is something we thought we would never write.

LIVERPOOL ARE THE REAL DEAL

The Reds were blown away 4-1 when they faced Tottenham at Wembley last season. It was a scoreline that could have easily been far more embarrassing. This time around it was a different story. During their 2-1 win Liverpool never really looked threatened by their fellow title-chasers and while their attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino looked as impressive as ever, it was what Liverpool did without the ball that really marked this side out as different from last year’s crop. The high press, and organization from the back, combined with the intensity with which they play mean it will take a very good side to stop them from going all the way this season. If they can keep their stars fit, maintain that aggression with and without the ball, then whoever finishes above them will win the Premier League.

PERFECT RECORD NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR BARCA

With four wins from four, you would expect everyone at the Nou Camp to be happy and smiling. But you would be wrong. The Catalan club came from behind to 
win 2-1 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, but while the three points and remaining top of La Liga are nothing to be sniffed at, it was the manner of the performance that has created worry at the perennial winners. At Barcelona it is not simply enough to win and pick up trophies, you need to be playing well and put on a show for the ever-demanding fans. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said that this is not currently the case. “It’s obvious that there are things that can be improved,” he said at the weekend. The main aim this season is Champions League glory. On the evidence of their domestic form so far that looks like a pipe dream.