Saudi Arabia to come up against Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller in Germany friendly

Germany will line up against Saudi Arabia on June 8 in Leverkusen. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2018

Saudi Arabia to come up against Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller in Germany friendly

BERLIN: Defending champions Germany have confirmed they will play Saudi Arabia in a World Cup warm-up match in June.

News of the fixture with the World Cup holders emerged last month but the German Football Association confirmed on Monday that the game will take place in Leverkusen on Thursday, June 8 — just six days before Saudi Arabia kick off their World Cup campaign against hosts Russia on June 14.

It be only the third time the two countries have met and the first since Germany thrashed the Green Falcons 8-0 at the 2002 World Cup. Miroslav Klose scored a hat-trick that day. The other meeting took place in Riyadh in February 1998 when goals from Andreas Möller, Thomas Helmer and Olaf Marschall sunk Carlos Alberto Perreira’s side 3-0.

Germany also have friendlies against Austria, Spain and Brazil as they prepare for life in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, have left no stone unturned in their preparations and they will play at least six friendlies before their World Cup opener.


Feb. 26: Moldova (H)
Feb. 28: Iraq (A)
Mar. 23: Ukraine (in Spain)
Mar. 28: Belgium (in Spain)
Apr. 9 (TBC)
May. 15 (TBC)
May 28 Italy (TBC)
June 3: Peru (venue TBC)
June 8: Germany (A)

Stage one: Jan. 21-27 in Saudi Arabia
Stage two: Feb. 21-27 in Saudi Arabia followed by a friendly in Iraq
Stage three: Mar 15-27 in Spain, including friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium
Stage four: End of April until May 15 in Spain
Stage five: May 19 to World Cup in Europe

‘Trophies matter’- Jose Mourinho remains defiant ahead of United-Liverpool Premier League clash

Updated 14 December 2018

‘Trophies matter’- Jose Mourinho remains defiant ahead of United-Liverpool Premier League clash

MANCHESTER: Jose Mourinho says success is best measured in trophies as he prepares to take his injury-hit Manchester United squad to high-flying Liverpool on Sunday.
Liverpool are top of the Premier League before the weekend round of matches but have yet to win a trophy under the management of Jurgen Klopp, who has been in charge since October 2015.
The 18-times English champions have won just one prize in the past 12 years — the League Cup under Kenny Dalglish in 2012 — despite featuring in two European finals.
Mourinho won the Europa League and FA Cup in his first season at Old Trafford but ended last season empty-handed and his team are lagging 16 points behind Klopp’s side in this season’s title race.
“I think trophies matter, yeah,” said Mourinho. “I think it matters, especially when you have the potential to fight for trophies and when you clearly say the objective is to win the trophies.
“I think sometimes just to say it is not very intelligent. But when you have the potential you have nothing to hide.
“I don’t read much but I think they (Liverpool) have said that their objective is to win the Premier League,” he added.
Even though Klopp has yet to win silverware at Anfield, Mourinho acknowledges that the Liverpool manager has built a team in his own image, full of attacking intent.
By contrast, the United manager believes he is still a long way from having a team that reflects the way he wants to play.
“A football team is not just about spending the money,” said Mourinho. “A football team is a little bit like a house. A house is not just about buying your furniture. You have to do work on the house and when it’s ready you buy the furniture.
“You spend money on the best possible furniture and then you are ready to live in an amazing house.”
Mourinho faces taking a depleted squad to Anfield on Sunday, with several players battling to recover from the injuries that kept them out of Wednesday’s Champions League defeat in Valencia.
Defender Victor Lindelof and forward Alexis Sanchez will definitely miss the game as they continue to recover from hamstring injuries.
Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Diogo Dalot, Scott McTominay and Marcos Rojo will be assessed to ascertain whether they can return against Liverpool.
Goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielder Nemanja Matic, who were rested against Valencia, will return, but United’s manager remains unsure how many players he will have to choose from.
“In Valencia, only De Gea and Matic were available to play and didn’t travel by decision,” he said.
“Apart from that, the other players who didn’t travel were not fit to play in Valencia. All of them had injuries and they were not ready.
“All of them didn’t train yesterday again and today there will be a little introduction to training — I don’t want to say test — to see the answer, to see if we can increase it a little bit tomorrow to have them available for Sunday. I hope that some will be available but for sure some will not be.”