Euro 2020: Germany – Profiling Die Mannschaft Head Coach Joachim Löw

?Joachim Löw will lead Germany at a seventh major international tournament at Euro 2020 this summer – his eighth if you include the 2017 Confederations Cup – in his 15th year at the helm of the national team.

Löw never played senior international football for West Germany, as it was then known, during his own career. His rather modest days as a player as an attack-minded midfielder peaked with three spells at Freiburg, then in 2.Bundesliga, in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s.

His foray into playing at a higher level was ultimately limited to brief spells as a fringe player at Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt. By the age of 29, Löw had traded Germany for lower league football in Switzerland, which is where he soon landed his first job in coaching.


Teams Managed

Germany's coach Joachim Loew smiles prio

?FC Frauenfeld ?1994 – 1995
?VfB Stuttgart ?1996 – 1998
?Fenerbahce 1998 – 1999?
?Karlsruher 1999 – 2000?
?Adanaspor ?2000 – 2001
?Tirol Innsbruck ?2001 – 2002
?Austria Wien ?2003 – 2004
Germany? 2006 – present?

International management is where Löw has ultimately thrived, but he spent more than a decade in various jobs in Switzerland, Germany, Turkey and Austria before he landed a role with the German national team in 2004 as an assistant coach in Jurgen Klinsmann’s staff.

That was part of a German reboot after a general decline and a disastrous Euro 2004, with Löw brought on board several years after meeting Klinsmann on a coaching course.

Löw got his first job in 1992 at Swiss club Winterthur, where he coached the youth team. That led to a player-manager gig at Frauenfeld in 1994, followed by an assistant’s job back home in Germany at former club Stuttgart.

Löw was handed the Stuttgart reins in 1996 and in 1998 was hired by Fenerbahce. He spent the next few seasons jumping around short stays at Karslruher, Adanaspor, Tirol Innsbruck and Austria Wien, before the call came from Klinsmann in 2004 to join him in the Germany setup.


Coaching Achievements

Joachim Loew

?DFB Pokal ?1996/97
?Austrian Bundesliga ?2001/02
?Austrian Supercup ?2003
?World Cup ?2014
?FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014?
?Confederations Cup ?2017

The 2014 World Cup is by the far the crown jewel of Löw’s personal trophy collection, but he did enjoy degrees of success at several of his club sides in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

At Stuttgart, Löw was in charge as the club won the DFB Pokal in 1997, while his team were beaten finalists against Chelsea in the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final.

Löw took over at Tirol Innsbruck in October 2001 and led the already reigning Austrian champions to a third straight ?Bundesliga title that season, but lost his job when the club went bankrupt and was dissolved. Austrian Supercup success came with Austria Wien in 2003.

Having taken over from Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, Löw took Germany to the final of Euro 2008 and back-to-back semi-finals at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, before 2014 glory. Germany also reached the semis at Euro 2016 and won the 2017 Confederations Cup.


Euro 2020 Qualifying Record

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFYING-NIR-GER

?Netherlands 2-3 Germany Sané, Gnabry, Schulz?
?Belarus 0-2 Germany ?Sané, Reus
Germany 8-0 Estonia? Reus (2), Gnabry (2), Goretzka, Gündo?an, Wener, Sané?
Germany 2-4 Netherlands? Gnabry, Kroos?
?Northern Ireland 0-2 Germany ?Halstenberg, Gnabry
?Estonia 0-3 Germany ?Gündo?an (2), Werner
Germany 4-0 Belarus? ?Ginter, Goretzka, Kroos (2)
?Germany 6-1 Northern Ireland ?Gnabry (3), Goretzka (2), Brandt

Germany qualified for their 13th European Championship by finishing top of Group C, securing their place with a game to spare after hammering Belarus in the penultimate round of fixtures. It made them one of the last automatic qualifiers to make it.

Löw’s team won seven of their eight qualifiers, only dropping points in a home defeat by the Netherlands midway through the campaign, while German players accounted for six of the nine highest scoring players in the group – not even including rising star Timo Werner.


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Barcelona ‘Flatly Denies’ Hiring Company to Troll Own Players & Club Legends Online

?Barcelona have released a statement to deny allegations of contracting a company to create social media posts that attack the reputations of its own stars, legends and those in contention for the club presidency online.

SER Catalunya sensationally reported that Barcelona used the services of I3 Ventures to create posts across various Facebook and Twitter pages that protect the reputation of current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the current board. 

However, more shockingly, pages – supposedly under I3 Ventures’ control – have also been found to be attacking current players such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, former club greats like Xavi Hernandez and Pep Guardiola and possible future presidential candidates Victor Font and Joan Laporta.

?SER Catalunya claims to have had ‘access’ to two reports prepared by I3 Venture, which detail the ‘impact and evolution’ of six of their accounts, and a specific ‘action plan’ against the possibility of Font running for the club presidency in 2021.

One example post from the account ‘Alter Sports’ – which has 26k Facebook followers – shared by SER shows current ?Manchester City manager Guardiola behind the wheel of a car, with the caption: “this guy has crashed four luxury cars in four years Manchester, Guardiola doesn’t know how to win the ?Champions League or drive without Messi. Guardiola at the wheel, constant danger.”

Other posts criticise defender Pique (often touted as a future club president) for his involvement with the Davis Cup tennis tournament (a frequent hot-button topic) and Messi over his contract renewal. Meanwhile, former stars Xavi and Carles Puyol have also been the subjects of disparaging posts, which appear to seek to generate controversy and foster negative opinion.

Beyond club players, past and present, ex-presidents and possible future rivals for the club’s top job in the next elections such as Font, Joan Laporta and Agustí Benedito have been targeted, along with political organisations such as the Catalan movement Tsunami Democratic. 

It is alleged that ?Barcelona paid just under €1m – ‘divided into six different invoices’ for the services.

Font has called on the board of directors to ‘offer an explanation’ for the ‘extremely worrying’ situation, while Benedito, another touted presidential candidate, has confirmed his intention to take legal action against incumbent Bartomeu.

??Madrid-based ?I3 Ventures has since denied working on Barcelona’s behalf to discredit certain individuals, calling SER’s allegations ‘absolutely false’. They also deny authorship of several pages identified in the report – including ‘Alter Sports’ – while claiming their role is related to ‘tracking and monitoring’ of social and digital channels.

?Barcelona released their own statement, with a five-point response, on Monday afternoon.

It reads: “FC Barcelona flatly denies any relationship and, even more, the contracting of services linked to social network accounts that have spread negative or disparaging messages in relation to any person, entity or organization that has or has had a relationship with the Club. 

“1. It strongly denies any relationship and, even more, the contracting of services linked to social network accounts that have spread negative or disparaging messages in relation to any person, entity or organization that has or has had a relationship with the Club.


“2.- I3 Ventures, provider of the Club, has no link to these accounts and, if any type of relationship is demonstrated, the Club would immediately terminate its contractual relationship and take appropriate legal action in defence of its legitimate interests.

“3.- Likewise, FC Barcelona confirms that it has contracted social network monitoring services in order to be aware of both positive and negative messages, of which the Entity is the object.

“4.- With the hiring of these services, the Club ensures to protect and preserve its reputation, as well as that of those linked to the Club (sponsors, players, managers, partners, peñistas …), to the extent that the protection This reputation is a fundamental element and an indispensable obligation for those who work for the Entity.

“5.- The Club requires the immediate rectification of the information disseminated and reserves the right to take appropriate legal action against those who continue to involve the Club in this type of practice.” 

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Barcelona Away Kit 2020/21: Leaked Images Emerge as Blaugrana Set to Go Black & Gold

?Images have emerged online of what is said to be Barcelona’s away kit for the 2020/21 season, as the club revisit the black and gold style worn in 2011/12 and 2013/14. 

The club have made headlines with their experimental kit designs in recent seasons, but they appear to have taken it back to basics in a wild departure from their current bright away colours. 

While the away strip at present opts for an eye-catching yellow with a stripe of red and blue draping diagonally, the more simplistic design in the leaked images appears to have delighted fans.

Brought to the fore as ever by ?Footy Headlines, the images show a solid black shirt with a pale gold trim around the collar and sleeves. 

There are no eccentric designs; the only other features on the shirt appear to be the Nike ‘swoosh’, the club’s crest, and the name sponsor, all in gold on an entirely two-tone design. 

It carries shades of the third kits worn by the club earlier in the decade, differing only in its simplicity.

Though not pictured, it’s reported the club will also opt for black shorts and socks – presumably with a similarly minimal hint of gold. 

It is not expected to be formally announced by ?Barcelona until July, but if the leaks hold weight then it will be the first time the club have opted for a black away kit, having only experimented with the colour for third kits in recent seasons. 

They came close with a dark purple away kit in 2016/17, but most typically they have opted for bright, avant garde designs ranging from turquoise or lime green to yellow or orange.

Lionel Andres Messi

Given how out there and off-the-wall their away kits have tended to be, the launch is often a source of nervousness from some supporters – so the return to a more stripped back look might come as a relief to the traditionalists among the Catalan fanbase. 


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

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Leaked Tottenham 2020/21 Home Kit by Nike Makes a Break From Safe Recent Designs

?An image of the likely 2020/21 Tottenham Hotspur home shirt designed by Nike has been leaked online ahead of its summer launch.

It will be the fourth year that Nike have supplied Spurs kits, but the leak suggests that next season’s will be the most out there after relatively plain and safe designs so far.

Harry Kane

According to pictures posted by Footy Headlines, the white jersey features a subtle pattern to break up the base colour, which has become an increasingly fashionable look in recent years to give kits more visual intrigue.

Traditional Spurs navy blue is the primary trim colour, but yellow also makes a return for secondary trim and detail. There is a distinct ‘zig-zag’ pattern on the sides, which fits with the look of the main pattern. Part of the sleeves at the shoulder and upper arm are navy blue.


Yellow, having been a common away colour over the years, last featured prominently on the 2009/10 PUMA home kit, worn when the club first qualified for the ?Champions League.

The overall look is perhaps not dissimilar to the 2016/17 home kit designed by Under Amour, with that shirt featuring a similar navy blue/gold trim, as well as navy blocks on the shoulders.

Dele Alli,Heung-Min Son

Footy Headlines has previously reported that they expect the 2020/21 Spurs away kit to be a shade of green, while the third kit is likely to be yellow.

?Spurs rose into fifth place in the ?Premier League on Sunday after ?Son Heung-min scored a dramatic stoppage time winner against ?Aston Villa. It was a third consecutive league victory for Jose Mourinho’s side, whose hopes of securing Champions League football have been boosted by ?Manchester City’s expulsion from UEFA competition for the next two seasons.


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Tottenham vs RB Leipzig Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Tottenham Hotspur will look to establish a decisive lead when they host RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday night.

The English side qualified by coming second in Group B in the group stages of the competition, while their opponents managed to win Group G despite only winning half of their games.

Lucas Moura

Coming into this game, Spurs will hope to carry the momentum gained from a late 3-2 win against Aston Villa. They currently sit fifth in the Premier League, a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

On the other hand, Die Roten Bullen are having a great season and warmed up for this game with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Werder Bremen. The win meant that they remain a point behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in second place.


Where to Watch

?When is Kick Off? ?Wednesday 19 February
?What Time is Kick Off? ?20:00 (GMT)
?Where Is it Played? ?Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?BT Sport 2
?Referee? ?Cüneyt Çakir


Team News

Spurs will be missing long-term absentees ?Harry Kane (hamstring) and midfielder Moussa Sissoko (knee surgery). 

Both winger ?Erik Lamela and defender Juan Foyth missed the ?Villa game with groin injuries and are considered doubts to appear on Wednesday.

Tyler Adams

As for RB Leipzig, they have multiple injuries to deal with. Midfielder Tyler Adams has been ruled out with a groin injury, while his midfield teammate Kevin Kampl is a doubt with a foot problem. 

Skipper Willi Orban (knee) and fellow defender Ibrahima Konaté (hip) are also on the injury list, while centre-back Dayot Upamecano is suspended for this game. It leaves the Germans with no recognised centre-back for Wednesday night, so Chelsea loanee 


Predicted Lineups

?Tottenham ?Lloris; Aurier, Sánchez, Alderweireld, Tanganga; Winks, Lo Celso; Bergwijn, Alli, Son; Lucas
?RB Leipzig ?Gulácsi; Mukiele, Klostermann, Halstenberg, Angeliño; Laimer, Haidara; Olmo, Sabitzer; Werner, Schick

Head-to-Head Record

This will be the first meeting between these two teams in the ?Champions League and indeed in their history. RB Leipzig have not played an English club in a competitive fixture as yet, so this match will be a first.

Moussa Sissoko,Serge Aurier,Jadon Malik Sancho

Tottenham have a great record against German clubs, having beaten ?Borussia Dortmund four times in their four encounters. The most recent tie came last season when they went through 4-0 on aggregate at the last 16 stage against Die Borussen.

Leipzig meanwhile played British opposition in the Europa League last season when they were drawn with Celtic in the group stage. They won the home game 2-0, but lost 2-1 in Glasgow and so will be hoping for a better result on the road.


Recent Form

Spurs are coming off a three-game winning streak in February so far, having started the month by defeating ?Manchester City 2-0. 

They then edged out ?Southampton 3-2 in the FA Cup fourth round replay, and most recently scored a last-minute winner to sink Aston Villa in a ?3-2 victory.

Lukas Klostermann

Leipzig, by contrast, have had mixed fortunes in their recent games. They suffered a cup defeat, losing 3-1 to Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal, before gaining a point with a goalless draw away to league leaders ?Bayern Munich. They warmed up for this game with an impressive 3-0 win against Werder Bremen and will look to replicate their performance in London on Wednesday.

Here’s how both sides have fared in their last five matches.

?Tottenham RB Leipzig?
?Aston Villa 2-3 Tottenham (16/2) ?RB Leipzig 3-0 Werder Bremen (15/2)
?Tottenham 3-2 Southampton (5/2) ?Bayern Munich 0-0 RB Leipzig (9/2)
?Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City (2/2) ?Frankfurt 3-1 RB Leipzig (4/2)
?Southampton 1-1 Tottenham (25/1) ?RB Leipzig 2-2 Mönchengladbach (1/2)
?Tottenham 2-1 Norwich (22/1) ?Frankfurt 2-0 RB Leipzig (25/1)

Prediction

Both sides picked up good wins on the weekend and carry enough attacking threat to ensure that there will be goals in this game.

Tottenham have not lost a home game since December, while Leipzig have not been able to win away since the same month.

Jose Mourinho

It is therefore more likely that Spurs will win at home in what could be a close but entertaining game and will leave the tie well poised before the return leg in Germany.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 RB Leipzig


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