Although there’s no more difficult away trip in all of football than Besiktas’ Vodafone Park, Bayern Munich’s 5-0 first leg win over the Turkish giants has almost certainly given the Bavarian side a place in the Champions League quarterfinals, which would be the club's seventh consecutive appearance in the last eight.
For 16 minutes, a battle between first in Germany and fourth in Turkey figured to be an engaging affair, but then, Besiktas captain and Canadian legend Atiba Hutchinson played a dreadful back pass which was pounced on by Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern Munich has opened an 18-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after registering its eighth straight league victory with a 2-0 result against Mainz on Saturday, and it was Colombian attacker James Rodriguez again proving the side’s talisman with his second goal in three matches.
James Rodriguez welcomed the Bundesliga back from its winter break with a sublime piece of accuracy, an exquisite free kick to cap off Bayern Munich’s 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. With the Munich holding a one-goal lead heading into stoppage time, the reigning German champions got a little bit of wiggle room thanks to the James Rodriguez free kick goal.
A thing of beauty from James Rodriguez! https://t.co/BB0LH6bjvT
The fallout to the Jonathan Gonzalez switch from the U.S. to Mexico has been immense. We’ve covered it here and here. Simply put: The U.S. appears to be failing in its pursuit of identifying and recruiting Mexican-Americans to compete for the national team. But the possibility of a Timothy Tillman switch is proof U.S.
Lukas Podolski, a World Cup winner with Germany and a former striker for Arsenal and Bayern Munich, has always been a fan favorite, wherever he goes. The man with a hammer for a left leg is finishing out his career in Japan with Vissel Kobe right now, but while back in Cologne rehabbing an injury he opened up a doner kebab shop over the weekend to plenty of fanfare.
2017 was a pronounced year with regards to the retirement of a legion of decorated footballers. In the list below, we have an assortment of winners of the World Cup, European Championship, Copa America, Champions League and pretty much every domestic title out there.
Sadly, we’ve seen the last of this group on the professional pitch and on our gaming consoles via FIFA. Here are 10 footballers (along with a few honorable mentions) that hung up their boots this year.
Oliver Kahn is a giant of the game. The 2002 World Cup Golden Ball winner with Germany spent 14 years at Bayern Munich, winning eight Bundesliga titles and a Champions League. But what if he had left Germany to play for Manchester United when Alex Ferguson came calling in 2003? The paths of Bayern, United and even U.S. soccer would have played out much differently.