Bayern Munich sell Mario Mandžukić to Atlético Madrid

Written by: Published: 09 July 2014.

Bayern Munich have cashed in on Croatian forward Mario Mandžukić who has signed for Spanish La Liga champions Atlético Madrid, according to German Newspaper Bild.

Atlético Madrid will pay the German Bundesliga champions €22 million (£17.5m) for the services of Mandžukić.

The Croatian international had two years left to run on his contract but had reportedly fallen out with head coach Pep Guardiola and become a troublemaker in Munich.

Mario Mandžukić was not happy with the tactics deployed by the Spanish coach who successfully won the Bundesliga and German Cup in his first season in charge.

Atlético have signed Mandžukić down to a five-year contract, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2019.

Mandžukić scored 18 goals in the Bundesliga last season in 30 appearances for the runaway leaders. Only Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski (20) netted more.

Since joining Bayern Munich, the Croatian striker has scored 48 goals in 88 games in all competitions, winning the league title on both occasions as well as the 2013 UEFA Champions League.

He scored 20 goals in 60 matches at VfL Wolfsburg who sold Mandžukić for €13 million after two years at the club.

Mario Mandžukić has scored 15 goals in 51 appearances for the Croatian national team which included becoming his country’s first player to score a brace in a single game at the World Cup this summer, during their 4-1 thrashing of Cameroon.

Atlético Madrid are expected to sell last season’s top scorer Diego Costa to English Premier League side Chelsea. The Blues had also been linked with Mandžukić this summer.

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Bayern Munich land Bernat

Written by: Published: 07 July 2014.

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Spanish defender Juan Bernat from Valencia.

The 21-year old left-back has signed a five-year contract with the German Bundesliga champions.

Juan Bernat joins Javi Martínez and Thiago Alcântara as the third Spanish player in Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The new signing was happy to join the German giants:

“I’m really happy that I’m going to be able to play for this club in future. Bayern are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the world and I’m really, really pleased to be able to play in a team alongside the likes of [Philipp] Lahm, [Manuel] Neuer, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribéry, and to have Pep Guardiola as coach. I’ll give everything I have for the club to be successful.”

Bernat has played for Spain at under-21 level and already has 51 La Liga appearances to his name during a three-year spell in with the Valencia first team from whom he came through the youth academy.

The young Spaniard was part of the under-19 side that won the European Championship in 2012 where Thiago Alcântara scored a hat-trick in the final.

FCB sporting director Matthias Sammer said:

“Juan Bernat’s an extraordinary young player who we’ve been monitoring for a while. He’s quick, strong in the tackle and has an extremely good eye for goal. We’re sure that, in signing Juan Bernat, we’re making a very sound investment in our team for the future. We’d like to extend a warm, FC Bayern welcome to him.”

Juan Bernat passed a medical in Munich on Monday before the club confirmed the signing.

Bernat becomes the third player signed by Bayern Munich this summer following Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) and Sebastian Rode (Eintracht Frankfurt).

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Bayern Munich extend Claudio Pizarro contract

Written by: Published: 27 May 2014.

Claudio Pizarro will be coming back to Bayern Munich next season after the 2013-14 Bundesliga champions announced a new one-year deal for the 35-year old striker.

The Peruvian re-joined Bayern Munich in 2012, scoring ten goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances for Pep Guardiola’s title winning side last season.  His new deals expires in June 2015.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quoted on the club’s official website:

“This season, Claudio again demonstrated his goalscoring ability and showed how important he is to the team. We’re extremely pleased we’ll still be able to count on him and benefit from his efforts.”

Pizarro averaged one goal every 68 minutes in the Bundesliga last season as Bayern Munich ran away with both the league and several of their matches this past season.

The striker himself commented:

“I’m very proud to be able to play for FC Bayern again next year. There’s no better club in the world for me.

“We’ve got an incredible squad and we have a lot of fun together,” he continued. “We’re really going to challenge again next season.”

Pizarro has scored 176 goals in the Bundesliga with two spells at both Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich. He is the Bundesliga’s all-time highest-scoring foreign player and ranks ninth in the league’s all-time scoring chant. He is one goal behind both Klaus Allofs and Dieter Müller and three behind Stefan Kuntz.

He has played 75-times for the Peru national team and at the age of 35 will be heading into his ninth season with Bayern Munich after this summer’s World Cup.

Claudio Pizarro has won the German Bundesliga five times with Bayern Munich and collected a winner’s medal in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final. He has also won the German DFB Cup on six occasions – five with FCB and once with Werder Bremen in 2009.

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Guardiola’s Bayern lack ruthlessness

Written by: Published: 30 April 2014.

Bayern Munich were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night in emphatic fashion as Real Madrid beat the defending champions 4-0 at the Allianz Arena and 5-0 on aggregate.

The defeat prevented Bayern Munich becoming the first side to defend the trophy since it was rebranded in 1992 from the European Cup.

It was also Bayern Munich’s biggest-ever home defeat in Europe and Pep Guardiola’s biggest defeat in his managerial career.

Bayern Munich had been favourites for both the semi-final tie and the Champions League prior to the first leg that they lost 1-0 in Spain.

Jupp Heynckes guided the Bavarians to their first-ever treble last season – winning the German Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League in the same season. They suffered just 3 defeats all season – to BATE Borisov in the group stage of the Champions League, Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the league and Arsenal in the second leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Guardiola’s side were handed their sixth defeat of the season. Bayern Munich have now won only 4 of their last 10 games in all competitions since wrapping up the Bundesliga title in Berlin at the end of March.

It would appear that winning the German league so comfortably had a negative effect on their Champions League performances. They weren’t overly-convincing in beating struggling Manchester United 4-2 on aggregate in the round of 16.

Bayern Munich were overwhelmingly beaten by Real Madrid, trailing 3-0 at half-time in the second leg on home soil.

The German side dominated the possession in both legs but failed to seriously test goalkeeper Iker Casillas in either leg, failing to score a single goal in 3 hours against the Spanish giants.

FCB appear to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen as they did under Jupp Heynckes last season.

The absence of Thiago Alcântara was certainly a blow to Bayern Munich with the Spanish midfielder capable of creating chances for his side. Currently sidelined through injuries. However, Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben have torn apart nearly every team they have faced over the past few years. The two forwards were largely on the fringe in the two legs against Real Madrid.

Pep Guardiola has been in charge of Bayern Munich for less than a year and has already lifted the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA World Club Cup and German Bundesliga titles and remains in the German Cup. He also has the duo of Robert Lewnadowski and Sebastian Rode joining in the summer as he continues to shape his team the way he wants it.

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Real Madrid march past Bayern Munich

Written by: Published: 30 April 2014.

Defending UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich were sent crashing out of this season’s tournament at the semi-final stage on Tuesday night by a 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid.

The 2013-14 German Bundesliga champions were beaten 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium last week in a game FCB dominated the possession but failed to create a single clear-cut opportunity.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Ángel di María missed clear-cut opportunities to extend Real Madrid’s lead in the home leg after Karim Benzema had given the Spanish side an early lead on the counter attack.

It was a fast break in which Real Madrid won the corner from which Sergio Ramos headed his side into the lead at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.

The opener came on 16 minutes and the second goal came only 5 minutes later. Centre-back Sergio Ramos had his second, another header, this time from Pepe’s flick-on from a set piece.

Bayern Munich needed to score four unanswered goals at this point to progress. If the tie wasn’t already over at this point it most certainly was on 34 minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo finished off an incisive break to make it 3-0 from a one-on-one with Manuel Neuer after Gareth Bale played his Portuguese teammate in on goal.

Neither goalkeeper had made a save in the first half as Real Madrid went in with a 3-0 lead on the night.

Bayern Munich famously lost the Champions League final in their own stadium as heavy favourites against English Premier League side Chelsea two years ago.

This result must be up there as the most disappointing performances in Munich’s long history in Europe. In a quiet second half where Iker Casillas was rarely tested, ending the game on 4 saves, Ronaldo wrapped the game up with a low free kick in the final minute.

In the process, Cristiano Ronaldo has set a record for scoring 16 goals in a single Champions League game. The Portuguese has now scored 51 goals in 50 Champions League appearances for Real Madrid.

Next month Real Madrid will compete in a record 13th Champions League/European Cup final and their first since 2002.

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How many goals will Bayern Munich put past Manchester United?

Written by: Published: 01 April 2014.

Bayern Munich travel to Manchester United this evening for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie.

The German side have already won the Bundesliga and were able to rest a number of players during Saturday’s 3-3 draw at home to 1899 Hoffenheim in the league.

Manchester United have struggled against the teams above them in the English Premier League this season under David Moyes, currently in seventh position, picking up just 5 points from 11 matches against the current top 6.

Pep Guardiola’s side have won six of their eight Champions League games this season, with the exceptions of being beaten at home by Manchester City in the final group game and drawing their round of 16 second leg at home to Arsenal.

Manchester United came from 0-2 in their first leg to eliminate Olympiacos with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford in the previous round.

The Red Devils were 4-1 winners over Aston Villa in the Premier League over the weekend which saw Wayne Rooney help himself to two goals.

Last season’s Premier League top goalscorer Robin van Persie is unavailable through injury, whilst left-back Patrice Evra is suspended for the first leg.

Bayern Munich are overwhelming favourites for the tie. With the attacking talents of Thomas Müller, Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, as well as the ball possession they maintain through the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martínez – it would be a significant upset if Manchester United were to progress.

We’re just wondering how many goals Bayern Munich will win both legs by…

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Thiago Alcântara out for 6-8 weeks

Written by: Published: 29 March 2014.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcântara will be sidelined for up to eight weeks after he suffered a knee injury during the champions’ 3-3 draw at home to 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.

The summer signing from Barcelona suffered a partial tear to his medial ligaments in his right knee and was substituted after 25 minutes.

Thiago Alcântara had an X-ray after the match where club doctor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller Wohlfahrt confirmed he will be out for “six to eight weeks”.

This rules out the midfielder playing in either leg of Bayern Munich’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Manchester United at the beginning of next month as well as the majority of the final weeks of the Bundesliga season.

Head coach Pep Guardiola said his summer signing will be missed:

“It’s very bad news and we will miss him badly.”

In his first season in Germany, Thiago Alcântara has made 16 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich, scoring 2 goals included the spectacular stoppage time winner versus VfB Stuttgart at the end of January.

Yesterday’s draw was only the third time this season that Bayern Munich have dropped points this season, now having played 28 matches.

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Bayern Munich lose 100% home record

Written by: Published: 29 March 2014.

For only the third time in 28 Matchdays this season Bayern Munich have dropped points in the German Bundesliga.

And for the first time in the league this season, the visiting fans have had something to cheer about when leaving the Allianz Arena.

1899 Hoffenheim’s 3-3 draw at Bayern Munich on Saturday ended Pep Guardiola’s 100% home record in Germany in their 14th match at the Allianz Arena.

A number of first-team players were rested by Guardiola ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Manchester for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with last season’s English Premier League winners.

Anthony Modeste opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the first half but usual order was restored even before half-time when the hosts turned the game around to take a 3-1 lead shortly before half-time.

Claudio Pizarro (31′), Xherdan Shaqiri (34′) and Pizarro again (40′) had given the home side a two-goal cushion. However, Sejad Salihović did reduce the lead to 3-2 just before the break.

With 15 minutes to play, Roberto Firmino rescued an unlikely point for the visitors.

In between their two Champions League matches with Manchester United, Bayern Munich travel to FC Augsburg next weekend.

This point for Hoffenheim moves them into the top half following Hertha Berlin’s 2-0 loss at Schalke 04 on Friday night.

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