The French footballer Benjamin Pavard from FC Bayern Munich flirted with a change again in an interview. “I won everything with Bayern Munich. I play to win and I’m ready to evaluate new interesting projects, but as a central defender,” the 26-year-old defender told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. His compatriot Olivier Giroud from Serie A champions AC Milan told him about the “magic of the derby” against Inter Milan. “I would love to play with him, also because he’s a great friend,” said the 2018 world champion.
The Frenchman had already hinted last week that he was flirting with a departure from Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga. “I’m not against discovering a new project. Maybe now is the time. Why not discover a new country, a new culture?” Pavard told the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe”. His contract with the Munich team runs until the summer of 2024.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed a month-long ceasefire in the war between Russia and Ukraine during the World Cup in Qatar. At an appearance at the G-20 summit of the most important industrialized and emerging countries in Bali on Tuesday, Infantino (52) suggested that from the start of the World Cup on Sunday until the final on December 18th the guns would be silent. “We are not naive and think that football can solve the world’s problems,” said the head of the world football association. However, the World Cup could be “an occasion for a positive gesture or a sign”.
He appealed to the participants of the summit – in addition to numerous heads of state and government such as US President Joe Biden and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as well as the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov –: “You are the leaders of the world. You have the opportunity to influence the course of history.” Infantino added: “My request to all of you is to consider a temporary one-month ceasefire for the duration of the World Cup. Or at least the introduction of humanitarian corridors or anything else that will lead to a resumption of dialogue.”
Infantino attended a luncheon hosted by the G20 countries, hosted by Indonesia. He also reminded that Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup and Ukraine is bidding for the 2030 tournament. “Football unites the world,” he said. Overall, the World Cup will be followed by five billion TV viewers.
Due to a late arrival, superstar Neymar and defender Marquinhos missed the Brazilian national team’s first training session. The two players only arrived at the Juventus training center when the training session was already underway and did not even enter the field, reported the Brazilian sports portal “Globoesporte”. Accordingly, the professionals of Paris Saint-Germain had to change the plane that was supposed to take them from France to Italy. The Seleção is preparing for the World Cup this week with the full squad of 26 at the traditional Italian club.
Record world champions Brazil meet Cameroon, Switzerland and Serbia in preliminary round group G. The opening game is on November 24th against Serbia. Switzerland and Serbia were also in Brazil’s group at Russia 2018 when they lost to Belgium in the quarterfinals.
Manuel Neuer can already be seen in Qatar. Larger than life, the DFB captain is emblazoned as an advertising figure for the World Cup on a skyscraper facade in the capital Doha in a typical jubilant pose. The huge lettering: “Tal__________ent” stretches across the entire height of the body.
In English, this refers to goalkeeper skills and not to age, as is usual in German. After all, the Bayern goalkeeper is playing his fourth World Cup for the national team. He has played 16 games since his tournament debut in South Africa in 2010. At 36, he has long since reached the advanced age of a footballer.
The English seventh division soccer club Ashton United caused amusement and even caused the collapse of their homepage with an unusual suggestion on the Internet. The plan: The club wants to loan Manchester City’s star striker Erling Haaland because the Norwegian is not taking part in the World Cup in Qatar. “Ashton United can confirm that the club have submitted a 28-day loan offer for Manchester City striker Erling Haaland,” the club said in a statement.
The background to the curious idea is the long break from the World Cup: Because the English champions only play again five days after the end of the World Cup on December 23 in the League Cup against Liverpool, Haaland has more than a month after the international match with Norway on Sunday against Finland Break.
“It just makes sense. City don’t play and we want to help by keeping Erling fit, that makes more sense than him playing golf for six weeks. We believe he will be a great fit for us and would fit into our squad dynamic very well,” said Ashton’s manager Michael Clegg. “This is not a joke, we are waiting for an answer,” Ashton United tweeted.
Nine days before the German team’s first game, the Minister of the Interior for Sport, Nancy Faeser, has not yet decided on a trip to the game against Japan. “No,” said the SPD politician on Monday evening in the ARD program “Hart, but fair” when asked. She makes a trip to the German opening game on November 23 dependent on whether she then also has appointments for talks about changes in dealing with migrant workers and minorities. “It’s important to continue to address that,” said Faeser.
In the run-up to the World Cup, the interior minister traveled to Qatar with a delegation that included DFB President Bernd Neuendorf. She had received a “security guarantee” from Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Chalid bin Chalifa Al-Thani. Accordingly, all fans should be able to “move freely and without fear” during the tournament from November 20th to December 18th.
The Dutch national team will auction their World Cup jerseys to benefit migrant workers. This was announced by the KNVB association. “Everyone knows that their circumstances need to get much better,” said Oranje captain Virgil van Dijk. One hopes to be able to contribute at least a small part to this with the action after each game, said the defense chief of Liverpool FC.
The Dutch will also meet with some migrant workers in Qatar on Thursday and exchange views on the current situation. In terms of sport, Bonds coach Louis van Gaal’s team will start against Senegal on Monday.
A few days before the start of the World Cup, hosts Qatar have changed their strategy regarding alcohol serving during matches. According to media reports, the stands that were already set up around the stadiums were dismantled and are now to be set up in other places. As “Bild” reports, the Qataris would continue to push for a ban, but FIFA and their beer sponsor held against it.
For Lothar Matthäus, the new world champion comes from South America. “If I had to choose a team and give a World Cup tip, I would choose Argentina,” wrote the 61-year-old in his Sky column. Matthäus also has Brazilians and French on his bill for the upcoming tournament in Qatar. “But my feeling tends towards Argentina. They have great team spirit and a balanced, strong squad.”
The German team also has Matthäus on the bill. “Of course I wish and I very much hope that it will be Germany. I wish it for me, for all German fans and also for my friend Hansi Flick,” said Matthäus. “It would be nice if the positive run of German football, as is currently the case in the Champions and Europa League, continues at the World Cup and we go home with the trophy. As always, we have a really good chance.”