Arsenal planning to swoop Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan and Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender

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He used to be accused of only buying French players, but now Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering two more additions to his growing collection of Germans. According to the Daily Mirror, Wenger is plotting moves for midfielders Ilkay Gundogan, of Borussia Dortmund, and Lars Bender, of Bayer Leverkusen.

Top five conclusions: Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (3-4 on agg.)

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1. Another Champions League side has proved that its whole is greater than the some of its parts. Well done to Borussia, who were assembled on a shoestring budget in comparison to Real. 2. The first 70 minutes was essentially watching 11 men in white shirts gradually run out of ideas against the Germans.

Top 10 conclusions: Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona

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1. This particular Champions League Houdini act looks like it will be beyond even the seasoned escapologists of Barcelona. 2. Dante's peak was considerably higher than that of anyone in the Barca defence. Bayern dominated in the air. 3. Lionel Messi can claim to be fully fit all he likes he clearly wasn't.

Through Ryu’s Lens: Germany vs Sweden The Germans were...

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Through Ryu's Lens: Germany vs Sweden

The Germans were winning 4-0. They're the Germans. 4-0 is beyond over. Except it wasn't. In the second half, Sweden marched back and scored four of their own unanswered goals. Zlatan led the charge, and our man Ryu Voelkel was on hand in Berlin to snap a few photos and watch the Germans collapse in an ineffable manner in front of their home fans.

Women's U20 World Cup final: USA beats Germany, 1-0 to lift third title

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Kealia Ohai scores the game winner in the 44th minute following great work down the right flank by full back Crystal Dunn and then celebrates a la Megan Rapinoe.

Congratulations, girls, that was a sweet victory against a formidable opponent who had beaten the USA, 3-0 in the group stage.

FIFA U-20 WWC: Team USA Pulls It Off (Not Their Shirts)

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Team USA brings it to North Korea and everyone goes, "Really?"Surprising everyone on the planet, Team USA, with some confidence, but assloads of poorly served balls, came out on top of the North Koreans in their quarterfinal match. I did not expect this. I still think it was a boring game, but that's only because this team does little for me stylistically, and I really anticipated the North Koreans putting them to shame from the get go.

Two More for the List: She's Beautiful and Can Kick Your Head In

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Alex Morgan, having nearly kicked her own head in, maybe.Because it's been a little while, right? And you miss her running around on your television, right? (You should check US Soccer to see the U.S. women's national team "Yay, We Won Something Finally" tour schedule, including a few friendly dates with Germany, which nearly made me pee myself with delight.

FIFA U-20 WWC: Canada Out, Proving That I Can't Pick Them to Save My Life

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Can Team USA stop these girls? Oh, I don't think so.What a beautiful goal by Christine Exeter, right? And then a defensive meltdown to allow the tie (and by meltdown, I mean retreat and watch, with only one challenge that came too late), and then the foul in the box, which booked Team Canada's plane ride home.

FIFA U-20 WWC: If We're to Judge by Cold Once-Overs, I'm Going With the Germans

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This once-over comes courtesy of the German keeper in blue.

And it turns out I'm right about picking the young Germans, led by Maren Meinert and Bettina Wiegmann and Silke Rottenberg, all of whom, unbeknownst to us all, strategize with their hands on their chins. Like Team USA had any answer to this.

FIFA U-20 WWC: Prepare With Vegan Bratwurst--Die Deutschen on Your Television

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Eleven good times.So, now we wait until the 26th for more of the U-20 tournament, and I'm going to do my best to not throw a fit about it.
Best news? The Germans play the States on Monday. I've been waiting a long, long time for this match. Finally, the Germans come to my screen, with their youth and their coaches and everyone's stern faces.

Is VDV’s future still in the balance? at related • 0 views

Prior to Euro 2012, rumours started to surface linking Rafael van der Vaart with a move back to Germany. Initially, Schalke 04 were put in the frame before Rafa's old team Hamburg stepped in and declared their interest.

The player was preparing for the Euros at the time but after Holland's early exit, the stories started to gather momentum.

U-20 Women’s World Cup Kicks Off As Germany, USA, Canada Register Big Wins

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The U-20 Women's World Cup kicked off in Japan two days ago, and both Canada and Germany got into the thick of the action almost immediately. The Canadian girls, who are looking to follow up on the success of their senior counterparts at the Olympics, registered a comfortable 6-0 victory over Argentina while the title holders, Germans thrashed China 4-0 in Hiroshima.

Great Germany, fantastic Italy

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As so often before, I was wrong about one thing: history repeated itself once more in last night's semifinal match between Italy and Germany. Italy was again better than Germany in an important match, much to the disappointment of the Germans that surely has been one of the most entertaining teams of the tournament, and surely it is a shame to see them out.

Euro 2012 Daily: Italy beat Germany (EPL Talk Podcast)

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Italy outplay the Germans and themselves, rocking Warsaw and showing that favourites come in different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, it means that tournament sweethearts Germany are out of the competition with a lot to think over. Thinking is one...

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Balotelli Struts His Stuff To Get Italy in Another Final

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Messi? Who? I only want to be better than Bendtner. I can do the underpants thing too.

It's been decided. The winner of the last 2 World Cups will contest the final on Sunday. Italy played the perfect game to see off the challenge of Germany to set up a rematch of their group game against Spain.

Euro 2012: Five things we take from the Germany vs Italy match

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Mesut Oezil has been a shadow, Andrea Pirlo a giant

Mesut Oezil is no Andrea Pirlo: This Euro is all about how Andrea Pirlo got his groove back on. The 2010 World Cup was all about how Pirlo was finished and Oezil was the superstar of the new generation. Forward two years, Pirlo made himself critical to Juve's success and in this Euro showed his mesmerizing mastery over the ball as he fed Italy's attack with laser like precision and executed a panenka as a perfect coda.

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Balotelli twofold downs Germany as Italy march onStriker Mario Balotelli struck doubly to fixing Italys 2-1 semi-terminal romp over Germany on Thursday to jilt the Germans Euro 2012 aspirations in tatters while the Azzurri march on to the terminal

Euro 2012: Balotelli braces sees Italy knock off Germany, advance to finals

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Mario Balotelli silenced some of his critics on Thursday, scoring a pair of goals that booked Italy's place in the Euro 2012 final while defeating tournament favorites Germany.

Italy upset the Germans, 2-1, on Thursday courtesy of a first-half Balotelli brace. Balotelli thundered home a header in the 20th minute following some poor defending, and he scored the eventual winner 16 minutes later in spectacular fashion.

Euro 2012 Semifinal: Germany vs. Italy

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The German and Italian national teams face off today for a place in Sunday's European Championship Final against Spain (2:45pm, ESPN2).

The Germans come in off a quarterfinal victory against Greece, and will have the advantage of having had two days of rest more than Italy, which needed penalty kicks to defeat England in the quarters.

Italy ace: We enjoy our football

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Daniele De Rossi does not mind hearing suggestions that Italy will be unable to match the attractiveness of German and Spanish football. Instead, he is simply focused on enjoying the way his teammates have grown used to playing with each other.

De Rossi, often considered one of Azzurri's best midfielders alongside the highly acclaimed Andrea Pirlo, understands that Germany will likely start favorites in tonight's semifinal meeting between the two sides but sees no reason for concern.

Euro 2012 Betting: Why you should back Italy against Germany

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Euro 2012 Betting: Why you should back Italy against Germany - originally posted on

Germany v Italy (7.45pm KO, Live on BBC1)

A fascinating clash and it's the Italians who make most appeal from a betting perspective at 3.25 with bet365 and Betfred in the draw/no bet market.


Wenger – Arsenal know how to deal with these upstart Germans!

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Well well, it is good to see a little bit of arrogance from your manager now and then, and Arsene Wenger is not all impressed with the possibility of having two German teams in the Champions League final. He doesn't believe that Arsenal would have been beaten in Germany like Barcelona and Real Madrid were this week.

Cologne 0 – 4 Arsenal: New Signings Impress, Regulars Get In The Groove

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The earlier pre-season friendlies didn't quite excite me as much. Maybe it was the fact that many first choice players were missing that necessitated the inclusion of many youngsters who clearly weren't going to play a major part in Arsenal's season. These issues also made is pointless to look at the tactics of the team or indulge in any sort of detailed discussion of the events of the games.

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

FIFA U-20 WWC: Are the American Back Line and Midfield Strong and Fit Enough to Hold Off the Germans?

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Unstoppable? Yes.The Nigerians gave the U.S. defense a run for their money today. During their semifinal match, the Super Falcons caught the American defense looking fragile and undisciplined quite a few times, but just couldn't capitalize (this may have something to do with the serious amount of dancing they do in the tunnel prematch, but no, okay, I can't prove that).

FIFA U-20 WWC: Where the Canadian Studs Fall to Tall Blondes

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That's right, you cover your face!What happened, Team of Choice? Sandra D'Angelo comes up huge with her penalty shot shutdown, and Jenna Richardson follows it up with a beautiful goal. This had the makings of a great victory over the Scandinavians!

Then I see, what, via highlight reel: a defense looking lackluster, a keeper nutmegged--Norway's goal.

Euro 2012

Euro 2012 Final: Just Another Day At The Office

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Poor Italy. After their fantastic performance against the hotly tipped Germans, speculation abounded that Super Mario and his boys would have enough in the tank to ruin Spain's plans for global domination. The Spanish, possibly peeved by accusations that they were boring throughout the tournament however, took their über shiny A-game to Kiev and stroked [.

Oh my; and other short revelations

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By Max Grieve

As Fernando Torres drifted into the dark behind the Italian defence, the ball sliding towards his feet, a sense of responsibility must have danced upon his thoughts. For near to three years now, the Spaniard has taken it upon himself to shatter any perception that he was once an accomplished striker – almost certainly, at one point, the best on the planet.

Spain 4-0 Italy

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FÃ bregas 14'
Alba 41'
Torres 84'
Matas 88'

The score line may flatter Spain, the by-product of Italy playing with 10 men for the last half an hour, but that's the only thing which flatters Spain. There will be effusive praise, but it's not exaggerated praise.

Is Super Mario so often vilified because he is black?

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A slightly controversial headline today regarding Monsieur Balotelli from yours truly in preparation for today's Euro 2012 final. This is something which has been on my mind for a while but whether any of it is any true is entirely a different matter.

Anyway, firstly back to the game between the Germans and the assured Azzuri which was perhaps provided one of the most surprising results of the tournament so far.

Italy end Arsenal interest in Euros + new commercial partner announced

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Good morning to you. It's Friday. The sun is shining and I didn't drink nearly as much wine as I did the night before. That's because I drank gimlets instead, but who's going to be pedantic at this time of the morning? You, wise guy? Didn't think so.

So, last night at the Euros Italy went through to the final, beating Germany 2-1 with two goals from Mario Balotelli, the kind of player who would make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.

Italian victory teaches German newspapers the dangers of hubris

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Based on the fact that they've been rather excellent throughout Euro 2012, most people assumed Germany would make easy work of dismissing the Italians in their semi-final game. Mario Balotelli, of course, spoiled Das Party and now the Germans head are left wondering what went wrong. (Thankfully, the Bayern Munich players in the squad will be able to show the others how to cope with the disappointment of being denied a trophy that virtually had their name written on it.

Euro 2012: Germany 1-2 Italy – Mario Mugs Mannschaft As Azzurri Outplay Germans (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

It had all been going rather swimmingly for Jogi Loew's gifted German side, with a much predicted final clash against Spain in the offing. However, a stunning first-half display from Mario Balotelli for Italy tore Germany's hopes of glory apart as Cesare Prandelli's side outplayed a turgid looking German team.

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Germany v Italy (7.45pm KO, Live on BBC1) A fascinating clash and it's the Italians who make most appeal from a betting perspective at 3.4 with Blue Square in the draw/no bet market. The bookmakers heavily favour Germany, who boast the best attack at Euro 2012 with 9 goals scored, in the 90 minutes market and they are general 1.

Which semifinalist will win Euro 2012?

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Euro 2012 is down to its final four, with Spain and Portugal kicking off the semifinals in an all-Iberian Peninsula affair at Donbass Arena in Ukraine later today (2:45 p.m., ESPN/Â

All four remaining world powers have a reasonable claim to lift the cup in Kiev on Sunday.

The Rest

Friday Freedom Kicks: Germans, MLS, and NASL (but mostly Germans)

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It's Friday, and we've got your soccer links to get your day started. We also have Germans. Lots of Germans.

It's March, which means a certain Madness is preventing us from watching Major League Soccer tonight on Spanish-language TV. But, without soccer to watch on a Friday night, we all should have a little more time to join with our German friends (and certain B&RU writers) in celebrating Manuel Neuer's birthday.

USA Crowned U-20 Women’s World Cup Champions After Beating Out Favourites Germany 1-0

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USA were officially crowned champions of the U-20 Women's World Cup after a closely-fought 1-0 victory over defending champions Germany in Tokyo tonight. Ironically for the Germans, Kealia Ohai's strike in the 44th minute was the first and only goal they conceded at the tournament and despite a successful campaign so far, they weren't able to fight off a hardworking USA side.

Goodbye Hiroshima, Hello Sendai

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The U.S. U-20 WNT on its way to Sendai, Japan in the Miyagi prefecture

The U.S. U-20 WNT said goodbye to Hiroshima this morning and traveled to Sendai to set up camp to prepare for its Group D finale against Germany on Aug. 27 at Miyagi Stadium.

Sam Mewis and Cari Roccaro crack the lap tops to get some homework done at the airport

The travel day couldn't have been smoother and once again Japan proved that when it comes to organization, no country is better.

Struck By An Angel: Di Maria Scores Cracker As Argentina Stroll to 3-1 Win Against Germany (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

A weakened German side played host to Lionel Messi and co. at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt on Wednesday night, with Jogi Loew's makeshift team going down 3-1 to the South American giants.

The Germans' cause wasn't helped when, on the half-hour mark, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was sent off after bringing down Jose Sosa in the box.

Hyypia: I Like Brendan's Style

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Sami Hyypia believes Liverpool's style of play under Brendan Rodgers will make them one of the toughest teams to beat in the Barclays Premier League this season.
The Kop legend watched on as his Bayer Leverkusen side was dismantled 3-1 by the Reds in a friendly contest at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Super Mario Sends Italy Into Euro FInals

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Two brilliant goals from Mario Balotelli destroyed Germany on Thursday and set up a final showdown with Spain in Kiev on Sunday.

This was the best we have ever seen of Balotelli — and the Germans could not handle him.

Much was made of the fact the Germans had two extra days rest following their quarter-final win over Greece while Italy had to go on extra time and penalties to beat England.