Reigning champions Brazil and 2016 finalists Germany have been drawn together in the group stages for the men's football tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Brazil secured the gold medal on home soil in Rio five years ago when defeating Germany via a penalty shoot-out, Neymar with the clinching spot-kick for following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

The two nations are together again in Group D, along with Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia, and are in the same half of the draw as Argentina and Spain, who are both in Group C.

Hosts Japan are joined in Group A by France, Mexico – who claimed the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – and South Africa.

Les Bleus will be involved in the opening match when they take on Mexico on July 22 at Tokyo Stadium, followed by Japan taking on South Africa at the same venue later that day.

In the women's event, the United States – winners of the 2019 World Cup - are paired with Sweden, who lost the 2016 final to Germany. Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand complete the line-up for Group G.

Japan will take on Canada, Great Britain and Chile in Group E, while the other pool contains China, Brazil, the Netherlands and Zambia.


Men's draw in full:

Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France.

Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania.

Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia.

Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

Women's draw in full:

Group E: Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile.

Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, the Netherlands.

Group G: Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick refused to be drawn on the stand-off between him and the club after their 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen edged them closer to the Bundesliga title.

Flick declared after Saturday's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg that he intends to leave Bayern at the end of this season and has requested for his contract, which runs until 2023, to be terminated.

The 56-year-old has been heavily linked with the Germany national team coaching role as Joachim Low's successor but Bayern have made it clear they will not let him leave without a fee, causing a stand-off.

Bayern's win over Leverkusen on Tuesday moved them within one victory of the 2020-21 Bundesliga title but Flick's future was a hot topic post-game.

"I'm not really thinking about it," Flick said when asked how he will handle talks with the Bayern directors.

"I'm not thinking that far [ahead]. You've been part of the press conferences for a while, you know I never look back or forward further than the next game.

"The next game will be Mainz. I really enjoy when the team performs like today. That's what the coach is here for."

Flick also refused to accept any congratulations despite Bayern all but being champions, with a 10-point buffer from second-placed RB Leipzig with four games to play.

"I told my team before the game that we can make a huge step in the right direction today and that's what we did," Flick said.

"We have another huge game on Saturday at Mainz. We don’t have any points to give away so we also want to win there and after that you can say congratulations."

Eric Choupo-Moting has scored three goals in three games in Robert Lewandowski's absence but Flick indicated the Poland forward has a strong chance to return against Mainz following a knee injury.

"Honestly Robert really was practicing well today," he said. "We're happy he's probably able to come back earlier. He's absolutely an option for Saturday."

Julian Nagelsmann reiterated he has not held talks about the Bayern Munich job – and likened speculation he has to breaking up with a German model who has never actually been his girlfriend.

RB Leipzig head coach Nagelsmann was speaking a day after Hansi Flick announced he was set to leave Bayern at the end of the season.

Flick has been strongly tipped to take over as Germany national team coach with current boss Joachim Low stepping down after the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament.

Nagelsmann is among the leading contenders to succeed Flick at the Allianz Arena with former Bayern and Germany international Lothar Matthaus indicating he was a shoo-in for the job.

The 33-year-old has won 52, drawn 21 and lost 15 of his 88 matches in charge of Leipzig with a win percentage of 59.09.

But he has again stressed no discussions between himself and Bayern have taken place.

"There is simply nothing I can report," Nagelsmann told a media conference on Sunday ahead of Leipzig's Bundesliga clash with Cologne.

"I think it's totally wrong to then sit down and say what if, and maybe get yourself talked about somewhere and make yourself important on things that aren't there.

"I can't sit down and say, I'm going to break up with Lena Gercke [German model] tomorrow, because I've never dated her, for example.

"I'm sorry to say that there are no new developments compared to the last press conference. The same things apply that I said there.

"There are and were no discussions and no offer. That's why I don't know what Bayern's wish is. I have said I don't want to start a war with my employers - that's still the case."

 

 

Jamaican winger Leon Bailey scored two goals and had an assist as Bayer Leverkusen blanked Cologne 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Lothar Matthaus expects Julian Nagelsmann to replace Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich and believes Jesse Marsch will be the next RB Leipzig boss.

Flick on Saturday announced he wants to leave Bayern at the end of the season and has made no secret of his interest in succeeding Germany head coach Joachim Low.

Matthaus thinks Flick will land the Germany job, with Bayern moving for Leipzig's 33-year-old coach Nagelsmann.

Bayern and Germany legend Matthaus envisages Leipzig turning to Red Bull Salzburg's Marsch to fill the void if Nagelsmann is appointed as boss of the European champions.

He told Sky: "My opinion is: Flick to the DFB, Nagelsmann to Bayern and Jesse Marsch to Leipzig."

Matthaus added: "Of course, Bayern didn't speak to Julian Nagelsmann directly, but started the conversation with Julian Nagelsmann's side and I'm still standing by that today.

"I am convinced that Julian Nagelsmann will succeed Hansi Flick. He wants to take the next step."

Matthaus believes Marsch would be a shrewd appointment if Leipzig are in the market for a new coach.

"He would be a good guy for the Bundesliga," said the ex-midfielder.

"Nagelsmann would be satisfied. Marsch would be satisfied. I can imagine that going in this direction, but there are contracts that have to be respected."

Matthaus thinks it is only a matter of time before Flick agrees terms to take charge of his country.

"Now the talks will get serious. He will succeed Joachim Low. Everyone knows him at the DFB. Everyone likes him at the DFB."

Hansi Flick has confirmed he wants to step down as Bayern Munich boss at the end of the season.

Flick has been tipped to take over as Germany coach when Joachim Low leaves his post following this year's European Championship.

Having previously worked as assistant to Niko Kovac, Flick took sole charge of the Bavarian giants following the Croatian's sacking in November 2019.

He subsequently led them to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble, earning a new contract that ran until 2023 in the process.

However, after weeks of speculation, Flick has now revealed that he wishes to depart at the end of the season.

"I told the team today that I would like to get out of my contract this summer," he told Sky following a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday.

"I already told those responsible after the Champions League elimination [against Paris Saint-Germain] during the week. I wanted to tell the team personally.

"I also want to thank the club that gave me the opportunity to train this team."

Flick served as an assistant to Low in the Germany set-up from 2006 until 2014.

It has been suggested the 56-year-old would jump at the chance to replace Low following a difficult year at the Allianz Arena.

Although Bayern remain on track to retain their Bundesliga title, they were dumped out of the DFB-Pokal by second-tier Holstein Kiel in January.

The defence of their Champions League crown ended on Tuesday, with a 1-0 victory over PSG sending them out on away goals after losing the first leg of the quarter-final tie 3-2.

Reports of clashes between Flick and the club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic are also thought to have expedited the coach's departure.

Hansi Flick has confirmed he wants to step down as Bayern Munich boss at the end of the season.

Hansi Flick has held talks with Oliver Kahn since Bayern Munich's exit from the Champions League but insists his own future at the club was not discussed.

Future club CEO Kahn, who will take over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the end of the year, is the incoming power-broker who will want clarity about head coach Flick's intentions.

The 56-year-old Flick, who delivered a treble last season, has been linked with becoming the next Germany head coach. 

Rumours over Flick's apparent interest in replacing Joachim Low in that job after the Euro 2020 finals seem to have substance, given he has had ample opportunity to deny the rumours.

Suggestions of a strained relationship with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have also fuelled speculation Flick could leave Bayern at the end of this campaign.

Speaking after Bayern's Champions League title defence came to an end against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Flick said he had not spoken to Kahn and did not know what the former goalkeeper would want to talk to him about.

However Flick told a news conference on Friday: "I talked to Oliver Kahn briefly, but about other things. It's not as if there's any pressure on me or us. We talked very briefly. We talked about this week and how important this week is.

"We also talked about how we digested the Champions League exit. That's what we talked about - nothing else, not the future."

Bundesliga leaders Bayern face Wolfsburg on Saturday and then Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, with both opponents sitting in the top six and chasing objectives of their own. They then tackle Mainz on the following Saturday.

Flick said: "Everybody in this club knows how important this week is. I heard we could get a fifth star on the shirt if we win the championship. That would be fantastic."

Former Germany assistant boss Flick nevertheless admits he is having restless nights.

"The Champions League exit is still present - this doesn't go away that quickly," he said.

"I'm not sleeping great at the moment. I think you can probably tell. The truth is that life continues. We have a big challenge ahead, three important games ahead for our season goals."

Hansi Flick fuelled further speculation over his Bayern Munich future with ambiguous remarks in the aftermath of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gave reigning European champions Bayern a 1-0 win on the night at Parc des Princes but a 3-3 aggregate scoreline saw them bow out on away goals after a thrilling contest.

It means Flick will not add another Champions League to the six trophies he has lifted since succeeding Niko Kovac midway through last season, although Bayern are favourites to retain the Bundesliga once more.

Nevertheless, rumours over both Flick's apparent interest in succeeding Joachim Low as Germany boss after the rescheduled Euro 2020 and a strained relationship with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have gathered pace.

The 56-year-old, who has a contract with Bayern until 2023, insisted he had no issue with Salihamidzic but would offer no guarantees over his future plans, stating he is yet to speak to incoming chief executive Oliver Khan.

"My relationship with Brazzo [Salihamidzic] is stable. Nothing will change that. He has his job, I have mine. I will keep doing as I have done all season, which is why everything is stable," Flick told Sky Deutschland.

"I don't have an appointment. If Oliver wants to talk to me then he can gladly do it. I don't know what he will want to talk about.

"The last few weeks, in terms of media, were not that easy. I never had anything new to say, so I think you have to respect a coach when he says he doesn't want to talk about these things anymore.

"I have a contract with Bayern but you always have thoughts about how the future looks and if everything is working wonderfully here.

"Whether I'm at the DFB [German Football Association] perhaps is irrelevant for my family. Whatever decision I make, they will support me. Having them behind me is a great feeling. I love the job and I can't imagine doing anything other than coaching.

"It's all about developing the team. That's immensely important for me. I'm always thinking about that, success is a constant process. With the six titles we won. We have set an incredible benchmark. Whether at the DFB or Bayern, the pressure is huge."

Speaking as part of Sky Deutschland's coverage of the PSG game, former Bayern and Germany midfielder Lothar Matthaus claimed Flick already has an offer to become Germany head coach, with Bayern turning their attentions to RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Matthaus stated Flick had now taken charge of his final Champions League game with Bayern and would step down after their last game of this Bundesliga season against Augsburg.

On the game itself, Flick rued both Bayern's collective wastefulness in the first leg and Leroy Sane's failure to make the most of a glorious stoppage-time opening in Paris.

"I think in the first leg in Munich, we scored too few. The third goal we conceded was one too many. 2-2 would have been enough," he added.

"I was hoping we might strike late. Leroy had that chance at the end and perhaps should have gone alone rather than deciding to cross the ball low."

Leon Goretzka insists Germany's players are to blame for their shock defeat to North Macedonia and not under-fire head coach Joachim Low.

Germany lost 2-1 on Wednesday to the side ranked 52 places below them in the FIFA rankings – their first World Cup qualifying defeat since September 2011, a run spanning 35 games.

The loss was Die Mannschaft's second in four competitive matches, having also been thrashed 6-0 by Spain in November's Nations League clash.

Low recently announced he will quit his role with the national side after the rescheduled Euro 2020, though Germany's poor form – just five wins in their last 11 matches – has led to calls for a change before the tournament.

But Goretzka, who started all three of Germany's March qualifiers, has absolved the long-serving head coach of any blame for the latest calamitous loss, which leaves Germany third in Group J.

"We players are to blame for the defeat and no one else," he told ZDF. "We felt a touch of euphoria in the country after beating Iceland and Romania. 

"We have just got to tell ourselves now that it is behind us. You have to see that the scaffolding is becoming even more stable. In any case, that is primarily the job of the players."

Goretzka marked his return to club duty on Saturday with the winning goal in Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich's 1-0 win over closest challengers RB Leipzig.

He has been a key player once again for Bayern this term, featuring 28 times in all competitions, 21 of those appearances coming in the Bundesliga.

The midfielder's drilled finish against Leipzig from a Thomas Muller cutback was his fifth Bundesliga goal in 2020-21, adding to five assists – only Muller (25) and Robert Lewandowski (41) have been directly involved in more for Bayern in the league this season.

Goretzka also leads the way among Bayern midfielders in the Bundesliga for recoveries per 90 minutes (8.98) and is behind only Javi Martinez (2.57) for interceptions, with 2.27 a game on average.

Bayern are reportedly eager to agree fresh terms with Goretzka on a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season, and the 26-year-old has indicated he is ready to commit to the club.

"I feel very comfortable here," he said. "Bayern has helped me a lot in the last few years to take the next step in my career. That is why the tendency is clearly towards Bayern."

Hansi Flick hailed his side's "mentality" after they moved seven points clear at the Bundesliga summit with a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig on Saturday. 

Leon Goretzka's third goal in his last four top-flight games proved the difference at the Red Bull Arena as Bayern took a significant step towards a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title. 

It marked the 62nd consecutive match in which Bayern have found the back of the net, setting a new record in Germany football since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963. 

Bayern did not have it all their own way against Leipzig, who had 14 shots to their nine, and Flick acknowledged his side had to use all of their mental strength to claim all three points against their second-placed hosts. 

"It was a top game and Leipzig showed why they are right up there," he told Sky. "We were on the trigger right from the start. 

"We didn't play forward as we would have wanted, but the goal was played out nicely. Leipzig caused us some problems, but the morale and mentality of my players is really excellent."

Goretzka's goal was created by Thomas Muller, who has now been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Bundesliga games (four goals, seven assists). 

The 31-year-old has not played for Germany since November 2018 after being deemed surplus to requirements by Joachim Low.

However, there have been growing calls for him to be recalled for the rescheduled Euro 2020 at the end of the domestic season. 

Flick praised Muller for his "sensational" campaign, but said he did not want to influence Low, who he was assistant to between 2006 and 2014.

"I don't have to interfere," he added. "Thomas Muller is playing a sensational season. He can be important for other teams too, but in the end it has to be decided by Jogi. 

"He pushes his team-mates again and again, also in training. I am glad that we have such players in our ranks."

No side leading the Bundesliga by at least seven points after 27 games has failed to go on and win the title, but goalscorer Goretzka is refusing to get carried away.

"There are still 21 points to be awarded," he said. "It was a big step, but not the decisive one."

Bayern host Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday before welcoming Union Berlin to the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga four days later.

An emotional Igor Angelovski suggested a sensational win over Germany was comparable to European Championship success for his North Macedonia side.

In the biggest shock of the World Cup qualifying campaign so far, North Macedonia claimed a remarkable 2-1 victory in Duisberg on Wednesday.

North Macedonia are set to make their major tournament debut as an independent nation at Euro 2020 and have now also improbably boosted their Qatar 2022 hopes, sitting above Germany in Group J, three points behind early leaders Armenia.

Angelovski's men had just 30.5 per cent of possession against the 2014 World Cup winners but were clinical when their chances came.

Veteran forward Goran Pandev and midfielder Eljif Elmas scored as North Macedonia registered six goal attempts, of which three were on target.

Germany had 11 efforts but only twice found their aim, as Timo Werner incredibly missed from point-blank range after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty had pulled the hosts back level.

For triumphant head coach Angelovski, the victory was particularly precious as he reflected on a difficult time in his personal life.

"What can I tell you? I can't, out of emotion, out of happiness," he said. "We made the North Macedonians proud and happy. This is like winning the European Championship.

"I came here with these guys because they promised to celebrate. My wife was in the hospital, she had COVID-19 symptoms, luckily she's better now.

"The kids were giving me support. Thank you all. What more can I say? Just to cry."

Unsurprisingly, 37-year-old record goalscorer Pandev - once a Champions League winner with Inter - was picked out for special praise.

He scored with his only shot from his sole touch inside the Germany box but crucially provided an outlet, his average position the furthest forward of any North Macedonia player.

"Pandev is an amazing man, the leader of this team," Angelovski said. "They fought like lions to write the history of their state; I'm proud of these guys."

Germany head coach Joachim Low was left "bitter" after the country's shock loss at home to North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying.

Low's Germany were sensationally humbled in Duisburg, where the four-time world champions suffered a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday.

Ilkay Gundogan had cancelled out Goran Pandev's opener before Eljif Elmas restored North Macedonia's lead with five minutes remaining as Germany lost a World Cup qualifier for the first time since September 2001 – a run of 35 matches.

The defeat left Germany third in Group J, level on points with North Macedonia and three points adrift of pacesetters Armenia, who have won all three matches so far.

"We are hugely disappointed after this bitter defeat tonight," Low, who will vacate his post following the rescheduled Euro 2020, told reporters. "We did not manage to find our way into the game like we did in the last two games.

"We had some good approaches but this was a real setback. As a first analysis, there are a couple of reasons for that. We were lacking pace and fast passing, we ran a lot with the ball and had many passing errors while moving forward. We did not find any appropriate means against the deep positioned North Macedonians.

"We also ran into many counterattacks due to passing errors and bad positioning. We did not have any access to our opponent when they were in the box during these counter attacks.

"We were equally staffed against the opponent during both goals. So positioning in the box was bad. But we also missed many chances in the first half and didn't punish them. We had a chance to go in front where it was two against one with Ilkay and Timo Werner.

"You had the feeling that this missed chance broke the team mentally. We tried it but we couldn't play as we usually managed to. We just weren't able to win this game today."

Joachim Low insisted it was not the right time to discuss possible recalls for Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels in the aftermath of Germany's shock 2-1 loss to North Macedonia.

Eljif Elmas scored late on in Duisburg - Ilkay Gundogan having earlier cancelled out Goran Pandev's opener from the penalty spot - to inflict a first World Cup qualifying defeat on Germany since September 2001 - a run spanning 35 matches.

The defeat leaves Die Mannschaft third in Group J, level on points with North Macedonia and three points behind pacesetters Armenia, who have won all three matches so far.

Speaking to RTL after the game, Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeness suggested Low - who has announced he will end his tenure as head coach after Euro 2020 - should bring Muller and Hummels back into the national team.

The duo, as well as Bayern defender Jerome Boateng, have not played for their country since November 2018, but Low recently hinted each player remains in his plans for this year's tournament.

"Hummels is a player with strong aerial ability and someone who has a lot of experience," Hoeness said. "He can definitely give this team something.

"Muller also definitely belongs in the squad. He's always good for goals and can help any team in the world in certain situations."

But when asked again about those absent players after the North Macedonia game, Low told RTL: "This question cannot be answered now. The decision will be made in May. It is something to think about in the next few days and weeks."

The defeat for Germany was just their third ever in World Cup qualifying and leaves them with work to do when they resume their campaign in September.

There may well have been a different outcome on Wednesday had Timo Werner made more of a glorious chance that fell his way five minutes before Elmas' winner, the substitute forward dragging wide in a one-on-on opportunity.

"He has to score that, no question about it," Low said of Werner's late miss, coming from the Chelsea attacker's only touch of the ball in the opposition penalty area.

"He doesn't hit the ball properly, otherwise it's a goal. Timo blames himself the most. That was a bad moment in a period in which we were on top in the game."

Low had previously criticised his players for their profligacy in the 1-0 win over Romania on Sunday, which followed on from a 3-0 victory at home to Iceland.

Germany had 11 shots against North Macedonia but tested visiting goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski with just two of those, with Serge Gnabry - the match-winner against Romania last time out - wasting two chances of his own in the first half.

"There is no magic formula," Low said. "You can train all you want, but it is difference in a competitive match. We were too hesitant to finish.

"We weren't consistent. With the score at 1-1, Timo had that huge chance. We have to look back at the chances and talk about it."

Gundogan had drawn Germany on level terms but his side were caught out at the back for a second time for the winning goal.

"The fact is, that should not be happening," Gundogan said. "It felt like they were in front of our goal twice and scored twice - it was too easy for them.

"We had many chances and only scored one goal. We didn't defend well with either goal - twice they had a man in the middle completely free.

"I leave with a bad feeling. It hurts all the more that we won't play again for three months. We have to get in top form by the end of May and prepare for the Euros."

Germany dropped their first points in World Cup 2022 qualifying as they suffered a shock 2-1 loss at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.

Joachim Low's side had defeated Iceland and Romania in their first two Group J games without conceding, but they were stunned in Duisburg by Eljif Elmas' late goal.

Veteran forward Goran Pandev had earlier given North Macedonia a half-time lead, which Ilkay Gundogan cancelled out with a contentious penalty for Ezgjan Alioski's challenge on Leroy Sane.

But Germany, ranked 52 places above their opponents in the FIFA rankings, saw substitute Timo Werner miss a glorious chance shortly before Elmas converted Arijan Ademi's cutback to snatch a famous win for the visitors.

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