Oliver Kahn feels incoming Bayern Munich goalkeeper Alexander Nubel has taken a "very courageous step" by agreeing a move to Bavaria to challenge Manuel Neuer for the number one spot.

Last week Bayern confirmed Nubel, 23, would be joining the Bundesliga champions on a free in July upon the expiration of his contract with Schalke.

That was the very transfer Neuer made in 2011, though his presence as Bayern's number one and captain means Nubel may struggle for playing time initially.

Former Bayern keeper Kahn, who has returned to the club as a member of their executive board, had advised Nubel to remain at Schalke last April because he had not earned his stripes internationally.

"Back then I wasn't involved in decisions regarding transfers," Kahn told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Every player has to go his own way. He expressed that his way is to come to Bayern Munich; he wants to establish [himself] in a few years as the number one.

"But he wants to learn first from a great goalkeeper as Manuel Neuer is and to take this step you need to be very courageous. It's a very courageous step he decided to take here.

"At the moment we shouldn't think too much about it because we have to focus on the second part of the season, we want to show great performances and we need Manuel Neuer at his best, as we have seen in the first part of the season and recent years."

Neuer, 33, has a contract at Bayern until 2021 and he said Nubel's impending arrival would not affect discussions over a new deal.

A controversy over who occupies the spot between the posts for Bayern could therefore be forthcoming, with Kahn adamant his club made the right decision to acquire Nubel.

"I think we all know what a great talent Alexander Nubel represents, which qualities and abilities he has, so it was a smart and strategic decision to get him if Alexander Nubel is free," he added.

"To have such a great goalkeeper on board is a good sign. Alexander Nubel said he will put himself into the second row to start learning from Manuel Neuer, about whose qualities we don't have to talk about at all.

"He is world number one goalkeeper for many years and well-deserved number one of FC Bayern Munich. He secured lots of titles for FC Bayern Munich.

"For someone like me, who comes to this club after a break, I can speak freely and can discuss and give out my thoughts.

"We will see how we will handle this situation. At the moment, the full focus should be put on the second part of the season."

Whatever advice Kahn chips in with, it is likely to be delivered in a more measured tone than the one he delivered during his 14 years as a Bayern player.

"I think emotions are important - emotions on the pitch for me were an important part and as I saw others on the stands, they are also very emotional," said Kahn, who is due to replace Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as club chairman at the end of 2021.

"I have seen a lot of other things, many business-related things and there you don't see that many emotions and it doesn't help very much.

"Many might wonder, not seeing me so emotional any more. The emotion that I showed back on the pitch, it helped me, but you won't see me doing the same things with the board of directors."

Manuel Neuer is thrilled with Alexander Nubel's impending arrival at Bayern Munich, but insists the goalkeeper's arrival will have no impact on his plans over a new contract. 

Nubel is set to follow in Neuer's footsteps at the end of the season, with Bayern having confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign the current Schalke goalkeeper on a free transfer.

The 23-year-old has long been touted as Neuer's possible replacement for both club and country, though Bayern's captain is happy to welcome Nubel to Munich.

Neuer's deal expires in 2021, with the 33-year-old reportedly in talks over a new contract - negotiations he is adamant will be unaffected by Nubel's arrival.

"The Nubel transfer is irrelevant for my contract extension," Neuer told reporters at Bayern's mid-season training camp in Qatar.

"Of course I determine the requirements [of the contract]. I have the thoughts in my head, but of course I will not reveal them. Nothing comes out of me.

"It's a forward-thinking decision made by the club. Nubel is a top-quality goalkeeper.

"These factors are very important. It is therefore very important for me how the path with [coach] Hansi Flick continues.

"I have things I want to achieve with the team, and it's a lot of fun working together with Hansi. Together with the team, we can achieve anything.

"The club has always shown me appreciation. So far, we have not extended the contract, although I have no time pressure."

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the 2010s in terms of individual awards and moments of pure inspiration.

Future generations will look back on this past decade as a period obsessed with the two generational talents - their often-exaggerated rivalry exacerbated by spending such a long time on opposite sides of the Clasico divide.

But, while Ronaldo and Messi have filled more column inches than any other player on the planet, there are plenty of others who have been world leaders in their respective positions.

Having looked back over the last 10 years, using Opta data for inspiration, we have selected a Team of the Decade. But who makes the cut?

Is David de Gea selected in goal? Does Luis Suarez join Messi in attack? Has Virgil van Dijk done enough for inclusion? Find out below...

OMNISPORT TEAM OF THE DECADE

Manuel Neuer

There is not much more Manuel Neuer could have achieved over the past 10 years. For much of that time he has been one of the globe's most dependable goalkeepers, even if he has shown signs of decline since a spate of foot injuries. A veteran of seven Bundesliga title triumphs and a World Cup winner with Germany, Neuer boasts a save percentage of 74.2 per cent and has comfortably the most clean sheets (139) this decade in the German top flight.

Dani Alves

Has there ever been a better right-back than Dani Alves? The Brazilian stands to leave an impressive legacy, not just through his thrilling style of play, but with his record-breaking trophy haul of 43 after captaining Brazil to Copa America success this year. Despite being a right-back, he claimed 67 assists in league action through the 2010s, though his greatest contribution came in LaLiga with Barcelona, for whom he set up 51 goals. Marcelo (48) is the closest to him, but he has played 77 times more than the current Sao Paulo star.

Vincent Kompany

Although a brilliant player at his best, it is understandable to suggest Vincent Kompany never reached his ceiling due to injuries. Nevertheless, the Belgian will go down as a Premier League great such has been his impact with Manchester City, with whom he enjoyed four title wins. Kompany recorded 83 Premier League clean sheets in the 2010s, just 10 fewer than record-setter Kyle Walker, who has played 57 more matches. His leadership qualities have been missed by City this season.

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a player who often polarises opinion, but he's one of only three players to have been at Madrid for the entire decade, so he must be doing something right. An undisputed leader and fierce competitor, Ramos is a big-game player like few others and boasts a goal-scoring record even many midfielders would be happy with, having netted 43 times in LaLiga since the start of 2010, more than any other defender. Over the past 10 years, he's helped Los Blancos to a remarkable four Champions League titles, while he won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

Jordi Alba

At his best, Jordi Alba was almost unstoppable. The flying left-back became a staple and key outlet for one of the great Barcelona teams, with his driving runs – on or off the ball – often creating havoc. A master at making a darting run into the box before cutting a pass back to create a chance, Alba has 38 LaLiga assists to his name for Barca, a record bettered by only Dani Alves and Marcelo among defenders. He gets the nod ahead of his Madrid counterpart as his assist haul is from 72 fewer matches.

Luka Modric

The only player to break the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or duopoly, Luka Modric has enjoyed a wonderful decade. A vital part of the Croatia team that enjoyed an historic run to the 2018 World Cup final, Modric also played a big role in Madrid's incredible Champions League domination. Toni Kroos (11,260) is the only midfielder to have completed more passes in LaLiga than Modric (10,759), while he laid on 42 assists and created 522 chances.

N'Golo Kante

If there was an award for the most likeable player of the decade, N'Golo Kante would surely be a frontrunner. Sadly there is no such thing, so he'll have to contend with inclusion in this team. Arguably the key cog in Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title win, Kante followed that up with similarly impressive form at Chelsea and with France, winning the World Cup with Les Bleus last year. He has made 912 tackles and interceptions in the Premier League, putting him fifth among players with 200 appearances or fewer this decade, and each of those who rank higher have played at least 20 matches more.

David Silva

When David Silva leaves Man City at the end of the season, there will inevitably be a debate as to whether he can be regarded the Premier League's greatest 'import'. That this will even be suggested tells you the impact he has had. No one gets close to Silva's record of 89 Premier League assists in the 2010s, with the Spaniard almost certainly the most consistent creator the division has seen in the past 10 years. He was similarly important for Spain until his post-World Cup retirement last year, having previously lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2010 and at Euro 2012, eventually accumulating 125 caps.

Lionel Messi

Where does one even begin with Lionel Messi? If any single player has defined the 2010s – from an individual perspective – in world football, it is surely the Barcelona talisman. In LaLiga, Messi has amassed 505 goal involvements (369 goals, 136 assist) in 343 matches since the start of the decade, routinely carrying Barca to victory. He has won every trophy possible with the Blaugrana over the past 10 years and claimed five Ballons d'Or, with his 2019 victory giving him a record-breaking sixth. Although now 32, he remains frighteningly decisive – all that eludes him is international success with Argentina.

Robert Lewandowski

A long list of immense strikers have starred throughout the 2010s, but arguably chief among them – Ronaldo aside – is Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Having moved from Borussia Dortmund, whom he helped turn into Champions League contenders, the Poland international has developed into a remarkable all-round striker. In 307 Bundesliga games he has 221 goals from 1,163 attempts, meaning he scores every 5.2 shots – by contrast, Ronaldo needs 6.4 efforts per goal. Although he is yet to win Europe's elite club competition, there is little doubt the Pole appears to be getting better with age having already notched 19 league goals this term, just three short of his total for 2018-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the somewhat tiresome 'Ronaldo or Messi' debate about which superstar is "better", the former can at least point to his international successes with Portugal as something that sets him apart, having lifted Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League. That is just the tip of the iceberg for his brilliance in the 2010s, however. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo has scored 335 league goals and laid on 95 assists. With Los Blancos he helped inspire four Champions League successes, also winning a couple of LaLiga titles. What a privilege it has been to see Ronaldo and Messi in the same era.

Manuel Neuer insists suggestions of a rift with fellow Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen were blown out of proportion.

Earlier this year, Bayern Munich's first-choice keeper Neuer criticised his Barca counterpart for making "inappropriate" comments over his disappointment at not playing more regularly for Die Mannschaft.

However, Neuer later talked up the qualities of Ter Stegen, who has become one of the best number ones in the world at Camp Nou, and the former Schalke stopper says there was never an issue between the two.

"In principle, far too much was made of it," Neuer told Kicker. "I've never had a problem with Marc. 

"We train for the national team together. We sit together at breakfast, have a normal conversation - as team-mates, not as competitors.

"Each of us tries to show our best performance for the team so that we can be successful. This is important because we play in a team."

On Sunday, Bayern confirmed Hansi Flick would remain in charge at the Allianz Arena until the end of the season having overseen eight wins from 10 matches across all competitions since taking over from Niko Kovac.

Neuer says Flick has earned his chance to lead Bayern.

"He's been doing great so far. He has a great connection to the team, communicates things very clearly," he added. 

"He definitely deserves the chance right now."

Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller think Bayern Munich should be confident of beating Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Bundesliga champions will meet Frank Lampard's side in a repeat of the 2011-12 final, which Chelsea won on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Munich.

Neuer and Muller played in that heart-breaking home defeat for Bayern, who responded in the 2012-13 season by winning the treble, which included a Champions League final triumph over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

With Bayern having recaptured some better form since Hansi Flick took over as interim coach from Niko Kovac, particularly excelling in Europe, Neuer thinks his side can take "a healthy level of confidence" into the tie.

"We're looking forward to London, where we've had some good experiences," the goalkeeper said via Bayern's website. "They're a dangerous team, who we have to take very seriously and approach with concentration.

"Obviously, we want to get through to the next round. I think we can go into the games with a healthy level of confidence. We're happy with the draw: it's against an attractive and good team."

Muller said the 2012 final "has no relevance" to the last-16 tie, adding: "It's clear that you're not going to get any small teams in the Champions League last 16. We're fairly confident. I'm feeling good about the draw.

"Chelsea have players who can hurt us, though. They have individuals in attack whose qualities are well-known.

"But it's about the team performance, not individuals. My good feeling is based on us feeling very happy as a team at the moment. We want to be the favourites and justify that."

Full-back Joshua Kimmich said: "We'll go into the games with confidence. It's still a long way off, so we can't yet say what form the teams will be in, but I believe we'll go into it as favourites and I'm confident we'll progress.

"They're difficult to assess; they're not really on a consistent run at the moment."

Lampard has good memories of facing Bayern, having been part of the 2012 team but also one that beat Bayern in the quarter-finals in 2004-05, scoring twice in the game at Stamford Bridge.

"It's a tough draw, but a good draw," he told Chelsea TV. "We knew that when we get through the group stages, you're generally in with some big teams, and we have certainly drawn one.

"We have history with them, of course, but these will be games in themselves that will be very testing. We will be ready for the challenge.

"We had some games before the Champions League final. In 2005, we had a really good game at the Bridge. I scored two and we put in a really good performance. Obviously, the night in Munich is the defining night of my career.

"I'm sure the fans who will travel there will remember the game well, but it'll be very different and very taxing.

"This level of football, the Champions League knockout phase, the level of focus that you need is absolute, for both games. We want to be at our best going into the games, but the concentration levels and how we approach it will be the deciding factors.

"We should be confident we can beat Bayern Munich, but I understand that they're very strong."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been crowned the first ever winner of the Yachine Trophy at 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.

The 27-year-old beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson to be crowned the best keeper in the world.

Alisson played a crucial role in Liverpool's Champions League success and started six times for Brazil in their triumphant Copa America campaign.

He also won the Golden Glove in the Premier League last season with 21 clean sheets as the Reds fell just short of Manchester City in the title race.

Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen finished second in the voting, while Alisson's compatriot Ederson was third.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Samir Handanovic, Manuel Neuer, Andre Onana and Wojciech Szczesny were also in the running for the inaugural award.

Toni Kroos acknowledges Germany are lacking experience and could not be considered Euro 2020 contenders as things stand, although he is not writing off their chances.

Germany qualified for a record 13th European Championship with a 4-0 defeat of Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Matthias Ginter broke the deadlock at the end of a frustrating first half, before Leon Goretzka doubled the hosts' lead and then Kroos struck twice.

The scoreline belied some of the difficulties the 2014 world champions faced, though, reliant on Manuel Neuer to make three fine saves - including from Igor Stasevich's penalty.

Joachim Low has disposed of a number of senior men since a poor 2018 World Cup, and Kroos, one of the remaining established stars, sees there is work to do for a young group.

"We are still lacking a little bit in experience, but certain procedures are working better and better," he said, as reported by UEFA.com.

"We will know where we stand shortly before the tournament. Currently, I would not count us amongst the top favourites. But that doesn't always mean anything."

Like Kroos and Neuer, Ginter was central to the victory, having a hand in the second and third goals after scoring the opener at Borussia-Park, the home of club side Borussia Monchengladbach.

The smart flick was Ginter's first strike for his country, prompting comment from Neuer that it was "about time".

"His first Germany goal tonight? Well, after 29 games, it is about time," Neuer said. "No, he did very well to score in style."

Ginter added: "Scoring a goal like this as a central defender - that goes to show that nothing is impossible. Manu is right - after 29 games, it was about time.

"Scoring here in Gladbach is the icing on the cake."

Manuel Neuer would not be drawn on a potential reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, saying only that "things are going very well" under Hansi Flick.

Bayern are without a permanent head coach following Niko Kovac's sacking, with former assistant Flick in caretaker charge for impressive wins over Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City manager Guardiola, Bayern coach from 2013 to 2016, could potentially make an incredible return, according to Sport Bild.

Thomas Tuchel, at Paris Saint-Germain, and Erik ten Hag, at Ajax, have each reiterated their commitment to their current clubs, while the report claims Guardiola "does not seem happy" at City, where he has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

The seemingly unlikely prospect of Guardiola linking up with Bayern again was put to goalkeeper Neuer while on international duty with Germany.

The Bayern stalwart preferred to focus on Flick's fine start, though, saying: "Of course, I can't comment on the rumours.

"We are now here with the national team, I hear [about Guardiola] for the first time. You will see what happens and how those responsible decide.

"At the moment, things are going very well. In the last six days, Hansi Flick has invested everything with his coaching team. We have been very successful twice.

"The people in charge will take a stand [by appointing Guardiola instead] if they want to."

Guardiola won the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons with Bayern but, having twice triumphed in Europe at Barcelona, failed to deliver the Champions League.

Bayern had been European champions when he arrived in Munich in 2013, replacing Jupp Heynckes.

Neuer was speaking ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Belarus and Northern Ireland, where they will hope to secure their place in next year's finals.

Various scenarios could see Germany through after the first match but Neuer said: "Of course, we want to win the home games and get six points. That's our clear goal."

Niko Kovac left his role as Bayern Munich coach on good enough terms with the players that any of them would be able to meet up with him for a coffee, according to captain Manuel Neuer.

Kovac had been under pressure for much of the early stages of the 2019-20 season due to underwhelming results and controversy surrounding his sparing use of fan favourite Thomas Muller.

The final straw came in Saturday's 5-1 humiliation at the Croatian's former employers Eintracht Frankfurt, with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later revealing "an open and serious conversation" the following day brought the hierarchy to the conclusion a change was needed.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick was placed in temporary charge and he presided over a 2-0 Champions League win at home to Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Despite Kovac's dismissal, Neuer insists none of the players hold any ill will towards the man who guided the club to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his only full campaign at the helm.

"I take my hat off to Niko and Robbie [Robert Kovac, former first-team coach and Niko's brother] as they have said goodbye," Neuer told reporters.

"I think that every player, if he meets Robbie or Niko, can look them in the eyes and drink a coffee together.

"It [the farewell] was emotional, of course, because we had a great time together. We wish him all the best. If we had played successfully, this would not have happened."

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been heavily linked with the job after Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag distanced themselves from it.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer demanded improvement from his team following their 3-2 Champions League win over Olympiacos.

Two goals from in-form striker Robert Lewandowski helped Bayern make it three consecutive wins in Group B but the Bundesliga side had to endure a nervous finish to Tuesday's match.

Neuer was on hand to make two vital late saves and felt the gloss was taken off the win because of a poor defensive display away to Greek side Olympiacos.

Bayern have conceded 10 goals in eight Bundesliga matches and four in three games in the Champions League.

"The problem at the moment is that we need to score three goals every game to win because we keep conceding two," Neuer told UEFA.com.

"We made it difficult for ourselves again and didn't have enough conviction.

"We need to continue working on that, analysing and seeing what we can do better."

Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard felt the team's defence have improved in recent weeks, but acknowledged there was work to be done on the training ground.

Pavard said: "I believe that we made some progress defensively compared to previous matches. 

"The second goal today was bad luck, a deflected shot wrongfooting Manuel. We took these three points and will work harder to concede less goals.

"We knew it would be a tough match here. Olympiacos' fans didn't stop pushing their team until the last minute. We did concede the opener but didn't panic. 

"We played good football and achieved our aim to win the three points. Now we have to prepare for the reverse tie at home, in two weeks. It's an important game; if we win, we will qualify."

Bayern striker Lewandowski showed typical predatory instincts as he took his tally for the season to 18 goals in club football.

The 31-year-old Poland international netted with two close-range finishes and said his relaxed personality has been a key factor during a prolific spell.

"I know that every single situation on the pitch can prove important and can decide if we win or if we lose," added Lewandowski

"That is why I want to stay focused, calm and do my job. For us it was a very important game, not only because we wanted to keep winning in the Champions League but also because of the dropped points in the league. 

"We knew that with three points here, we would be in a great position to win the next match at home as well and make it to the next round. We want to qualify as quickly as possible."

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