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Julian Nagelsmann backs Sadio Mane to recover from slow start with Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann has backed new signing Sadio Mane to find his feet at the club after a slow start to the season.

It hasn’t been a terrible first month or so in Germany for Mane with the Senegal international getting five goals in 10 games.

However, the former Liverpool man hasn’t found the back of the net in four matches now and was subbed off against Barcelona after failing to have a single shot.

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His manager has defended him though, putting his struggles down to the fact that he was playing on the left wing rather than as a striker for the first time in a while.

“Everything I need to say about Sadio, I’ll say to him and not in the media,” he said after the match against Barcelona, which ended 2-0 to the German side. “He played a new position today, which of course he didn’t play so much last year at Liverpool, but the years before that.

“It’s quite normal as a newcomer who of course still has to adapt to certain procedures that are a bit different to those at Liverpool.

“I already said during the week that I would like him to do certain things more. Maybe less looking for the ball or team-mates and trying to be a bit more self-confident.

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“But we are very happy that we have him and he will put his stamp on our game.”



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Jurgen Klinsmann & Danny Williams on why so many USMNT players succeed in Germany

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Germany has long been a breeding ground for American players, but why do so many success stories from across the pond begin their European adventure there?

The United States men’s national team’s biggest stars first trained in the Bundesliga before making their jump elsewhere, from Christian Pulisic to Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. Giovanni Reyna, meanwhile, is continuing his rapid rise with Borussia Dortmund.

This is nothing new, with the likes of Landon Donovan and Fabian Johnson all using the German top-flight to kick-start successful careers at both club and international levels.

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So, is it the similarities in culture between the United States and Germany that makes it such an attractive destination, the style of play, or something else?

“I think culture-wise, Germany and the US are very similar. They’re two countries that are full of ‘doers’. They don’t want to wait for the other nations, they’re just doing their thing. America is doing its own thing and Germans just like to go ahead and do their thing,” former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told 90min.

“The German culture is very open to young talent coming in and giving it a shot, try it out, see how far you can take it. And if it doesn’t work, you can still go back home, no problem at all. The Bundesliga is known for giving young players chances. 17, 18, 19 years of age. If you’re good, that’s all it takes, the coach will throw you into the cold water and you’ve got to swim, and if the water is too cold, no problem, we can slow down the process.”

As a former US international who was born and raised in Germany, Danny Williams has experienced the pathway between the two countries better than most. The 33-year-old midfielder got his break at Freiburg back in 2010 and also went on to represent Hoffenheim before playing in England with Reading and Huddersfield Town.

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He echoed Klinsmann’s sentiments regarding Germany’s willingness to give youth a try, owing – in his opinion – to the country’s much smaller ownership model when compared to clubs in the Premier League.

“I think Germany is one of the best places to develop as a young player because most of the clubs don’t have big owners and there isn’t as much money around like at Chelsea, Arsenal, or Tottenham,” Williams told 90min.

“That’s fine because they still go on and play for those clubs if they succeed in Germany. The tactical and technical education is very good in Germany. I was fortunate enough to go through my youth in these academies and what you learn there is amazing. What I really like about Bundesliga is these young guys are given a chance and they’re trusted by the coach to make the step into the first team, have game time, and not come and be replaced by a superstar if you don’t perform in one or two games, like at Man Utd. They’re a bit more patient with you.”

Across his time in charge of the USMNT and as head coach of multiple Bundesliga outfits, including Bayern Munich, Klinsmann has seen first-hand just how players can excel in Germany, with so many American stars across Europe owing their success to the country.

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“I think over decades now, the Bundesliga has proven that model, that’s why a lot of young players give it a shot,” Klinsmann added.

“It’s just wonderful to see so many American players fight their way through it. Maybe they end up in another league but at the end of the day, they have their starting point in the Bundesliga where they become really good, especially if you’re talking about players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, or Tyler Adams. It’s a calibre of player that’s rare to have so many of them in the United States.”

Klinsmann and Williams spoke to 90min at the ‘Bundesliga Common Ground Project Event’ in NYC. For information and more from Williams and Klinsmann, check out our latest our article here and more of our video content from the event on our Twitter and Instagram.



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Jurgen Klinsmann & Danny Williams champion Bundesliga Common Ground project

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Jurgen Klinsmann and Danny Williams have championed the Bundesliga’s ‘Common Ground’ project and the effect it could have on the opportunities for young people in soccer around the globe.

The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga launched the project earlier this month with the aim of ‘renovating and revitalising football pitches around the world to offer more young people the opportunity to play and enjoy football’.

Pitches have already been unveiled in Lagos (Nigeria), Mexico City (Mexico) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Further sites are planned in Germany, Argentina, Poland, the USA, and South East Asia.

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Speaking exclusively to 90min on the project, former Germany and United States head coach and legendary forward Klinsmann explained the importance of the project in offering more opportunities in soccer for young people.

“A project like this, Common Ground, and the initiative from the Bundesliga is outstanding,” said Klinsmann. “And it’s really, really, really important to do this type of project, because you want to catch the kids out there playing their own game, improvising their own game, doing their own stuff, in order to fall in love with the game, and that’s street soccer, pick up games, whatever it is.

“This is the foundation of everything. And I think it’s hugely important to have more of these projects all over the place, all over the city, and all over other cities. And I think it’s a great starting point what the Bundesliga is doing now.”

The Common Ground project will see football pitches renovated around the world to offer more young people the opportunity to play the game

The Common Ground project will see football pitches renovated around the world to offer more young people the opportunity to play the game / 90min

Former USMNT midfielder Danny Williams – who played for the likes of Freiburg, Hoffenheim, Reading, and Huddersfield Town across his club career – agreed with Klinsmann, but also focused on the ‘community’ and ‘cultural’ benefits of bringing people together with soccer.

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“Events like this remind me of when I was a kid, when my parents took me to different pitches where I was running after football, because it brings the people together,” Williams told 90min.

“I think from a cultural aspect, you can see that soccer is for everyone, whatever race, whatever community you belong to. I think events like this… I hope there’s going to be more of them because it’s super important. It brings people together and actually educates people on culture.”

Klinsmann and Williams spoke to 90min at the ‘Bundesliga Common Ground Project Event’ in NYC. For information and more from Williams and Klinsmann, check out our latest our article here and more of our video content from the event on our Twitter and Instagram.



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Dusan Vlahovic not interested in Juventus departure despite fresh Arsenal links

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Dusan Vlahovic and Juventus have no intention of parting company any time soon, sources have confirmed to 90min.

Vlahovic joined Juve in January after a long chase by the Turin giants, as they fended off interest from a number of interested parties from across Europe, with their main rivals being Arsenal.

Arsenal pushed hard for Vlahovic and tried hard to persuade him to make the move to north London, but he always held the ambition to move to Juve and eventually sealed a move to Turin worth just under £70m.

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Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Vlahovic could still be a target for the Gunners, who find themselves in a Premier League title challenge – the opposite of Juve, who have won just two of their opening 7 Serie A games.

Massimiliano Allegri is now under huge pressure at Juventus, and it has been speculated in Italy that Vlahovic could seek an early exit, but 90min has learned that is not the case.

While Arsenal would be happy to offer a route to the Emirates for Vlahovic, sources close to all parties involved have stressed that such a move is not on the radar.

Despite Juve’s struggles, Vlahovic has been in good form, racking up four goals in six Serie A games, and he has no interest in leaving the club as it stands.

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A source with knowledge of Vlahovic’s situation revealed: “He is not moving, he is playing well himself and he is fully focused on his game. He has been with Juventus for less than 12 months and is not looking to move.”



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