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."

Joachim Low applauded a weakened Germany for battling through adversity in the 3-0 win over Estonia that put them on the cusp of Euro 2020 qualification.

Emre Can's 14th-minute dismissal for a last-man foul on Frank Liivak left the visitors at risk of a potentially embarrassing result in Tallinn on Sunday but two deflected strikes from Ilkay Gundogan after half-time dug Low's men out of a hole.

The Manchester City midfielder then set up the sealer for Timo Werner as Germany edged three points clear of third-place Northern Ireland in Group C with two games remaining.

Toni Kroos, Matthias Ginter, Serge Gnabry and several more regular squad members missed the Estonia match through injury, while Werner and Gundogan only returned to the fold after skipping last week's friendly against Argentina due to illness and a muscle problem respectively.

"Firstly, I'm happy we got the job done," Low said after the victory, his team's fifth in six qualifying fixtures.

"It was tough work out there. The team did well in the second half. We kept a clean sheet and scored three goals.

"The decisive factor was that we increased the tempo in the second half and kept calm.

"A lot has gone wrong this week with all the injuries and withdrawals. 

"It took a bit of improvisation. We did not train much. The first half against Argentina was good and the second against Estonia, so we can still analyse that and gain good insights."

Goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer agreed with his head coach's assessment, deeming the result and performance acceptable given the circumstances.

He said: "We were down to 10 men after 15 minutes, which makes everything more difficult as you have to reset.

"Because of that, I didn't think it was a bad performance.

"It was a matter of time that the goals would come. Eventually we put them away."

Manuel Neuer dismissed suggestions of a rift between himself and Germany goalkeeping colleague Marc-Andre ter Stegen and also denied claims he is contemplating retirement next year.

Germany coach Joachim Low's selections between the posts have been a major talking point in recent months, with Neuer seemingly still first-choice despite Ter Stegen's form for Barcelona.

Ter Stegen has emerged as one of the world's most consistent and dependable goalkeepers, while Neuer – who is now 33 – has shown signs of regression.

Barca star Ter Stegen was criticised by Neuer last month for "inappropriate" comments about being disappointed at losing his place in the starting XI, while Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness also took aim at the 27-year-old.

But Neuer insists there is no lack of harmony among Die Mannschaft's goalkeepers.

"I hope you have watched us closely, it's a great relationship with us," Neuer told reporters ahead of Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

"[Ter Stegen] played well against Argentina. We have the right team [of goalkeepers], with Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp as well. There is nothing to report, there was no deep conversation."

Ter Stegen should not expect an easy run at the starting role anytime soon either, as Neuer denied reports he is considering retirement after Euro 2020.

"There's absolutely nothing to announce," he said. "I'm feeling well, I'm feeling fit and I'm performing well. I'm not thinking about ending my career."

Some have tipped Schalke's Alexander Nubel – not Ter Stegen – to eventually take over from Neuer in the Germany goal, and they Bayern man sees that as a possibility.

"He could be," Neuer said when asked if Nubel may be his successor. "He has made good progress. He is a regular goalkeeper for Schalke and played a very good Under-21 European Championship.

"He is currently performing very well. Of course, he needs some experience as well, but the signs for German football are good, even in the goalkeeping department."

Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen insists he has a "good and professional relationship" with Manuel Neuer.

A public spat that drew in the likes of Bayern Munich chairman Uli Hoeness and DFB director Oliver Bierhoff erupted last month, concerning the relative claims of Ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer to being Germany's number one.

Bayern's Neuer, captain for club and country, has long been first choice, although Ter Stegen' performances for Barcelona over the past couple of seasons have been superb.

The younger man expressed frustration over his status within Low's squad, eliciting a response from Neuer before both men – largely unsuccessfully – sought to draw a line under the episode.

Ter Stegen will get a chance to press his claims with a start against Argentina in Dortmund on Tuesday and maintained there is no problem between his rival for the shirt.

"It's an opportunity for everyone and that's true for me as well," Ter Stegen told a pre-match news conference.

"This is a competitive sport. Everyone wants to play and that's the case for every position, not just the goalkeeper.

"There are no discussions, no disputes or any moments where we tell each other, 'Now we absolutely need to talk!'.

"We talk every day and have a good and professional relationship."

"He has an advantage, I have to perform the best way possible, prove myself and make that decision as hard as possible."

Ter Stegen added: "The head coach has made his decision so it’s up to me to perform well for both club and country.

"I will give everything to become the number one. That is my personal goal. But that is not related to other people.

"The big goal overall is a successful tournament [Euro 2020] for the team."

Ter Stegen's Barca colleague Lionel Messi will not be involved for Argentina – not that he minds particularly.

"It would have been great to face him, but perhaps it's not bad that I don't have to face him," added Ter Stegen.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is as good as Manuel Neuer but the Bayern Munich star deserves to stay as Germany's goalkeeper, says Christian Ziege.

Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen and Neuer were embroiled in a spat last month after the former said it was a "massive blow" not to feature against Netherlands or Northern Ireland, two games his more experienced team-mate started.

The Bayern captain accused Ter Stegen of being unhelpful by expressing his frustrations publicly, while club president Uli Hoeness threatened to withdraw his team's players from Germany duty before backtracking on his comments.

For Ziege, though, it is clear Neuer should keep the gloves although the number two deserves more opportunities to show what he can do for Germany.

"Manuel Neuer is the goalkeeper who is number one with us," former Germany international Ziege told Omnisport. "He proves that in a great way.

"There's no question that if Manuel Neuer can't play, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is an incredible goalkeeper, just as good. 

"Everything he said he won't have said because he felt like it. But with certainty, because something was promised to him that was not kept.

"Ter Stegen proved what a team-mate and team player he is. That he didn't say a single word about Manuel Neuer being in goal despite eight or nine months of injury without a game in front of the tournament [World Cup]. He didn't say anything. Didn't complain.

"Of course he would have liked to play, but he didn't say anything. And now he said once and gave free rein to his emotional life that he is not satisfied with it. Which I think is quite normal. He didn't attack anyone. What became of it, I did not understand at all.

"And again, there are no two opinions. Manuel Neuer is a top goalkeeper and there is no need to question him. Nevertheless, you can handle it in such a way that the other goalkeeper, who is world class, also gets his play time. There are enough possibilities for that."

While Ziege backed Low's decision to stick with Neuer as his regular goalkeeper, he feels the Germany coach was too hasty to drop Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng from the national squad.

"I think the decisive thing is that if you make changes – the changes have to be at least as good as before or even better which would be ideal," Ziege added. "Now we come to the problem because this is not the case.

"We have good players, but right now no players who are better. And you see this now – Mats Hummels is an extraordinary centre-back, Jerome Boateng as well. And Muller is someone who can always play for the national team as long as he is fit and having fun even if he doesn’t start.

"They did it the same way with [Lukas] Podolski. Muller is good enough to play for half an hour and I think it would be okay for him to do this for some years. Therefore I have the impression that a few players in the squad right now are bit over-rated.

"Regarding Hummels I have already said it I think that if you make changes then the players have to be as good as before at least. Niklas Sule is a very, very good centre-back but from my point of view I think he is not yet able to lead and stabilise this team.

"It would help him a lot to have someone next to him with a lot of experience, so that he is not the only one in the spotlight and everyone tells him, 'You are the one to do this'. He is not there yet, from my point of view."

Nadiem Amiri has received a maiden senior Germany call-up from coach Joachim Low.

The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has impressed in his side's strong start to the Bundesliga campaign and shone at the Under-21 European Championship this year.

He is included in Low's selection for a friendly against Argentina on October 9, with a Euro 2020 qualifier away to Estonia following four days later.

Germany are without seven regular internationals due to injury, with Leroy Sane, Antonio Rudiger, Leon Goretzka, Nico Schulz, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Kevin Trapp all missing out.

The international break will reopen the debate over who should be Germany's goalkeeper, with incumbent Manuel Neuer continuing to be pushed hard by Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

"We can all be very happy that we have two world-class goalkeepers in Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen," said Low. "I have no concerns at all, especially as we also have the likes of Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno.

"I have spoken with [Germany goalkeeper coach] Andy Kopke and we agreed that Ter Stegen will play against Argentina and Neuer against Estonia. We discussed that with the players too."

Serge Gnabry is one of four Bayern Munich players included, after his stunning four-goal haul in a 7-2 Champions League demolition of Tottenham this week.

Germany top Group C on goal difference from Northern Ireland despite suffering a 4-2 home loss to Netherlands in last month's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Germany squad in full: 

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Bernd Leno (Arsenal); Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen); Nadiem Amiri (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Emre Can (Juventus), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid); Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Luca Waldschmidt (Freiburg), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).

Niko Kovac was left astonished by Bayern Munich's 7-2 battering of Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday, saying he could not have dreamed of such a result.

Bayern blew their hosts away at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium despite Son Heung-min opening the scoring in the 12th minute.

Former Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry was the inspiration, scoring four goals in a remarkable individual performance, while Robert Lewandowski got a brace and Joshua Kimmich also found the net.

The result leaves Bayern three points clear at the top of Group B having won both of their matches and Kovac was struggling to comprehend what he had just seen.

"Nobody could dream of this result," he told DAZN. "We knew what to expect in London and we experienced that in the first 25 minutes.

"Tottenham put a lot of pressure on us, but luckily Manuel Neuer kept us in the game. After that, my team did very well.

"Of course, the second goal was extremely important for us. At half-time, we once again tightened a few things and then we played as I imagine and wish. Above all, we took all the opportunities we created."

Although Kovac was eager to laud the collective, he could not ignore the performance of Gnabry.

"First of all, I would like to emphasise that was a great moment for the whole team, but of course, especially for Serge," he added.

"He was really fantastic. He showed what I expect from him. Not only in attack, because I know what he can do, but also in the defensive phase."

Bayern goalkeeper Neuer was similarly impressed with Gnabry's finishing, though he also felt sympathy for his opposite number.

"He [Gnabry] has a lot of moves to the goal and has great finishing [skill], whether with the left or right foot," he said.

"That is always difficult to thwart, that's why I'm feeling a bit sorry for Hugo Lloris."

Niko Kovac says Leon Goretzka will not recover from a thigh injury in time to play against Tottenham in the Champions League next week.

The Bayern Munich midfielder had surgery earlier this month after he aggravated an existing issue while on Germany duty.

Bayern initially gave no timescale for Goretzka's recovery but Kovac does not expect his return to be imminent, though there is better news on left-back David Alaba.

"David Alaba has trained today, it looks good," Kovac told reporters ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga trip to bottom side Paderborn.

"Let's see how it develops tomorrow [Friday] with him. Leon Goretzka still takes a bit longer.

"I expect [he will return] only after the international break."

Jann-Fiete Arp is yet to make his Bundesliga debut for Bayern after joining from Hamburg and the striker's wait will continue after he broke a bone in his hand during training.

"We will have to wait on what the doctors say before we can determine when he will return to full training again," Kovac added of the 19-year-old.

"It is difficult. You have to be careful that the bone grows together again. Shocks and jolts could complicate things, so we need to see what the doctors say so we know when to train again.

"Fiete has gotten the time from us and will continue to get it. We try to make him better every day in training, but you cannot expect too much from him.

"He may have been hyped up a bit too much at a young age, you have to be patient with him."

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has backtracked over comments he made suggesting the club's players could boycott playing for Germany.

Speaking after Bayern's Champions League Group B game against Red Star Belgrade last week, Hoeness talked about the debate over who should start in goal for Joachim Low's side.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has opened up about his frustration at being unable to dislodge Bayern's Manuel Neuer, who was in between the sticks for Germany's World Cup triumph in 2014.

Hoeness criticised Ter Stegen for his comments and claimed the media are coordinating a campaign against Neuer, insisting Bayern would not let their players "be damaged without reason".

He added the Bundesliga champions could "no longer send players to the national team anymore" over the issue, but Hoeness has now retracted the comments.

"Mr Hoeness held discussions about the position of the number one in the national team that, with hindsight, he would not hold today," said a statement released by Hoeness' office to German magazine Der Spiegel. 

"The subject has long been closed for him, and he will not comment on it anymore."

In March, Low announced experienced Bayern trio Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller would no longer be considered for selection.

Centre-back Hummels has since rejoined his former club Borussia Dortmund.

Uli Hoeness has threatened to block Bayern Munich players from representing Germany if Manuel Neuer loses his national team place to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.   Bayern president Hoeness weighed into Die Mannschaft's goalkeeper debate last week when he hit out at the German Football Association for their perceived failure to show adequate support to Neuer, captain of club and country.   Neuer's chief positional rival in the Germany setup, Barcelona star Ter Stegen, had prompted a public exchange of views when he expressed frustration with a lack of international opportunities.   Hoeness criticised the 27-year-old for his comments and, accusing the media of a coordinating a campaign against Neuer, insisted Bayern would not let their players "be damaged without reason".   That could extend to extreme measures if Joachim Low moves to drop 2014 World Cup winner Neuer.   "Before that happens, we will no longer send players to the national team anymore," Hoeness told Sport Bild.   Asked whether he would seek talks with head coach Low, Hoeness replied: "He'll hear what we've said before and his ears will ring."

Refusing to allow members of their squad to represent Germany would leave Bayern open to sanctions.

Under FIFA regulations, clubs are obliged to release players to national teams during international windows and major tournaments.

Neuer, 33, has captained Germany since September 2016.

The Schalke product missed much of the 2017-18 season through injury, enabling Ter Stegen to deputise, but returned in time for the World Cup in Russia and has started each of Germany's six matches in 2019.

Joshua Kimmich has defended Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the German Football Association (DFB) from Uli Hoeness' criticism but insists Manuel Neuer is right to be considered the national team's number one.

Bayern Munich president Hoeness hit out at the federation for a perceived failure to support 2014 World Cup winner Neuer in the debate over Germany's goalkeeper spot.

Neuer's nearest positional rival, Barcelona's Ter Stegen, had expressed frustration with a lack of international opportunities, which prompted a public exchange between the pair.

The Bayern star sought to quell the tension last week and club team-mate Kimmich joined him in smoothing over relations as he sympathised with Ter Stegen. 

"There was nothing bad about what Marc said," Kimmich told German broadcaster ZDF.

"He didn't attack Manuel or anyone else, he just said he was disappointed. I can understand that. I don't know what he was told or promised.

"There is no question about who is in goal, Manuel is rightly the number one, although Marc has delivered world-class performances for many years. Healthy competition is a good thing."

Neuer regained his place for Germany at last year's World Cup in Russia after missing almost the entire 2017-18 season because of a recurring foot injury.

The 33-year-old has since started each of Die Mannschaft's six games in 2019 and performed well in Bayern's comfortable 4-0 Bundesliga victory over Cologne on Saturday.

"I think the DFB and especially our coach, Joachim Low, stuck by Manuel during a difficult phase," Kimmich said.

"He was injured for a long time and still stood in goal at the World Cup. From a DFB perspective, Manuel was always the clear number one."

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