Germany's midfield partnership of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich is "one of the best duos in the world", according to Hansi Flick.

The Bayern Munich pair have started together in each of their country's last three matches and are likely to anchor the midfield in the World Cup Qualifying Group J clash against North Macedonia on Monday.

Goretzka and Kimmich have also partnered each other in all seven of Bayern's Bundesliga outings this season, helping Julian Nagelsmann's side to the top of the table in the process.

Ahead of Germany's trip to North Macedonia, where victory could see Die Mannschaft secure their place in Qatar with two matches to spare, Flick lauded Kimmich and Goretzka, who also formed a key part of his dominant Bayern team.

"Everyone knows they get along well off the pitch," he told a news conference. "They complement each other and are top professionals. 

"We need them to dictate our game. They harmonise well in midfield and we're glad we have them. 

"It's one of the best midfield duos in the world."

Manuel Neuer could return in goal for Germany, having missed Friday’s win over Romania with an adductor injury. Flick also revealed that defender Antonio Rudiger is a doubt after missing training on Sunday.

Meanwhile, winger Serge Gnabry has defended team-mate Timo Werner, who received criticism after a subdued performance against Romania.

Although involved in an early penalty incident, the Chelsea striker was substituted in the 67th minute having amassed just 24 touches and 19 passes – the lowest tallies recorded by any of Germany's starting outfield players – while also seeing both of his shots go off target.

Nevertheless, Gnabry was full of praise Werner's work rate and determination, insisting the former RB Leipzig star was simply unfortunate.

"We know there are periods when a striker doesn't always score," Gnabry said. "Then, there's criticism, but we stand behind Timo. 

"He did a good job in the last game; he missed a little bit of luck, but he's giving everything, and that's the most important thing.

"Timo is not [Robert] Lewandowski and not a classical striker, but he also has his qualities; he's quick and can also score goals."

Bayern Munich's unbeaten start to Julian Nagelsmann's tenure came to an end on Sunday with a shock 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Bavarian giants had won nine in a row since an opening-game draw and looked set for another routine victory at Allianz Arena when Leon Goretzka deservedly put them in front.

But Martin Hinteregger equalised for Frankfurt before the interval and Kevin Trapp made a number of saves to put the visitors on course for a fifth successive 1-1 league draw.

Not content with only a point, Filip Kostic rifled in a winner seven minutes from time to inflict a first home Bundesliga loss on stunned champions Bayern since November 2019.

Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka says the side "just love playing football" after hammering Bochum 7-0 in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

The German champions turned on the style with a stunning display, with Joshua Kimmich netting a double, while four others scored along with a Vasilios Lampropoulos own goal.

Bayern raced to a 4-0 half-time lead with first-half strikes from Leroy Sane, Kimmich and Serge Gnabry before the Lampropoulos own goal.

Robert Lewandowski added a fifth on the hour, before Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded out a comprehensive performance as Bayern dominated with 24-5 shots including 15 on target to Bochum's none.

"We just love playing football," said Goretzka who got the assist for Kimmich's second goal.

"We want to develop more, from game to game, and absorb our new coach's philosophy more and more.

"Today was a lot of fun for us, but not so much for Bochum. Of course, I'm always a bit sorry about that from a personal standpoint.

"We didn't give Bochum any breathing space. The first 10 minutes were a bit hectic. That's when they got into playing the game they wanted to play - long balls, a lot of fighting for the second ball.

"But then we gradually found our structure and defended very well. That's just how we dominated."

Bayern have enjoyed an excellent start to life under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick in the off-season.

The Bavarians are top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from five games, while they have won their past seven games in all competitions.

Nagelsmann said he was happy with the way his side played and offered praise to Sane, who opened the scoring with a fine free-kick.

"I see [Sane] developing very positively," Nagelsmann said. "He was highly committed but he was also a full throttle in the games before the international break.

"He is fully committed in situations which don’t have anything to do with talent. He rewards himself by getting in these situations.

"I remember a situation in which he kept on defending for 30 metres and won the ball before his own box. He showed the same with the national team and scored today. Offensively he is always in a good position.

"Everyone tries to limit him to the wing but he has now played for the fourth time as a bit of an attacking midfielder. He finds spaces where he can use his qualities."

Former Manchester City attacker Sane has scored two goals and provided two assists from five Bundesliga games this term.

Germany international Leon Goretzka has signed a new long-term contract with Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old's future had been the subject of speculation, as his previous deal was due to expire next June.

Goretzka will be staying with the Bundesliga champions after agreeing a new contract until June 2026.

The midfielder told the club's official website: "We've won everything there is to win over the past three years. But what would be even better than winning titles is confirming and repeating these successes.

"We want to build on this in the coming years. The team, the club and the environment are not just highly professional, but also familiar.

"This mixture is one of the things that guarantees success at this club. I'm very happy to be extending my contract until 2026."

Goretzka joined the Bavarian giants from Schalke in 2018 and has won three Bundesliga titles, the Champions League and the DFB Pokal twice.

He has also lifted the DFL Supercup three times, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2020.

Goretzka has scored 25 goals in 118 games for Bayern and put pen to paper on the back of a 3-0 Champions League win at Barcelona on Tuesday.

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn said: "It's crucial for the development of FC Bayern that we keep our top performers long term.

"To be successful as a club, we need players who are permanently motivated - and Leon Goretzka doesn't need to be told about motivation. He always wants to improve and has the ambition to shape an era at FC Bayern.

"This contract extension is also a sign Leon is convinced we’ll continue to be as successful in the future as we have been in the past."

Joshua Kimmich is confident the best is yet to come for him at Bayern Munich, after the versatile Germany international signed a contract extension.

Bayern announced on Monday that Kimmich, who joined the Bundesliga champions from RB Leipzig in 2015, had agreed terms to keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Since breaking into Bayern's first team, Kimmich has established himself as one of Europe's top players, capable of playing in midfield or at full-back.

"It means a lot to me, both in a footballing and personal sense," Kimmich told a news conference.

"It's a decision that covers the next few years, and hopefully the best years are still to come.

"The feeling I get from the club and from our coach [Julian Nagelsmann], who has also signed a five-year deal, is one of security. Signing a coach on a five-year contract was also a sign. We are all looking forward to working together."

Using Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed just what Kimmich brings to Bayern, who are also looking to secure the future of another key player.

How important is Kimmich?

The heir to Philip Lahm's throne, Kimmich is perfectly adept playing either as a right-back or in central midfield.

With exceptional vision and a passing range to match, he ensured Bayern did not feel the absence of Thiago Alcantara following the Spaniard’s move to Liverpool, while his ability from distance has also helped him score 30 goals.

Since Kimmich's arrival from RB Leipzig in 2015, he has played in 175 Bundesliga matches – only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (188) and Robert Lewandowski (190) have played in more.

Kimmich's 10,672 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first out of outfield players for recoveries, having completed 970.

In all competitions, only Lewandowski (282) and Muller (279) have made more appearances than Kimmich (264), who has helped Bayern to 204 victories.

He trails only Muller (581) in terms of chances created. Kimmich has set up 499 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in total, with 206 of these coming from set-piece situations.

Muller is again the only player to register more assists than Kimmich – 97 compared to 68.

Per 90 minutes, Kimmich plays 8.44 passes or crosses into the area, more than any player still with Bayern. Indeed, his total in that metric (1,936) is way clear of second-ranked Muller (1,058). In fact, since his Bundesliga debut for Bayern, Kimmich has played 2588 successful passes ending in the final third, more than any other player over that period

Defensively, Kimmich has made an impressive 282 interceptions, ranking him fourth for Bayern players since he made his debut in August 2015, while he has successfully completed 63.91 per cent of 363 attempted tackles.

 

One down, one to go?

With Kimmich's future secured, Bayern's attention might well now be on tying Leon Goretzka down to a similar long-term contract.

The former Schalke midfielder became a key cog under Hansi Flick and is arguably among the best box-to-box midfielders in world football.

However, his deal runs out at the end of the season, and Europe's biggest clubs would no doubt be circling for a player of such quality on a free transfer.

In 115 games for Bayern, Goretzka has racked up 25 goals and provided a further 20 assists, while his knack of making timely runs into the box has seen him be presented with 31 big chances – as defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

Only four players have had more big chances than Goretzka, though his conversion rate of 35.48 per cent demonstrates he still has work to do in that area.

Goretzka's work off the ball must also not be undervalued.

Of Bayern's current midfield options, only Kimmich has managed more recoveries than the 655 Goretzka has made since making his debut. Goretzka has also won 100 of 166 attempted tackles, registering an impressive success rate of 60.24 per cent.

Reports last week suggested a new deal for Goretzka had been agreed, so Bayern's number eight may well have his reward in the coming days.

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer has explained that the club cannot afford to keep Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich "at any cost".

Goretzka has just 11 months left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, while Kimmich has two years left on his deal at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern are intent on renewing the duo's contracts with long-term offers, but Hainer was adamant his club will not succumb to excessive wage demands as they attempt to maintain financial stability post-COVID-19 pandemic.

"They will certainly not be kept at any cost," Hainer told Kicker. "The players know what they have at Bayern, they are paid very well here too, everyone gets their salary.

"And they can win titles with us now, and also in the future."

Kimmich joined Bayern in 2015 and has won 16 trophies with the Bavarian giants – 10 of those with midfield partner Goretzka.

Since Kimmich's arrival, only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (187) and Robert Lewandowski (189) have played more Bundesliga games than the midfielder (174).

The 26-year-old's 10,620 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first for recoveries, having completed 961.

Goretzka, who signed three years after Kimmich, netted five times and provided the same number of Bundesliga assists last term, leading to speculation of a move to Manchester United.

 

Hainer's concerns stretch further than new deals for the midfield pairing.

He rubbished UEFA's reported plans to get rid of Financial Fair Play and introduce a "luxury tax", punishing clubs that exceed an agreed wage cap in Europe's major leagues.

"I'm not at all convinced by this luxury tax," Hainer added. "In the event of violations, a club pays 100 million euros in luxury tax, which is shared among the other clubs.

"This money does not help them decisively and does not really hurt the financial giants. We need valid regulations with clear consequences for fair competition.

"Strong attempts at sanctions have too often been revised or toned down in the past. It doesn't work that way."

Despite trying to balance financial constraints and securing new contracts for key first-team stars, Hainer hinted Bayern could still be active in the transfer window – having only spent money on Dayot Upamecano so far.

"We are monitoring the transfer market, which is open until the end of August, to see whether there are still one or two possibilities," Bayern's president continued.

"But we almost exclusively have national team players of the highest quality, so there is no urgent need to sign someone quickly."

Julian Nagelsmann is confident Leon Goretzka can be persuaded to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich and has suggested fellow midfielder Corentin Tolisso still has a future at the club.

Goretzka has less than a year to run on his existing deal with the German champions and has been touted as a possible target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga games last season, while also playing a direct part in four Champions League goals.

Recently-appointed boss Nagelsmann has already stressed he is eager to keep Goretzka at the Allianz Arena, but contract talks with the midfielder are out of his hands.

"I'm not involved enough that I have a say every day. I stay out of these issues," Nagelsmann said. "Of course I have talked to him about my plans for him.

"I've told him I'd be happy if he extended and I'm also confident. There are several topics involved when it comes to discussing a contract extension.

"I'll continue to focus on the sports side of things and show him he can be one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. He has potential to get even better."

 

Goretzka is not alone in being linked with a move away from Bavaria, with France international midfielder Tolisso reportedly seeking a fresh start.

But Nagelsmann has left the door open for Tolisso, who will become a free agent next year, to prove himself this season on the back of a disappointing 2020-21 campaign.

"He is currently in isolation in France. I'm looking forward to when he returns and trains with the team," Nagelsmann said. 

"His contract situation is known to everyone. I assume that when he's healthy again, he'll be part of this team."

Nagelsmann was speaking on the back of Bayern's 3-0 friendly defeat to Napoli, making it three losses and one draw in his first four games in charge.

He has had to make do without a number of players that have been away on international duty, though big-hitters Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Goretzka returned on Saturday.

The former RB Leipzig boss is not concerned about results so far, however, and has hinted Bayern could yet strengthen before the transfer window closes.

"I said before that I'm taking over a well-functioning team," Nagelsmann added. "But I haven't had the full team yet. 

"On Monday we will be complete when others return, and then it's about finding the rhythm in training"

"I'm not worried about these scores. I think the first half today was good. We had control and played well, but we didn't manage to create a lot of chances in the final third. 

"The goals we conceded were annoying, but that can't really be a reference because we made a lot of changes

"Our task as a club is to always observe the market. We have a good squad, but we can always improve it. Every coach in the world wants the best possible team."

Kingsley Coman sustained a bruised rib in the loss to Napoli, but Nagelsmann confirmed at his post-match news conference that he does not expect the Frenchman to be out for long.

Eden Hazard has struggled for impact at Real Madrid two years into his five-year deal.

The 30-year-old signed with Madrid for a reported €100 million (£86m) from Chelsea in 2019.

Hazard has battled against injuries and poor form in Spain, making 43 appearances and scoring five goals in two seasons.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA WEIGH UP SHOCK HAZARD RETURN

Eden Hazard could make a sensational return to Chelsea and end his underwhelming spell with Real Madrid, reports AS.

Chelsea are weighing up a shock move for the Belgium attacking midfielder, who spent seven years with the Blues.

The report did not disclose any financial details but cited Hazard's strong connection with Chelsea's squad and desire to re-discover his best football.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Manchester United are plotting a cut-price move for Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka as a replacement for Paul Pogba, who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain in recent days.

- Tottenham's swap deal for Bryan Gil from Sevilla in exchange for Erik Lamela will soon be finalized according to Sky Sports. Spurs will also pay £21.6 million (€25m) for the winger.

- Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowsk is "interested" in a contract offer from Chelsea after his agent spoke to the Blues, claims Bild. Lewandowski is seen as Chelsea's alternative option should they fail to land Erling Haaland.

- Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri could be among those sold by Liverpool in an off-season clear-out, according to the Liverpool Echo. Divock Origi and Nat Phillips were also mentioned in the report.

- talkSPORT reports that Arsenal are preparing a £30m bid to sign Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale . The Times claims the Gunners have been told to raise their offer.

Paul Pogba has one year remaining on his Manchester United contract.

After a strong Euro 2020 with France, he is attracting interest.

Pogba has been linked with a move away from United numerous times in the past and a decision could be looming.

 

ROUND-UP – POGBA'S AGENT IN PSG TALKS

Paul Pogba 's agent Mino Raiola is discussing a potential move to  Paris Saint-Germain , claims the Daily Mail.

Manchester United are feeling the pressure to sell the France international who is set to be a free agent in 12 months' time.

PSG are reportedly eyeing off a £43million move, which is less than half the amount United paid for him in 2016, given his contract status.

 

TOP STORY

–  Chelsea are ready to submit a monster bid worth £135m for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland , claims 90min. Dortmund have insisted they will not sell the Norway forward, but the bumper deal may tempt them.

– Bild claims  Manchester United along with Real Madrid and Barcelona are monitoring Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka 's situation.

–  Milan are looking to prepare another loan deal for Diogo Dalot from Manchester United, reports Fabrizio Romano.

– Sky Sports claims a deal is imminent for Arsenal's Granit Xhaka to move to Roma .

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is eager to keep Leon Goretzka despite links to Manchester United, declaring him to be "one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe".

Goretzka has just under a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, fuelling speculation over his future.

United are reported to have lined up Goretzka as another potential new recruit, having already agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Goretzka scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last season, while he also found the back of the net twice and laid on two Champions League goals in the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking at his first Bayern press conference on Wednesday, Nagelsmann said: "Leon is a very important player. I would also be very happy to work with him for many years.

"He is one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. So, of course, we want to keep him."

Nagelsmann also gave his backing to winger Leroy Sane, who failed to hit the heights expected of him in his first season with the club following a big-money move from Manchester City.

"We would do well to leave Leroy alone a little in the media," said the former RB Leipzig boss. "He has outstanding qualities, has a lot of speed, is one of the best one-on-one players.

"We need that. I am I'm sure we'll see an improved Leroy. But of course the player has to take that step himself."

 

Nagelsmann was given a five-year contract to replace Hansi Flick and the 33-year-old, who had a win percentage of 56.84 from 95 games with RB Leipzig, knows he will be under pressure to deliver.

"It's a show of praise in advance of my work, which I want to justify," he said of his long-term deal.

"It gives someone a very good feeling to get this level of trust. It also shows, however, that you have to deliver. I know this and I want to do just that."

New Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn believes Nagelsmann will show why the club has put so much faith in him.

"Continuity in the coaching position is very important for success. We think that we can shape an era with Julian," said the ex-Germany goalkeeper.

"He identifies with the club. That is why we are convinced of the decision."

With France out of Euro 2020, Kylian Mbappe has time to mull over his club future.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been linked with Real Madrid.

Liverpool have reportedly entered the frame too, while PSG are eager to re-sign him.

 

TOP STORY - MBAPPE REACHES PSG DECISION

Kylian Mbappe has informed PSG he is not planning to sign a new contract, according to L'Equipe.

The 22-year-old France international does not currently want to extend his current deal which expires in mid-2022, the sports daily reported.

Mbappe will respect the final year of his contract with PSG as suitors circle for his signature.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have agreed terms with Jadon Sancho and now have set their sights on West Ham's Declan Rice, Villarreal's Pau Torres and Tottenham's Harry Kane. The Guardian claims they are all on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's wish list.

- Bild claims United are also interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka, who has one year remaining on the his current contract.

- Son Heung-min is expected to sign an extension with Tottenham regardless of Kane's decision on his future, claims Fabrizio Romano.

- Arsenal, Milan and Roma are all interested in RB Leipzig's Austria international Marcel Sabitzer who is set to be allowed to leave on a cut-price deal according to Bild.

- The Daily Mail reports Manchester City will open talks with Raheem Sterling on a new deal following Euro 2020 where he has starred with three goals for England. Sterling, who has two years left on his current deal, fell out of favour at City late last season.

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe?

The Paris Saint-Germain star is wanted in France and Spain.

France striker Mbappe is reportedly facing a decision over his future.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE HAS DECISION TO MAKE

Kylian Mbappe has a decision to make over his future as he enters the final year of his Paris Saint-Germain contract, according to the front pages of Wednesday's Marca and Diario AS.

Mbappe will become a free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season and the PSG star continues to be heavily linked with LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

L'Equipe, however, claims PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has taken over from sporting director Leonardo in contract negotiations and Mbappe is reportedly pleased with the club's early transfer business as Gianluigi Donnarumma prepares to join Georginio Wijnaldum in Paris.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano reports Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Juventus is uncertain. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with PSG, Madrid and Manchester United. Contracted to Juve until 2022, Romano says Ronaldo is not negotiating a new deal as the Serie A giants wait for the superstar to decide whether he stays or leaves.

- Aston Villa are hopeful of keeping star captain Jack Grealish amid interest from Premier League champions Manchester City, per The Telegraph.

- Bild reports RB Leipzig are set to sign Eintracht Frankfurt forward Andre Silva. The Portugal international starred in 2020-21 and has been linked with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Madrid, United and City.

- United are eyeing Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka as a possible replacement for Paul Pogba, according to Sport Bild. Bayern and Goretzka have been discussing a new deal. It comes as Bayern also try to re-sign Kingsley Coman and Joshua Kimmich. Coman has been linked with United and Liverpool.

Atalanta are in advanced talks to sign Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, claims Sky Sport Italia. Musso has previously been linked with Serie A champions Inter, who are reportedly eyeing Ajax's Andre Onana.

- Le10 Sport claims negotiations between PSG and former Madrid captain Sergio Ramos have hit a snag due to the club's unwillingness to offer a two-year deal. Ramos has also been linked with United, City, Chelsea and Juventus on a free transfer.

- A resolution for Lionel Messi's contract renewal at Barcelona does not seem to be close as he is set to officially become a free agent at midnight on Wednesday, claims Marca. Barca are pushing to complete the new deal.

The final round of group games at Euro 2020 did not disappoint, producing plenty of drama as the final spots in the last 16 were settled.

There were 18 goals scored across the four fixtures – the most on a single day in the history of the European Championships – with Spain putting five past Slovakia to get out of Group E alongside Sweden, who came out on top against Poland thanks to a late, late winner.

In Group F, Hungary threatened an upset but were twice pegged back by Germany in a 2-2 draw, while Portugal and France ended in the same scoreline thanks to record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Before the focus switches to the knockout stages, Stats Perform reflects on a dramatic conclusion to the round-robin stage.


Slovakia 0-5 Spain: Landmark win comes with a little help

Spain equalled the largest margin of victory in a game at the European Championship, becoming the fifth different side to win by five goals in the competition. The others? France and Denmark in 1984, the Netherlands in 2000 and Sweden in 2004).

It was also a milestone win, Spain's 50th at a major tournament. They are the fourth European nation to reach a half-century, joining Germany, Italy and France.

They were helped out by a Slovakia side that scored not one but two own goals, Martin Dubravka and Juraj Kucka the unfortunate duo to take the tally to eight in this year's tournament. The result means head coach Stefan Tarkovic has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since taking charge, with this his 12th game at the helm.

Ferran Torres grabbed the fourth goal of the contest with what was his first touch of the game. He scored just 44 seconds after coming on as a substitute – the quickest goal scored by a replacement at a European Championship since fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Valeron in 2004 (39 seconds versus Russia).

Sweden 3-2 Poland: Lewandowski at the double in defeat

Sweden continued their excellent form against Poland – they have won 10 of the past 12 meetings, including six in a row now – thanks in part to a fast start.

Emil Forsberg broke the deadlock after just 81 seconds, the second quickest goal scored from the start of a European Championship fixture. Dmitri Kirichenko holds the record for the fastest, doing so in a mere 65 seconds for Russia against Greece in 2004.

Poland rallied from 2-0 down to draw level thanks to Robert Lewandowski, who made sure he was on target in consecutive major tournament appearances for the first time in his career. He now has 69 goals for his country – the rest of his nation's squad at Euro 2020 have managed a combined total of 34.

However, the Bayern Munich forward will not be able to add to his tally at Euro 2020, with Poland exiting as their winless run was extended to six games. Viktor Claesson grabbed the winner in added time, meaning Sweden scored three in a game at the Euros for the first time since beating Bulgaria 5-0 in 2004.

 

Portugal 2-2 France: Benzema back on target as Ronaldo hits the spot

There were four goals, three penalties, two different scorers and one record broken in an eventful draw in Budapest.

Ronaldo converted both as Portugal became the first team to score two spot-kicks in a single European Championship fixture. The Juventus superstar's double makes him the first player to score as many as five goals in the group stages of a single Euros since Michel Platini (seven in 1984), who is the only individual to have managed more in a single group round.

Talisman Ronaldo also became the first European player in World Cup and European Championship history to score a combined 20 or more goals across the competitions. His tally sits at 21, while he has 109 in his Portugal career, putting him level with Ali Daei as the leading international men's scorer.

His former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema also grabbed a brace. His first of the game saw him score for France for the first time since October 8, 2015, five years and 258 days ago. It is the longest gap between goals for Les Bleus since current boss Didier Deschamps went seven years between finding the net.

France are now unbeaten in each of their last 12 group-stage outings at major tournaments, with their reward for topping the table being a last-16 clash with Switzerland.

Germany 2-2 Hungary: Goretzka earns Low a little more time

On a night with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster ride, Germany needed a late equaliser to make sure they progressed from the group stage for a seventh time in eight major international tournaments.

Joachim Low's reign appeared set for an unexpectedly early end when they trailed both 1-0 and 2-1 in Munich, with Adam Szalai's opener seeing Germany become one of only four sides to concede first in all three of their group outings, after Turkey, North Macedonia and Poland.

Kai Havertz equalised, in the process becoming the fourth-youngest player to score in back-to-back major tournament appearances for Germany, after Thomas Muller (2010), Franz Beckenbauer (1966) and Lukas Podolski (2006).

There was a first opportunity at Euro 2020 for teenager Jamal Musiala, who became the youngest player to make an appearance for the German national team at a major tournament, aged 18 years and 117 days.

Germany scraped through to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 and set up a last-16 showdown against England after Leon Goretzka's late equaliser earned them a 2-2 draw with Hungary.

Adam Szalai of Mainz, who has spent most of his career in the Bundesliga, gave Hungary the lead in Munich after 11 minutes to leave Germany facing an early exit.

There was a brief reprieve when Kai Havertz scored a 66th-minute header, but just 91 seconds later Joachim Low's men were caught napping and Andras Schafer took full advantage in restoring Hungary's lead.

Goretzka rescued Germany from their first exit at this stage of the competition since 2004, and sent Hungary crashing out in the process.

Joachim Low believes Germany have the right mix in attack to cause France problems as the two heavyweight nations prepare to do battle at Euro 2020.

Tuesday's huge clash pits the previous two World Cup winners against each other in Munich, with reigning European champions Portugal and Hungary the other nations in Group F.

France have been boosted by the international return of Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid striker joining Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud - who is five goals shy of Thierry Henry's record of 51 goals for Les Bleus - as attacking options for head coach Didier Deschamps to utilise.

However, on the eve of the contest, Low has made clear he is not short of talent in his own squad, meaning defenders for both sides will have to be on high alert at all times.

"It's obvious we also have a lot of qualities in our team, a good balance and the right mix in attack," Low told the media on Monday.

"We have a lot of quality. Timo Werner, Leroy Sane, these are players who can decide matches. Kai Havertz, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry too.

"I think both attacks are a real threat, you shouldn't let them out of sight.

"You have to be focused every minute, because all of these players can score and be decisive."

Leon Goretzka could be involved in his country's opening fixture having trained with his team-mates as he continues his recovery from a torn muscle.

"It's only Jonas Hofmann who is not available. All other players have joined in with training, Leon as well was with us," Low said when asked for a squad update.

"I think he [Goretzka] trained four or five sessions with the team, overall he gave a good impression and he doesn't feel anything from his injury.

"He won't be risked, but I've said to Leon we will talk after our final training session. It's clear that he won't be in the starting XI just because the break he's had is too long.

"We will talk and take a decision over whether he can be on the bench, maybe give him some minutes. We will talk with the medical department about him too, I just wanted him to participate in training and if something wasn't going well he could tell me."

For Low, this is the start of his farewell tour with the national team. He will step down once the tournament is over but hopes to be celebrating after his final game in charge.

"I don't think about it that it's my last tournament, my last matches. I'm just too focused on preparations for this tournament," he said. 

"I'm focused on this year, maybe in a few weeks, hopefully when we've won the tournament, then I might be sad. But not at the moment, I'm focused on our task here."

Low's former assistant Hansi Flick will take over after Euro 2020.

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