Joachim Low has put his focus on winning the World Cup for a second time after agreeing a new contract as Germany coach until 2022.
The German Football Association (DFB) announced the deal shortly before Low named a 27-man provisional squad for the tournament in Russia, which included Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer despite his injury woes.
Check out the video below for the five main talking points to arise from Germany’s squad announcement on Tuesday.
The latest twist in Argentina legend Diego Maradona’s unpredictable post-playing career has taken him to Belarus after he surprisingly signed on as chairman of ambitious Dynamo Brest.
Maradona, 57, had most recently been employed by Fujairah in the UAE’s First Division League following five years away from coaching. On April 27, he parted ways within hours of his failure to gain automatic promotion to the Arabian Gulf League with his undefeated side – only for a club announcement about a shock one-year renewal three days later to be instantly rubbished.
This latest posting has taken him to the eighth-placed outfit in the 2018 Belarusian Premier League. A three-year contract has been inked, granting the joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century wide-ranging powers.
“Yes, Diego is with us,” Brest tweeted. “Legendary football player Diego Armando Maradona signed a three-year contract with the football club, Dynamo Brest, and took office as chairman of the club’s board.
“Diego Maradona will be engaged in issues of strategic development of the club, as well as interacting with all its structural units – including the children’s academy.
“Maradona will begin his role after the end of the World Cup in Russia.
“In Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi will be held a press conference with the participation of Diego Maradona and representatives of the club. The date of the press conference will be announced shortly.”
The ex-Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli icon was excited about this latest challenge.
“I am president of the club, Dynamo Brest,” he posted on Instagram. “Thanks for the trust and for thinking of me.”
⚡ ДА, ДИЕГО С НАМИ! ⚡ #fcdb1960— FC Dynamo Brest (@dynamobrest) May 15, 2018
Легендарный футболист Диего Армандо Марадона подписал трехлетний контракт с футбольным клубом "Динамо-Брест" и вступил в должность Председателя правления клуба. pic.twitter.com/H9WG8AfpBg
Brest are a club on the up, determined to break BATE Borisov’s grip on the domestic game.
They claimed the Belarusian Cup in 2017 and added the 2018 Belarusian Super Cup with a 2-1 triumph against BATE in March.
Reverberations were felt across the globe late on Tuesday to match those caused when Maradona agreed to end his half-decade exile from the dugout and lead the ambitious Wolves for 2017/18.
But profligacy in front of goal saw a draining 11 draws registered. Their final-day stalemate caused them to be critically knocked into third place by Ittihad Kalba.
In his absence, replacement Dr Abdullah Mesfer defeated the AGL’s bottom-placed side, Hatta, 3-1 on aggregate in the promotion play-offs and earned a top-flight return for the first time since 2015/16.
Al Wasl had previously sacked Maradona in July 2012, halfway through a two-year deal. This followed a trophyless 2011/12.
Prior to this, his contract had not been renewed by Argentina in the wake of a 4-0 quarter-final thrashing by Germany at World Cup 2010.
If anything shows the value of a goalkeeper, it’s the improvement of Manchester City’s defence, to title-winning standards, after bringing in Ederson in the summer. But the Brazilian, outstanding though he was, wasn’t even the best keeper in his city.
That’s because David de Gea plays in Manchester. For all Manchester United‘s improvement this season, they wouldn’t be in second place if not for the superlative displays of their No 1. It’s an indictment of the squad that arguably their only world-class player, is their goalkeeper, but United are just happy he’s there.
The Spaniard deservedly sits atop our rankings for the best goalkeepers across Europe’s top five leagues – here’s the full top ten.
1. David de Gea, Manchester United
Every time you think de Gea can’t get better, he defies you. He’d cemented his status as the Premier League‘s best already, and he’s finally won his first Golden Glove.
2. Ederson, Manchester City
Remember how Manchester City had goalkeeping issues last season? In his first season in England, Ederson solved that problem with aplomb.
3. Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus
At this point, everything that can be said about Buffon has already been said. If this truly is his last season, winning Serie A‘s Player of the Year award is a fitting way to sign off.
4. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona
5. Jan Oblak, Atlético Madrid
Oblak’s already burgeoning reputation grew even bigger this season, with some stunning displays in the Atlético Madrid goal.
6. Alisson, Roma
The Roma man has been the find of the season among goalkeepers. It’s no surprise that he’s being linked with a move to some of Europe’s biggest names.
7. Keylor Navas, Real Madrid
Navas hurts himself sometimes with high-profile gaffes, but there’s no telling how bad Madrid’s disappointing season could have been without his presence.
8. Samir Handanovic, Inter Milan
As always, Handanovic pulled off some stunning saves, and he’s a big part of why Inter Milan have one of the best defences in Italy this season.
9. Nick Pope, Burnley
Nick Pope himself will probably be surprised to find himself among the top 10 keepers in Europe. That’s how good he’s been since being thrust into the starting keeper role at Burnley by Tom Heaton’s injury.
10. Neto, Valencia
All that time serving as Buffon’s understudy has served the Brazilian in good stead. Valencia haven’t missed Diego Alves, which is high praise.