WATCH: Borussia Dortmund’s top 10 Der Klassiker goals

James Rodriguez: Two years of Bundesliga brilliance

This weekend, Bundesliga fans are surely going to be glued to their screens as Der Klassiker takes on a lot of weight.

Borussia Dortmund have a two-point lead over Bayern Munich in the standings and the result of their clash at the end of the week could spell big news for the title race.

With that, we take a look at some of the best goals between the two teams!

Today, we start off with the current table leaders, Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund – Der Klassiker Top 10 Goals

It could be Mats Hummels’ great header or Paco Alcacer’s gorgeous finish, they certainly have had moments in front of goal that would make Bayern Munich fans turn in agony.

They already picked up a win earlier in the season at home, can they duplicate it at the Allianz-Arena?

Enjoy!

German forward outperformed FC Barcelona man Lionel Messi, Real Madrid players in month of March

James Rodriguez: Two years of Bundesliga brilliance

While FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi gets all the praises for how much he’s involved in the team’s scoring opportunities, he was overshadowed by one player throughout March.

In the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen’s Max Kruse helped out in nine goals for his team in March, with six goals and three assists. He holds the distinction of having the most goals responsible for in the month across all the top five leagues in Europe.

Messi came in second with six goals and one assist, while Real Madrid star Karim Benzema had three goals and three assists to his name.


Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is fourth with six goals, while Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe comes in fifth.

Kruse has helped Werder Bremen climb to sixth in the Bundesliga, holding the spot for UEFA Europa League qualifiers.

Conor McGregor’s coach responds following UFC champion’s shock retirement

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

A lot of people have voiced out their opinions and reactions to UFC great Conor McGregor retiring from the sport.

Still at the height of his powers, McGregor decided to hang up his gloves and move on with his career.

Accomplishing so much, he has had his coach John Kavanagh on his side throughout his career and now McGregor’s mentor has gone to social media for a reaction.

Simply put, he said “Where’s that sofa?”

It could be a little hint that he’s about to relax and unwind alongside his number one student.

Earlier in the day, McGregor announced his retirement through social media as can be seen below.

At 30 years old, McGregor leaves behind a record of 21-4, with UFC championships in the Lightweight and Featherweight divisions.

Photo courtesy of MMAFighting

5 highest and lowest moments of Conor McGregor’s career after his UFC retirement

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

In his storied and colorful career in mixed martial arts, Conor McGregor has seen and done it all.

The MMA world was shocked when the former lightweight and featherweight champion announced that he was retiring from the sport.

Still in his fighting prime at 30 years old, McGregor has accomplished so much and is a constant conversation as one of the best to ever do it.

However, his persona and character is a double-edged sword as his brash and aggressive nature has also spawned some dark moments in his career.

And with that, we take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of Conor McGregor’s MMA career.

HIGHLIGHT: UFC DEBUT

With a 12-2 record, McGregor entered UFC on FUEL TV as an undercard for Gerard Mousasi and Ilir Latifi in Stockholm, Sweden.

Against Marcus Brimage, McGregor only needed 1:07 in the first round to knock out his opponent and announce his arrival in the biggest brand in MMA. He also won Knockout of the Night for his efforts.

LOWLIGHT: NATE DIAZ LOSS

At this point of his career, McGregor was riding a seven-fight win streak in the Octagon and had beaten some of the biggest names in his weight class.

Already a superstar at this point, McGregor was the UFC Featherweight Champion but decided to climb up in weight to face Nate Diaz in the welterweight division.

It was an incredible lead-up to the fight which culminated in UFC 196 but it was McGregor who lost via rear-naked choke in the second round to end his winning streak.

HIGHLIGHT: JOSE ALDO WIN

Intense pre-fight hype and pure hatred against the other set-up a great championship fight against Jose Aldo in UFC 194.

At this point, Aldo was considered as the best featherweight in the world and had a 25-1 record.

However, McGregor made quick work of Aldo, knocking out the Brazilian in 13 seconds to win his first title in the competition.

LOWLIGHT: PUSHING A REFEREE IN AN MMA EVENT

Watching a match at a rival company, McGregor made his presence felt in Bellator 187 while supporting his teammate Charlie Ward.

When referee Mark Godard stopped in to separate the two fighters, McGregor incorrectly assumed that the fight was stopped. Godard would, naturally, look to send McGregor out of the cage and the Irishman retaliated by pushing the referee away – as well as the other officials that looked to pacify the situation.

HIGHLIGHT: NATE DIAZ WIN IN UFC 202

Following his loss to Diaz, a rematch was quickly taken and McGregor took advantage of this match to restore some of the shine that was taken away.

In a bout that resulted in being called the Fight of the Night, McGregor beat Diaz via unanimous decision to avenge what was his third loss in his professional career.

LOWLIGHT: UFC 202 PRESS CONFERENCE

Leading up to the said rematch, the two had a press conference and it ended up in complete chaos as the two sides threw water bottles at each other.

McGregor was on the stands speaking to the press as Diaz and his men made their way through the crowd. The two parties would exchange explicit barbs which resulted in McGregor throwing water bottles; completely disregarding Dana White’s pleads for him to stop.

As a result, McGregor was fined $150,000 and needed to do 50 hours of Community Service.

HIGHLIGHT: WIN IN UFC 205

Following his win over Diaz, McGregor would fight again a few months later. This time, he would face UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez as the Irishman looked to win two UFC titles in two weight classes.

He would dominate Alvarez through two rounds before forcing the referee to stop the fight in 3:04 of the second to award McGregor the dominating win.

LOWLIGHT: THE DOLLY INCIDENT

McGregor’s fierce rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov started when the latter threatened one of McGregor’s teammates outside the Octagon.

Looking to retaliate against the Russian, McGregor looked to confront Nurmagomedov in a press conference for UFC 223.

However, the best he was able to do was get close to the Russian when the latter was inside a bus, and McGregor picked up a metal dolly and threw it at the window as he looked to attack Khabib.

It did damage to the vehicle and other fighters in the bus and two of them had to pull out from the fight. As for McGregor, he found himself in court as he was sentenced to even more Community Service and Anger Management classes.

HIGHLIGHT: MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR

McGregor boosted mixed martial arts to new heights with his impressive skill and even better entertainment value. He did so well that he was able to forge a deal with unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather for a boxing match.

The result of the boxing event was predictable, as the unbeaten Mayweather methodically beat out McGregor round after round, but the Irishman’s motive has been established – he is now a megastar and got paid like one.

LOWLIGHT: NURMAGOMEDOV LOSS

The heated rivalry with Nurmagomedov was about to come to head in UFC 229 when the two would meet for the UFC Lightweight Championship.

As expected, fanfare was at an all-time high with both fighters going through verbal attacks to hype the fight.

However, things did not go as McGregor planned as he was soundly beaten by Nurmagomedov through four rounds and eventually had to tap out due to a neck crank in the 3:03 mark.

This would, as it stands, be McGregor’s last UFC fight.

HIGHLIGHT: HIS INCREDIBLE MIC SKILLS

Like him or not, McGregor sure is an entertainer. He can stir up a pot with his words and flamboyant actions that you certainly have to listen.

He has a brash approach to his business and stands out in a crowd – just the way he likes it.

With him retiring for good there might not be anyone as polarising as McGregor to ever step foot in the Octagon.

LOWLIGHT: POST-UFC 229 BRAWL

Following his loss to Nurmagomedov, the latter embroiled himself in a fight with McGregor’s team as the Russian jumped outside the Octagon to attack.

McGregor did little to restrain himself, as well, as the video has shown him also hitting a few of Nurmagomedov’s teammates.

This has resulted in suspensions for both men as well as hefty fines.

McGregor lost the match but neither won the war after.

WWE star Ronda Rousey reacts to Conor McGregor’s UFC retirement

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

The line that blurs mixed martial arts and professional wrestling continues to be erased and Conor McGregor’s retirement from mixed martial arts seems to play along the same line.

The Irishman recently tweeted that he was set to retire from the sport.

His announcement has set social media ablaze and one tweet in particular has caught the attention of many – MMA fighter turned WWE champion Ronda Rousey.

At the moment, Rousey is embroiled in a feud with Irish wrestling star Becky Lynch and WWE royalty Charlotte Flair with their match culminating in WrestleMania 35.

Rousey reached out to McGregor in a tweet, saying “second round is one me.”

While this may be an innocent tweet, in sports entertainment, it can also lead to so much speculation.

BREAKING: UFC President Dana White responds to Conor McGregor’s MMA retirement

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

Following Conor McGregor’s shock retirement from mixed martial arts, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White has responded.

Through a series of texts to Brett Okamoto, White seems to support McGregor’s decision to move on from the MMA world, as the Irishman has a lot of other businesses that should keep him busy.

The 30-year-old McGregor made his last appearance in the Octagon in UFC 229 where he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov via neck crank in the fourth round.

He has held the UFC Featherweight Championship and the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Earlier today, McGregor announced his retirement through social media and can be seen below.

And now Okamoto has shown screenshots of his conversation with White where the latter had nothing but good things to say about the former titlist.

As for Okamoto, while he doesn’t believe that this is the official retirement, White seems to be convinced it is.

Pep Guardiola feels Manchester City still behind Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid

‘Pochettino has to stay’ – Teddy Sheringham

As far as Pep Guardiola is concerned, Manchester City are still yards behind powerhouse clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

City have improved leaps and bounds since being acquired by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, and three Premier League titles show just how good they are.

And with the addition of Guardiola at the helm, City are now also being considered the best in the world as they make their march in the UEFA Champions League.

And though Guardiola concedes that they are still a few paces behind, they are certainly on the right track.

He said: “The last decade, one of the teams to have grown the most is Manchester City. Not just in our period [together], but over the last decade.

“To compare with Barca, we are far away in terms of history and legacy. We are far because we are one decade. But what we do is getting better and better.

“My humble opinion is we are making small, small steps and every time getting better. We made back-to-back [EFL Cup] titles, we won 100 points, we are fighting for all the titles.

“In the next years still being there, those are the best steps. [When you] compare with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, they have an incredible history of results. We are not there.

“The best way [to describe it] is that we feel far, far away from these clubs. That’s the best way. At Barcelona and Munich I didn’t go to work thinking about a legacy, it just happens.

“If we’ll be remembered we’ll see. We’ll have to win more and more through the years. They are a step forward in many terms.”

Five ASEAN players who nearly signed for big European clubs

Highlights – Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu vs Vĩnh Long

For football players, the dream is easily to be able to call yourself a professional while playing the sport you love.

A handful of people among the millions of aspirants are able to fulfill that wish and among that handful, only chosen few have the chance to play in one of the big clubs in Europe.

Long regarded as the top region for football, signing for a team in Europe means that you are one of the best in the world.

That remains true in the ASEAN where stars are hopeful that one day they could sign for big clubs and play in the grandest stages.

With that in mind, here are five ASEAN players who had chances to play for big European teams but failed to push through.

TEERASIL DANGDA – THAILAND – ATLETICO MADRID

Regarded as one of the elite talents in the region, Thailand’s Teerasil Dangda once had an opportunity to play for La Liga side Atletico Madrid.

Teerasil was playing with Muangthong United in the 2012 season where he led the team to an unbeaten run in the competition. There, he was a scoring machine, breaking the previous record of 23 goals by notching 24 for the season.

Naturally, it turned heads and he was eventually invited for a trial with Atletico Madrid and over two weeks tested his talents alongside a big club.

However, the trials would not result in an offer and Teerasil would return to Muangthong in February.

It wouldn’t be the last time Teerasil and the La Liga would cross paths as he would play for Almeria in 2014 and be the first Southeast Asian player to feature in the Spanish top flight.

BAMBANG PAMUNGKAS – INDONESIA – FC INGOLSTADT 04

Another striker makes the list, this time from Indonesia as legend Bambang Pamungkas once had an opportunity to play for German club FC Ingolstadt 04.

The opportunity opened up back in 2010 when he was playing for Persija Jakarta. Bambang was already a legend at this time as he was already in his second stint with the club after a stint from 1999-2005 (with a loan move in 2000 to EHC Norad), and 2007-2012. In between, he played for Selangor FA where he scored 42 goals in 63 appearances.

Prior to Ingolstadt 04, Bambang had prior interest from Europe through English club Derby County back in 2008 but Bambang opted to stay in his home country.

At the moment, at 38 years old, he is in his third stint with Persija where he’s had 10 goals in 59 appearances since 2015.

NGHIEM XUAN TU – VIETNAM – 1. FC KAISERSLAUTERN

An attacking midfielder from Vietnam, Nghiem Xuan Tu had a chance to play in the Bundesliga for 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Fortuna Dusseldorf 1895.

This happened back in 2016 when Xnghiem Xuan Tu recently made his move from FLC Thanh Hoa to Than Quan Ninh FC when FC Kaiserslautern scout Fritz Fuchs saw the Vietnamese international play and was immediately impressed by his talents.

An article even compared Nghiem Xuan Tu to Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki.

Unfortunately, it never came to fruition and the 30-year-old still remains with Than Quan Ninh FC.

Cover photo courtesy of SOHA

FANDI AHMAD – SINGAPORE – AFC AJAX

A Singaporean legend, Fandi Ahmad was one of the best in the continent during his best years and had the attention of Dutch heavyweights AFC Ajax.

In a different story, it was Fandi who turned down an opportunity to play for the team after a three-week trial resulted in them offering a three-year-deal.

He would eventually make a move to the Netherlands, albeit joining FC Groningen instead of AFC Ajax. During his stay with the club, he became a very popular figure when he scored 11 goals in 36 appearances.

In his long and illustrious career, Fandi would perform well for both club and country. In 332 total matches for various clubs, he scored 170. Meanwhile, he would have 55 international goals in 101 caps for Singapore.

SAFIQ RAHIM – MALAYSIA – CARDIFF CITY

Last but certainly not the least in the list is Malaysian star Safiq Rahim. After an impressive showing, Safiq had a chance to play for Welsh side Cardiff City as he was given a three-week trial.

Playing for Selangor FA from 2010 to 2012, Safiq was given a chance to play for Cardiff City as former chairman of the club Chan Tien Ghee was also Malaysian and was impressed by Safiq’s talent.

Along with Safee Sali, Safiq went through three weeks of trials from November to December of 2011 and would then return to Selangor.

Through his career, Safiq has played for big clubs in Malaysia like Johor Darul Ta’zim, Selangor and he currently plays for Melaka United.

Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg looking to play Vietnam U-22 squad in Asian tour

Highlights – Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu vs Vĩnh Long

It appears that Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg is working on an Asian tour and may face Vietnam’s U-22 squad in an international friendly.

According to sources, club commercial director Frank Jan Steinmann is trying to work out a plan that will bring the German club through the Middle East, Indi and Southeast Asia to play a series of matches.

One of those is against the U-22 national side of Vietnam and the proposed date of it being around May.

At the moment, Wolfsburg are doing well in the league as they are fifth with 42 points and are four points ahead of sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.

As for Vietnam’s U-22 squad, they recently took part in the AFF U-22 Championship where they did relatively well as they finished third in the standing behind Thailand and eventual champions Indonesia.

Photos courtesy of ASEAN Football and VfL Wolfsburg

WATCH: UFC champion Jon Jones spends time with heavyweight star Francis Ngannou amidst UFC 235 preparations

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is currently busy preparing for his title defence in UFC 235 against Anthony Smith and it seems he’s been getting help from another UFC superstar.

The current champion looks to defend his belt against the American striker but Jones recently took to social media to shoot a video of him with heavyweight fighter Francis Ngannou.

Wakanda Forever! UFC Light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has been bonding with heavyweight star Francis Ngannou in Las Vegas ahead of UFC 235

In the video posted on his Instagram account, Jones appears to be in training when he pans his camera to see Ngannou by his side. The light heavyweight champion happily screams “Wakanda Forever!” in a homage to the movie Black Panther while he gives Ngannou the respect and praise.

Ngannou recently came from a 26-second knockout performance against heavyweight great Cain Velasquez and with Jones’ proposed move up to the division, he may be preparing alongside one of the weight class’ elite.

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WATCH: Former UFC champion Conor McGregor teases return on social media

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

It looks like UFC superstar Conor McGregor is making his way back to the Octagon soon.

In his last outing, McGregor suffered a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 229 and there has been no news on his return to action.

However, looking at his recent posts on social media, McGregor has been working tirelessly to improve his game – as he focuses on the holes that resulted in his loss back in October.

The former lightweight and featherweight champion has been critical of his performances but states that he’s ever improving and that he’s ready to get back on the horse.

He ends by stating that he will not make the same mistakes he did and is ready to “tear these men apart now.”

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Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.

Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after suspensions, fines handed after UFC post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor team

Fury is my number one heavyweight – Khabib

Jason Whitlock on cause of Khabib, McGregor post fight brawl: ‘This all falls on Conor McGregor’

Following the news on Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s fines and suspensions which stemmed from their post-fight brawl in UFC 229 brawl, the Russian took to social media to respond.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) handed him a nine-month suspension and fined him $500,000, while McGregor was slapped with a six-month ban and he has to pay $50,000 for his actions as well.

Upon learning the news, the Russian took to Twitter and blamed politics for the result, saying:

Later on, he would take to Instagram and posted a photo of him laying on a couch, with a caption saying: “Wake me up when it’s all over.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Разбудите меня, когда все это закончится. Wake me up, when it’s all over.

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Nurmagomedov’s suspension can be reduced by three months if he contributes to an anti-bullying Public Service Announcement – which results in the two fighters able to return to the Octagon around the same time.

On the other hand, McGregor has yet to make a statement on the matter.

Bayern Munich star linked to J-League move this summer

Lavezzi scores brilliant bicycle kick winner

Arjen Robben too tough to handle!

It appears another football star is set to move to Japan this summer as Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben is linked to a move to FC Tokyo.

The former Dutch national team star currently plays with the German heavyweights. However, at 35 years old, Robben may eye a move to Japan as his prime years are behind him similar to how Andres Iniesta did after leaving Barcelona.

Robben is one of the more successful players in recent history – winning the Premier League twice with Chelsea, a UEFA Champions League triumph with Munich, a La Liga champion with Real Madrid and an Eredivisie title with PSV Eindhoven.

This year, he has made little impact as he’s only featured in nine Bundesliga matches, scoring three times.

However, he has played in the UEFA Champions League group stages this year, scoring twice and providing one assist in four matches.

If he does join FC Tokyo, it will greatly help the J-League squad that finished sixth in the 2018 campaign.

They were 19 points behind eventual champions Kawasaki Frontale and just missed a spot in the 2019 AFC Champions League.

Australian Open 2019: Naomi Osaka speaks on sponsorship gaffe following controversial ad

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose for photos after Australian Open final

‘I’ve talked to them, they’ve apologised’ – Osaka on Nissin Ad

Naomi Osaka is looking to win her second grand slam in her career as she is in the Australian Open final and is set to face Petra Kvitova. However, Osaka made headlines recently after a sponsor took her image and likeness in a controversial ad.

Nissin Foods sponsor the Japanese tennis star and recently released an ad featuring Osaka as an anime character.

However, many quickly replied that the character which was supposed to be Osaka had considerably fairer skin and considered this “whitewashing” which resulted in the ad being subsequently removed.

Speaking in an interview, Osaka revealed that Nissin have apologised, and she hopes that the brand reaches out to her in the future.

“I’ve talked to them. They’ve apologized,” Osaka said.

“I’m tan. It’s pretty obvious. But I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me or something, I feel like they should talk to me about it.”

However, she quickly diverted to another attention, claiming that her focus remains on the Australian Open and the task at hand.

“I’m just focused on this right now,” she said. “I’ve gotten to the final of a slam, and that’s sort of my main priority.”