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Starke back between the sticks

Tom Starke has been out of action since mid-October last year with a torn syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle, but on the eve of the official first training session of 2015, the 33-year-old was finally back between the sticks. Tom joined goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic for a series of position-specific drills out on the practice ground.

Maradona’s praise for Neuer

Argentine football idol Diego Maradona believes Manuel Neuer was the world’s best player over the last year. Maradona told a radio station in Cuban capital Havana that he regards the Bayern keeper as favourite in the vote for the Ballon d’Or in Zurich next Monday, 12 January. Neuer performed with huge credit in 2014, the World Cup winner said, “and Ronaldo and Messi should allow themselves a break.”