Super Rugby round 15 line-ups
Wallabies and Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu trades a chair for a start in round 15 Getty Images
Friday, April 24
19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 17:35 EST, 17:05 CST, 15:35 WST
Chiefs: Robbie Robinson; Patrick Osborne, Charlie Ngatai, Bundee Aki, Asaeli Tikoirotuma; Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow; Matt Vant Leven, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam; Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke (captain); Ben Tameifuna, Hika Elliot, Pauliasi Manu. Replacements: Mahonri Schwalger, Toby Smith, Michael Fitzgerald, Sam Cane, Augustine Pulu, Dan Waenga, Lelia Masaga.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Tom Marshall, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, Zac Guildford; Dan Carter, Andy Ellis; Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, George Whitelock; Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano; 3.
Nepo Laulala, Code Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Ben Funnell /Laurence Corlett, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Robbie Fruean, Telusa Veianu.
19:40 local, 09:40 GMT, 19:40 EST, 19:10 CST, 17:40 WST
Rebels: Jason Woodward; Tom English, Mitch Inman, Rory Sidey, Lachlan Mitchell; Bryce Hegarty, Nick Phipps; Scott Higginbotham (captain), Scott Fuglistaller, Jarrod Saffy; Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle; Laurie Weeks, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Replacements: Shota Horie, Paul Alo-Emile, Cadeyrn Neville, Gareth Delve, Nick Stirzaker, James Hilgendorf, Kimami Sitauti.
Waratahs: Israel Folau; Peter Betham, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell; Bernard Foley, Matt Lucas; Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (captain); Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani; Sekope Kepu, John Ulugia, Benn Robinson. Replacements: Luke Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Will Skelton, Mitchell Chapman, Brendan McKibbin, Rob Horne, Tom Kingston.
Saturday, April 25
19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 17:35 EST, 17:05 CST, 15:35 WST
Blues: Charles Piutau; Frank Halai, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, Goerge Moala; Chris Noakes, Piri Weepu; Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Brendon O’Connor; Ali Williams, Culum Retallick; Angus Ta’avao/Sam Prattley, Keven Mealamu, Tim Perry. Replacements: James Parsons, Prattley/Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Anthony Boric, Kane Barrett, Jamison Gibson-Park, Baden Kerr, Jackson Willison.
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Ben Mowen (captain), Colby Faingaa, Peter Kimlin; Sam Carter, Scott Fardy; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, Jordan Smiler, Ian Prior, Robbie Coleman, Clyde Rathbone.
17:40 local, 09:40 GMT, 19:40 EST, 19:10 CST, 17:40 WST
Highlanders: Ben Smith; Jason Emery, Tamati Ellison, Ma’a Nonu, Hosea Gear; Hayden Parker, Aaron Smith; Mose Tuiali’i, John Hardie, TJ Ioane; Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn (captain); Ma’afu Fia, Liam Coltman, Tony Woodcock. Replacements: Andrew Hore, Bronson Murray, Joe Wheeler, Elliot Dixon, Fumiaki Tanaka, Colin Slade, Tino Nemani/Trent Renata.
15:00 local, 13:00 GMT, 23:00 EST, 22:30 CST, 21:00 WST
Kings: SP Marais; Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss (captain), Siyanda Grey; Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter; Cornell Du Preez, Luke Watson, Wimpie van der Walt; David Bulbring, Steven Sykes; Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, Grant Kemp, Rynier Bernardo, Jacques Engelbrecht, Nicolas Vergallo, Shane Gates, George Whitehead.
Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller; Ryno Benjamin, Johan Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Willie le Roux; Elgar Watts, Piet van Zyl; Phillip van der Walt, Lappies Labushagne, Heinrich Brussow; Francois Uys, Lodewyk de Jager; Lourens Adriaanse,Adriaan Strauss (captain), Coenie Oosthuisen. Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Landman Ligtoring, Boom Prinsloo, Sarel Pretorius, Riaan Smit, Raymond Rhule.
17:05 local, 15:05 GMT, 01:05 EST +1d, 00:35 CST +1d, 23:05 WST
Stormers: Joe Pietersen; Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Elton Jantjies, Louis Schreuder; Nizaam Carr, Don Armand, Siya Kolisi; Eben Etzebeth, Gerbrandt Grobler; Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Chris Heiberg, Marius Coetzer, Rohan Kitshoff, Dewaldt Duvenage, Gary Van Aswegen, Gerhard van den Heever.
Reds: Jon Lance; Rod Davies, Chris Feauai-Sautia nthony Faingaa, Luke Morahan; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz; James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons; James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Replacements: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Ed O’Donoghue, Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Ben Lucas, Ben Tapuai.
19:10 local, 17:10 GMT, 03:10 EST +1d, 02:40 CST +1d, 01:10 WST +1d
Sharks: Riaan Viljoen; Odwa Ndungane, Piet Lindeque, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo; Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod; Keegan Daniel (captain), Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee; Franco van der Merwe, Pieter-Steph du Toit; Jannie du Plessis, Kyle Cooper, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Wiehahn Herbst, Jandre Marais, Jean Deysel, Lubabalo Mtembu, Tian Meyer, Sean Robinson.
Bulls: Jurgen Visser; Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson; Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard; Pierre Spies (captain), Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann; Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe; Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Callie Visagie, Frik Kirsten, Grant Hattingh, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Lionel Mapoe.
ESPN Australia / New Zealand
Robin Dutt has a lovely problem on his hands.
Sat in his office in Frankfurt, the man who replaced Matthias Sammer as the sporting director at the German Football Association last August, taking on responsibility for the development of young players and coaches, doubts there is any room for improvement.
“We are at the top level and it’s difficult to go above that,” Dutt says.
“If we are in the year 2000 and we are at the bottom it is OK.
But nobody sees anything wrong here.” A decade or so after the DFB travelled the world in search of best practice, Dutt smiles at the irony that other nations are coming to them for advice these days.
Dan Ashworth, the Football Association’s newly appointed director of elite development, was among recent visitors, spending three hours with Dutt, the former Bayer Leverkusen and SC Freiburg coach, in a meeting that must have been enlightening.
German football is booming, reaping the rewards of the strategy drawn up after their dismal performances at Euro 2000, when Germany finished bottom of their group.
Forced into an overhaul of youth football, the DFB, the Bundesliga and the clubs decided that the development of more technically proficient homegrown players would be in everyone’s best interests.
This led to the creation of academies right across the top two divisions.
The fruits are there for all to see.
Joachim L w, Germany’s coach, is blessed with a generation of gifted young players Julian Draxler (19), Andre Sch rrle (22), Sven Bender (24), Thomas M ller (23), Holger Badstuber (24), Mats Hummels (24), Mesut Ozil (24), Ilkay Gundogan (22), Mario G tze (20), Marco Reus (23), Toni Kroos (23) the list goes on and Dutt says there are more coming through in the under-21 side who will travel to Israel for the European Championship next month.
As for Saturday’s Champions League final at Wembley, the DFB proudly points out that 26 of the players Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund named in their Uefa squads this season are homegrown and eligible to play for Germany.
More than half of those players came through the DFB’s talent development programme, which was introduced in 2003 with the aim of identifying promising youngsters and providing them with technical skills and tactical knowledge at an early age.
Covering 366 areas of Germany, this impressive initiative caters for children aged 8 to 14 and is served by 1,000 part-time DFB coaches, all of whom must hold the Uefa B licence and are expected to scout as well as train the players.
“We have 80 million people in Germany and I think before 2000 nobody noticed a lot of talent,” Dutt says.
“Now we notice everyone.” Some youngsters attending the development programme are already affiliated with professional clubs but others may be only turning out for their local junior side, which means the weekly DFB sessions are also a chance for Bundesliga teams to spot players.
It is the opposite of what happens in England, where the FA relies on clubs to develop youngsters.
Dutt smiles when it is suggested to him that the DFB are doing the clubs’ recruitment for them.
“But if we help the clubs, we help us, because the players of our national teams the youth teams and Joachim L w’s team come from the clubs,” he says.
The incredible depth of Germany’s coaching resources, as well as the DFB’s close relationship with Bundesliga clubs, helps to make the programme.
According to Uefa, Germany has 28,400 (England 1,759) coaches with the B licence, 5,500 (895) with the A licence and 1,070 (115) with the Pro licence, the highest qualification.
It is little wonder that Ashworth said last month that there will be no quick fix for English football.
The country that invented the game has forgotten that we need people to teach it.
For Germany, post-Euro 2000 was about changing philosophies as well as employing more full-time coaches and upgrading facilities.
The DFB wanted to move away from playing in straight lines and relying on “the German mentality” to win matches.
Instead coaches focused on developing fluid formations that required the sort of nimble, dexterous players who would previously have been overlooked because of their lack of physical strength.
A youth player trains at Freiburg’s academy.
Photograph: Stefan Pangritz “In the past there were a lot of big players.
But look at our players now,” Dutt says.
“You realise that an important thing for a football player is technique and then the height of the player, ordinarily, will be small.
Diego Maradona, Andr’s Iniesta, Xavi all little players.
In the defence we think we need big players.
Mats Hummels is big but he is very good with the ball.
In 1982 Mats Hummels wouldn’t have played in defence, he would have played at No10.
In the 1970s, Franz Beckenbauer was playing football and Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck was running after the English players if he got the ball he gave it to Beckenbauer and the job was done.
But now Schwarzenbeck is Hummels, and Hummels plays like Beckenbauer and Schwarzenbeck.” If one club has led the way when it comes to producing young players in Germany it is Freiburg, who have won the German equivalent of the FA Youth Cup four times in the past seven years.
Their 25-man first-team squad consists of 10 homegrown players, six of whom started in the 2-1 defeat against Schalke last Saturday, when Freiburg needed to win to pull off the unimaginable and qualify for the Champions League.
Beckenbauer was among those who travelled to Freiburg’s Mage Solar Stadion hoping to see history made.
Freiburg’s coach Christian Streich.
Photograph: Stefan Pangritz for the Guardian Under the tutelage of their erudite and colourful manager Christian Streich, a qualified teacher who worked in the club’s youth setup for 16 years, Freiburg were one of the stories of the Bundesliga season.
With an annual wage budget of only ‘ 18m ( 15.4m), which covers the coaching staff as well as the first-team squad, Freiburg’s fifth-place finish was a remarkable achievement, even if Streich was unable to conceal his disappointment that they will be playing in the Europa League, rather than the Champions League, next season and that four of his best players have been snapped up.
Last week the Guardian went behind the scenes at Freiburg, whose location, on the fringes of the Black Forest, is every bit as impressive as the work that goes on at the football school.
The facility, which has four pitches including a small stadium, cost ‘ 10m in 2001, before the academy reforms were introduced and at a time when Freiburg were relegated from the Bundesliga, which gives an idea of how committed they are to producing players.
Freiburg has neither the financial wherewithal nor the desire to compete for overseas talent, so there is no chance of Streich, or any of his staff, being spotted with an agent in’s o Paulo brokering a deal for a teenage Brazilian.
Of the 66 players in the under-16 to under-19 age groups in their academy, all but two are eligible to play for Germany.
In keeping with the ethos of the club, where there is a wonderful sense of community, every senior academy player earns the same.
Across a sizeable area where they face little competition from other Bundesliga clubs, Freiburg work closely with five amateur feeder teams who receive a part-time coach to train children aged 8 to 11 twice a week.
The most promising players are invited to attend the academy during school holidays and for occasional tournaments on weekends.
“We believe it is not good for a nine-year-old to play regularly for a professional football club because it changes the reasons why he plays football,” says Sebastian Neuf, a member of the football school’s management.
Once a player reaches under-12 level things change.
Those who live within 40km of Freiburg train at the football school up to four times a week and play in a league, where teams can win a title and be relegated, a major difference to the way academies are run in England.
The earliest an academy player would take part in competitive football with a professional club in England where the theory is that it “should be about performances, not results” is at under-18 level.
Dutt offers an interesting response when asked about the rationale behind the league system.
“It’s important for the mentality to have some games in the year you have to win, but it is not the main thing.
The main thing is to do good training.
“For the Germans this system is very important.
It’s like golf.
If I play golf in England, no club wants to know my handicap.
If I go to play in Germany you have to show your handicap.
If you play with a guy you don’t know, the first question is: ‘How do you do?’ The second question is: ‘What is your handicap?’ Germans want to reach something, they want to go up.” There is no shortage of silverware on show in Freiburg’s academy, yet the club are not obsessed with winning leagues and cups and acknowledge there is life outside of football.
Through a nationwide elite schools programme supported by the DFB, the 16 players who board on the top floor of Freiburg’s three-storey academy building, along with those who live with host families and travel from home, are able to continue their education around their football schedule, which sometimes means training before and after lessons.
Freiburg place great emphasis on academic work, so much so that they like a selection of their staff to come from a teaching background, so that they can provide educational help whenever it is needed, including on the way to matches.
It is not uncommon for players to do homework on the coach.
Streich says that clubs have a moral obligation to think about what happens to those who fail to make the grade.
“When I went to Aston Villa eight years ago I told them our players, under-17, 18 and 19, go to school for 34 hours a week,” he says.
“They said: ‘No, you’re a liar, it’s not possible, our players go for nine hours.’ I said: ‘No, I’m not lying.’ They said: ‘It’s not possible, you can’t train and do 34 hours of education.’ I said: ‘Sure.
And what do you do with the players who have for three years, from the age of 16 to 19, only had nine hours a week of school? “They said: ‘They have to try to be a professional or not.
They have to decide.’ I said: ‘No, we can’t do that in Freiburg.
Most players in our academy can’t be professionals, they will have to look for a job.
The school is the most important thing, then comes football.’ We give players the best chance to be a footballer but we give them two educations here.
If 80% can’t go on to play in the professional team, we have to look out for them.
The players that play here, the majority of them go on to higher education.
And we need intelligent players on the pitch anyway.” What is clear is that those who are good enough will get a chance at Freiburg, which makes the ‘ 3.5m the club put into the youth academy every year (about 10% of turnover) feel like a sound investment.
Against Schalke, in what was one of the biggest games in Freiburg’s history, Streich gave Sebastian Kerk, a Germany Under-19 international, his debut.
Nobody at Freiburg batted an eyelid.
While Freiburg have been investing in youth for years, not least because the club’s existence depends on it, Streich acknowledges that huge changes have taken place across all Bundesliga clubs, in particular when it comes to attitudes towards coaching, where a “jobs for the boys” mentality has largely disappeared.
He believes England needs to rethink its own approach.
“They have to look to build coaches in England.
They have a lot of money and they have bought players.
But for me the most important thing is to educate the coaches in the youth academies.
“Before in Germany, if you played in the Bundesliga for a few years, clubs said: ‘We’ll take them to manage the under-17s.’ But they had no education to be a coach.
Sometimes the same thing happens in England I saw this.
On the pitch these players played very well but that doesn’t mean they’re a coach, and now this changes in Germany.
And then under-15, under-17 and under-19 coaches, they gave them a salary so they could do this work full time.
Coaches came from university, who had studied sport, they mixed it up and then it got better.” Under-11 and under-12 boys during training at Freiburg’s academy.
Photograph: Stefan Pangritz for the Guardian Streich smiles when asked what he thinks of some of the top English clubs, which spend millions on youth programmes despite there being no obvious pathways to the first team.
“You can’t compare someone like Manchester City with SC Freiburg, it’s saturn and the moon,” he says.
“We played against Manchester City’s youth team here, in the Black Forest, some years ago and also a few years later.
They had one player from Sweden, one player from Finland, one player from Brazil, one player from here, one player from there.
‘What do you do next year?’ ‘Yeah, we buy eight or nine players.’ ‘What about scouting?’ ‘We have 20 people scouting at youth level.’ We only have four for the professionals.” Frank Arnesen, who is full of admiration for Streich’s work at Freiburg, has been on both sides of the fence and is well qualified to compare the merits of youth football in Germany and England.
The Dane, who has just left his position as sporting director at Hamburg after working for Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the same capacity, believes England has the best facilities for young players but feels the spending power of Premier League clubs denies academy graduates the chance that exists in the Bundesliga.
“The money is a big part of the problem in England because clubs go out and buy finished players instead of waiting,” Arnesen says.
“Young players need to make mistakes to get better, but managers think they can’t afford for that to happen.
You see the squads, even in the smaller clubs, they get players from all over instead of bringing young players through.” Arnesen believes that the introduction of the “50% plus one” rule in 2001, which requires Bundesliga clubs to be owned by their members, has helped to promote homegrown talent.
In the absence of foreign benefactors it makes financial sense, and also appeals to the supporters in control to give young German players an opportunity.
Youngsters play table football at Freiburg’s academy.
Photograph: Stefan Pangritz The landscape could not be more different in the Premier League, where the majority of clubs are in foreign hands and English players in the minority.
It is hard, almost impossible, to imagine Germany accepting that situation, not least because the success of the national team is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“I think one thing is very important, coaches who are coaching for the national team of Germany, from upstairs to down, they are very respected and it’s a good job to have.
In England I am not so sure about that,” Arnesen says.
“I think there is a feeling that to work for a club is much higher than the FA but that’s not the case in Germany.” It was one of the reasons why so many people were surprised when Ashworth, who was attracting interest from leading clubs because of the exceptional job he did as sporting director at West Bromwich Albion, opted to take up a high-profile but extremely challenging position with the FA at its new national football centre at St George’s Park, where it remains to be seen whether he will get the support he needs from the Premier League and its clubs.
Arnesen, who recently met with Ashworth at Hamburg, believes relationships need to change in England.
“The FA must create a situation where it is an honour to be there and you need help from clubs,” he says.
“Hamburg have one of the biggest defensive talents in Germany, Jonathan Tah the national Under-17 captain.
Sometimes he is training from Wednesday to Friday with the DFB and he cannot play Saturday in his own game for Hamburg.
We did not think that was correct so we sat down and talked, and that is what the Germans do.” Dutt agrees.
“I spoke three hours with Dan about this,” he says.
“It will be better for England if the clubs and the association talked together.
If you see the English clubs, there are a lot of foreign players and not many from England.
Chelsea win the Champions League and then the Europa League, so they have success.
But the English national team, I don’t think they are successful at this time.” The Elite Player Performance Plan, which the Premier League introduced a little more than two years ago, feels like the last throw of the dice for youth development in English football.
Millions of pounds are being pumped into academies, with clubs free to cast their net far and wide for players who will have more contact time with coaches than ever before, albeit with no promise of greater opportunities to break through.
Time will tell whether it works.
Back in Frankfurt, Dutt is looking at his watch before his next meeting.
There is just one final question for him before he heads off: why is it that Bundesliga academies so rarely bring in players from overseas? “If you want to get an African player, or a player from Brazil, you need money,” he says.
“It’s cheaper to bring through your own player from Germany.
And we have enough players here.”
Liverpool’s Andy Carroll is reluctant to sign a permanent deal with West Ham and their manager, Sam Allardyce.
Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Brendan Rodgers expects a quick resolution to Andy Carroll’s future at Liverpool, with the striker’s hopes of a return to Newcastle United receding.
West Ham United have had a 15m offer accepted by Liverpool for the 24-year-old, who was initially reluctant to move to east London on loan last season and who harbours similar doubts over signing for Sam Allardyce’s team on a permanent basis.
The England international has not given up hope of revitalising his career at Anfield, despite being told by the Liverpool manager that he will have few opportunities to do so, but he would consider a move back to the boyhood club he left for 35m in January 2011.
Newcastle, however, have not registered an interest and a potential exchange deal involving Hatem Ben Arfa is unlikely as Rodgers’ interest in the French midfielder has cooled.
Rodgers said: “It was just a general conversation in terms of the experience of getting out and playing.
He enjoyed that apart from the injury.
At the start of the season the whole thing was about going and getting games because he wasn’t going to be a starter here.
We will talk again with him and the club to see how it all evolves.
It’s one of those situations where it will probably be resolved a lot quicker than that for both parties.” Liverpool were keen on Ben Arfa earlier in the season and a swap for Carroll may have appealed to Newcastle, who refused to entertain the striker’s 17m asking price last summer and attempted to re-sign him on loan instead.
But Liverpool were unimpressed by the 26-year-old France international following his return from a three-month injury lay-off in March and that avenue now appears closed to Carroll.
Carroll scored seven goals in 24 league games for West Ham to earn a recall to the England squad for the friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil, a recall since postponed by a heel injury.
As was the case last summer, Carroll has been told he does not feature in the Liverpool manager’s long-term plans and Rodgers wants to invest the 15m fee and a salary in excess of 4m in new faces.
Schalke’s Greece international Kyriakos Papadopoulous is his main target to replace Jamie Carragher in central defence next season and Liverpool may have to pay more than 12m for a player targeted by several leading clubs.
The Anfield club are also leading the chase for Barcelona’s 16-year-old winger, Sergi Canos, who is also wanted by Arsenal and Manchester City.
On his end-of-season talks with Carroll, the Liverpool manager said: “It’s a difficult one.
I spoke to him and we had a good chat.
The boy is a talent.
It’s just something we need to assess between now and the end of window.
In terms of the money, that’s something out of my control.
But he’s a talent so we will assess the whole situation.
The objective at the beginning of the season was for him to go out and play.
He’s gone away to think of what we spoke about and we will talk again through the weeks.” In contrast to last summer, however, when Carroll joined West Ham shortly before the transfer deadline and Rodgers was unable to sign Clint Dempsey as a replacement, Liverpool want to resolve the striker’s position quickly.
Paul Lambert remembers the moment the flutters of self-doubt became a knot inside his stomach.
It was the summer of 1996 and the Aston Villa manager had been fighting, as a trialist, to win a playing contract at Borussia Dortmund.
His deal at Motherwell had expired and he saw his slingshot at the big time.
But then came the meeting when he realised that it could surely not happen.
“I walked into the dressing room at the training ground and I’ve seen all the players,” Lambert says.
“Dortmund had given all their German players who won Euro 96 time off but they were back …
J rgen Kohler, Steffen Freund, Andreas M ller, Stefan Reuter, Matthias Sammer.
“I remember thinking: ‘No.
You’re never going to do it’.’ There was unbelievable self-doubt, that I couldn’t handle that company because when I saw the players He’d won Serie A, someone had won the World Cup, someone had won the European Championship, the Bundesliga titles and I’m coming from Motherwell on a free transfer.
I was worth a bottle of coke.
Jesus!” Lambert would end the season as Dortmund’s man of the match in their Champions League final triumph over Juventus, having shackled a bloke called Zinedine Zidane in midfield and also set up the opening goal of the 3-1 win for Karl-Heinz Riedle.
The Glaswegian had been outstanding in both legs of the semi-final victory over Manchester United and he became the first British player to win the European Cup with a non-British club.
Lambert’s whirlwind journey from gun for hire to Dortmund legend feels almost incomprehensible, the sort of thing that features only in comic books, but as the club prepares for its second Champions League final appearance, against Bayern Munich at Wembley on Saturday, it provides insight, context and, above all, sheer enjoyment.
“In your own eyes, when you’ve played in Scotland from St Mirren to Motherwell, you think you’re a professional footballer,” Lambert says.
“But when I went over there, I thought ‘Whoa, this is what you call professional football’.
The stadiums were huge, the crowds were massive, the standard was fantastic.
That’s when I realised I was in big-time football.
“People talk about the German focus and mentality and ask, ‘How do they do it?’ I understand how they do it.
They are just so focused on what they are and they don’t really bother too much about outside influences.
They focus on what they have to do and they have great self-belief.
That was where my career changed.” Lambert had resolved to leave Motherwell in search of a fresh challenge and, like every player, he thought somebody would want him, that he would get something.
“You always think, ‘I’ll be all right,’” he says, but the reaction was lukewarm, to say the least.
“Lo and behold, people think you’re crap,” he adds.
Motherwell, under the management of Alex McLeish, wanted him to stay and they thought that he would come back to re-sign for them, possibly with his pride dented.
Lambert turned to a Dutch agent.
“He’s dead now, God rest him,” he says.
“He said for me to give him 10 days Motherwell were nearly in pre-season so he had to find me something.
On the 10th day, sure enough, he phoned to say he had two teams for me to trial with.
I thought he was going to say somewhere like Azerbaijan or Liechtenstein because I had nowhere to go; nowhere in England, nowhere in Scotland, nothing.
But he said PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund.” Dick Advocaat was the Eindhoven manager and he played Lambert on the right of a four-man midfield, which was not his position.
He scored a couple of goals but it did not work out.
And so to Dortmund, against whom he had played, impressively, for Motherwell in the Uefa Cup.
“I had to get a car from Dortmund to L beck, where the club was playing a small four-team tournament, with two 45 minutes, one against L beck, one against Hamburg,” Lambert says.
“It was a four-hour journey and I’m sitting in the car with serious doubts in my head.
I got to L beck, saw a massive yellow and black flag at the airport, fans everywhere and I’m thinking, ‘You’re out of your depth here’.
“Anyway, I played centre midfield in both games and it went all right.
I went back to Dortmund, trained for a few days and then there was another tournament.
My first game was against Schalke, who I didn’t realise until then were Dortmund’s biggest rivals.
We lost 3-1.
Then we played Borussia M nchengladbach, I got injured after 20 minutes and went off.
I thought, ‘That’s it.’” Complicating matters further was Dortmund’s high-profile purchase of the Portugal midfielder Paulo Sousa, who had led Juventus to the Champions League.
Lambert put his faith in destiny.
“Wee Billy Davies then of Motherwell was phoning me up, asking, ‘Where are you?’” Lambert says.
“I said, ‘I’m in Dortmund.’ He said, ‘Big Alec is going mad, asking where are you?’ Because I just went.
I just took the chance, packed my bags and went.” The gamble paid off.
Lambert was granted a contract at Dortmund on the eve of the Bundesliga season and he made his debut on the opening weekend, in the 4-2 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.
He struggled to contain Paulo’s rgio, who scored twice.
“They were my fault,” Lambert says.
“I never knew the language, the terminology on the pitch.
Jesus! What the hell was this? But I scored to make it 2-1 and after that my confidence really picked up.” The true turning point came four days later, on his home debut against Fortuna D sseldorf.
“Mr Ottmar Hitzfeld said, ‘Paul, you’ve done really fine but obviously we’ve signed Paulo Sousa for DM7 million.
If he is fit, he will play.
If not, you’ll play.’ Paulo didn’t make it, because of his knee, and I had one of those games where I couldn’t do anything wrong.
It could come off the back of my head and go to one of my team-mates.
“It just snowballed into the next game and the next game.
All of a sudden, I felt a part of it and then the crowd took to me and I became a mainstay.
You become one of them.
You can talk about world-class players and it can be flippant but not in this case.
They were genuine world-class.” Lambert’s spell at Dortmund was short he left for Celtic in November 1997 but it was impossibly sweet.
He learned to speak German, he immersed himself in the club’s culture and his recall of every last detail is total.
“I haven’t a clue where my Champions League medal is because the memory is more important than the actual piece of metal, knowing that I’ve done it and I’ve come from Scotland to do it,” Lambert says.
“I just thought, ‘I’m going to go for it.’ The trial could have gone belly up and I’d have had to go back to Motherwell with my tail between my legs but I took the gamble.
I’ve always seemed to get there the hard way.”
Rafael Ben tez: a head crying out for a Pulis-style baseball cap.
Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images Rafael Ben tez had better buy himself a new baseball cap sharpish.
Forget Napoli, Rafa, because you’re going to Stoke , who are eyeing up the Spaniard after parting company with Tony Pulis , everyone’s favourite entertainer.
Sure, Ben tez has spent the last few months working with Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, but could he really turn down the chance to work with Ryan Shotton and Andy Wilkinson? If he does, though, the foolish man, Stoke will turn to Wigan’s Roberto Mart nez , who will hopefully spend his time trying to turn Robert Huth into a ball-playing centre-half, Glenn Whelan into a playmaker and Cameron Jerome into a False Nine.
Although some might say Jerome has already mastered that art.
Also on Stoke’s radar are Gus Poyet and Mark Hughes.
One man who’s definitely not off to the Britannia Stadium is Jos Mourinho , who’s close to sealing his move to Chelsea.
His arrival at Stamford Bridge could be bad news for David Luiz , with Mourinho not convinced that the Brazilian defender has fully outgrown his clown shoes.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings in case Mourinho decides to get rid.
So it’s not really bad news, just a minor inconvenience.
Sideshow Dave can go for 25m and Mourinho is looking at Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos as a replacement, which would really put Liverpool’s nose out of joint and that’s essentially Mourinho’s reason for living.
Liverpool will replace Barcelona-bound Pepe Reina with Hannover’s Ron-Robert Zieler , who could strike an alliance over double-barrelled first names with Jonjo Shelvey.
Reina isn’t the only player heading out of Anfield.
Liverpool have agreed to sell Andy Carroll to West Ham for 15m and the move is now dependent on the striker, who’s still angling for a romantic return to Newcastle , moving to Upton Park.
If he does choose West Ham, though, he could find himself partnered by Romelu Lukaku , who could arrive on loan from Chelsea to form a twin battering-ram strike-force with Carroll.
It’s set to be a busy summer for West Ham; they’ve completed the signing of Razvan Rat from Shakhtar Donetsk but still want Maynor Figueroa from Wigan.
Real Madrid are apparently ready to “blow Tottenham out of the water” to sign Gareth Bale .
That’s probably a bit excessive.
Can’t they just fax them an offer? Why do they have to act like pirates who have just been given a new cannon? Honestly, there’s a right way to behave in the transfer market, and it does not involve blowing your rivals to smithereens.
Arsenal , still trying to get the hang of actually spending money on proper footballers, are baulking at Fiorentina’s 30m demands for Stevan Jovetic and are looking to see if they can strike a deal for Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higua n instead.
Suddenly the Mill expects them to end up with neither player and that Ars ne Wenger will be talking about the great quality possessed by Gervinho come September.
They are after a new goalkeeper, though, with a move for QPR’s J lio C sar on the cards.
David Moyes wants to make Southampton’s excellent left-back, Luke Shaw , his first signing at Manchester United, although he faces competition for the youngster from Chelsea , while Manchester City are closing in on Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Malaga’s Isco .
No word on whether they want Pulis to manage them though.
“After the recent escapades at Brighton , have there been any other high-profile dressing-room misdeeds?” asks Victoria Jenson.
We start, Victoria, at Upton Park in May 1999 and a fiery game between West Ham and Leeds.
The two sides were both battling to qualify for the Uefa Cup and Leeds took the lead inside a minute when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored from 20 yards out.
It got worse from there for West Ham.
Shortly afterwards, Ian Wright was booked for an elbow on Alf-Inge Haaland why always him? and then received a second booking after 16 minutes after sending Ian Harte flying.
Wright didn’t take it well.
He had to be held back from confronting the referee, Rob Harris, by Trevor Sinclair and Steve Lomas but he was in such a rage that once he disappeared down the tunnel, he kicked open the door to the referee’s room and caused damage to personal property and a TV set.
“I was so upset I behaved in an unacceptable manner,” Wright said later.
“I don’t even remember properly what I did.” The FA did, though, and fined Wright 17,500 and banned him for three matches.
“He Wright offered a full and frank admission for his conduct and apologised unreservedly for the distress he caused,” said the FA.
The match concluded in disaster for West Ham, who ended it with eight men after red cards for Shaka Hislop and Lomas in the second half.
Leeds won 5-1 and finished fourth, a place above the Hammers, who ultimately qualified for the Uefa Cup after winning the Intertoto Cup.
A year earlier, there had also been trouble during a match between Linfield and Glentoran in Northern Ireland.
Players fought on the pitch, three Glentoran players were sent off, police baton-charged fans fighting in the stands and one fan broke into Glentoran’s dressing room to confront the manager Roy Coyle.
He was thrown out by the players.
“What was a hard-fought, highly competitive derby turned completely with that player scramble,” said Linfield’s chairman Billy McCoubrey.
“After that, the whole thing disintegrated.” Fans of Huracan also recently broke into their own team’s dressing room after training, beating up and robbing some of their players, before wrecking a few cars.
Around 150 fans stole mobile phones and money from the Argentinian side’s players.
And Rafael Ben tez thought he had it bad at Chelsea.
A diplomatic incident erupted between Italy and Turkey after a Champions League match between Roma and Galatasaray at Stadio Olimpico in 2002.
After a 1-1 draw, fighting began when Gabriel Batistuta appeared to punch the Galatasaray defender Emre Asik and, within seconds, both teams, several directors and up to 20 police were brawling near the tunnel.
According to Turkish players, mass fighting and police beatings continued once they had left the pitch.
The Turkish government condemned the incident.
“A police that attacks and truncheons so pitilessly, that goes into the changing rooms and attacks our players and lays out our people again, after already having attacked them on the edge of the pitch, could only be Mussolini’s police,” said the Turkish foreign minister, Ismail Cem.
Vittorio Surdo, Italy’s ambassador to Ankara, said that “comments about fascism are unacceptable”.
All in all, an unsavoury affair.
Politics was also at the heart of a curious incident at the 1978 World Cup, when there were allegations that Argentina’s crucial second-round win over Peru had been the subject of match-fixing by Argentina’s military dictatorship.
The former Peruvian senator Genaro Ledesma even called for Argentina to hand back the trophy.
“I want to propose the annulment of the 1978 World Cup,” he told Channel 4 News.
“Argentina should give it back.
It should be investigated by Fifa and by the Argentinian judiciary.” There were claims that Peru were pressured into losing and it has even been alleged that the former Argentinian dictator, General Jorge Videla, turned up in their dressing room before the match with the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Kissinger’s spokesman denied those claims.
Peru played badly enough for Argentina to secure a 6-0 win that ensured they finished above Brazil on goal difference and reached the final, where they beat Holland 3-1 after extra-time.
Any more for any more? You know the usual address.
TOTTENHAM’S POINTS MISFORTUNE “Is the 72 points Spurs got the largest amassed by a fifth-place side?” wonders Matthew Reilly.
Tottenham’s total is their highest since they finished third with 77 at the end of the 1984-85 season (when they also rounded off with a 1-0 home win, for anyone who likes to note down that kind of stuff).
A couple of years ago it would have been enough for second place, and it’s only the third time in the three-points-for-a-win era that 72 points would’ve earned fifth place rather than a spot in the English top four.
On three other occasions, however, the team in fifth has amassed 73 points: Queens Park Rangers in 1983-84, Sheffield Wednesday in 1985-86, and Leeds United in 1994-95.
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have spotted that Tottenham are the first since the Premier League was slimmed to 20 teams to earn so many points and end up fifth, which will no doubt make their fans feel a lot better.
HIGH-SCORING SEMI-FINALS (2) Last week, Vincent Lacey answered a question about semi-finals with big scorelines but one reader, Paul Joyce, has returned with even more detail.
“Vincent Lacey’s answer was admirably thorough, but omits the German Cup semi-finals in the 1983-84 season which produced a total of 21 goals (or 26 if you count the replay),” he notes.
“In the first semi-final, played on 1 May 1984, Borussia M nchengladbach beat Werder Bremen 5-4 after extra-time, having drawn level at 4-4 in the last minute of normal time.
“On the following day in Gelsenkirchen, Schalke and Bayern Munich played out a legendary 6-6 draw, with the teams also having being level at 4-4 after 90 minutes.
The replay between Bayern and Schalke a week later in Munich produced a further five goals, with Bayern squeezing through 3-2 thanks to a late goal by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“In comparison, the final was a relatively low-scoring affair, but after Bayern and Gladbach finished extra-time level at 1-1, a further 13 goals were scored in the penalty shootout, with Bayern emerging victorious 7-6.” KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVE “Why are Sunderland called the Black Cats?” asked Tim Downer in 2008.
This was an easy one.
What with the move away from Roker Park in 1997, the club no longer had any use for its previous nicknames The Rokerites and The Roker Men.
Not fancying the Stadium of Light-ites, Sunderland instead decided to have a fan vote on the issue.
The five options shortlisted were: the Black Cats, the Light Brigade, the Miners, the Sols and the Mackems.
Over 11,000 took part in a final online vote, and the Black Cats took it by nearly 50%.
This was a choice soundly in keeping with tradition.
According to the club: “The link between Sunderland AFC and the black cat stems originally from a gun battery in 1805 on the River Wear which was renamed the ‘Black Cat’ battery after the men manning the station heard a mysterious miaow from a wailing black cat.
A hundred years later in 1905, a black cat was pictured sitting on a football next to Chairman FW Taylor and three years later a black cat featured on a team photograph.” They had us at “mysterious miaow”.
For thousands more questions and answers take a trip through the Knowledge archive .
CAN YOU HELP? “In the city of Jos in central Nigeria, the rivalry between the fans of the two major clubs Plateau United FC and Mighty Jets FC is such that whenever other teams visit to play against either of the home teams, the rival fans cheer for the visitors.
It got to the stage that away teams visiting the city don’t need to come with their fans because of the available support from supporters of their host’s rivals.
Does this happen anywhere else?” wonders Yusuf Maisamari.
“Next season will see the first ever South Wales derby between Cardiff and Swansea played in the top flight,” writes Martin Boekweit.
“This will mean the two have played each other in all four professional English divisions.
Have any other teams played each other in four divisions or more?” “Last weekend the tiny club of FC Arouca won promotion to the Portuguese main league,” begins Duarte Romeu.
“It was the sixth time Arouca’s coach V tor Manuel Oliveira has won a promotion to the top division, all with different teams (P.
Ferreira, Acad mica, Leixoes, U.
Leiria and Belenenses).
Is this a record?” “Sir Alex Ferguson retired off the back of a 5-5 draw,” begins Paul Brack.
“Has any manager’s final game before retirement ever contained more goals?” Send your questions and answers to email@example.com .
Few doubt Wembley will be playing host to the best two teams in Europe when Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund lead a German invasion of the capital.
On the evidence of what has gone before it promises to be a thrilling occasion, with both sides committed to an attacking approach that even eclipses Barcelona.
Yet who are the men responsible for implementing such excitement? Here, MailOnline Sport analyses the two men in charge.
Head to head: Heynckes and Klopp will do battle in the Champions League final on Saturday JUPP HEYNCKES BORN: May 9, 1945 in Monchengladbach.
PLAYING CAREER: Borussia Monchengladbach (2), Hannover.
West Germany (39 caps, 14 goals).
COACHING CAREER: Borussia Monchengladbach (2), Bayern Munich (3), Athletic Bilbao (2), Eintracht Frankfurt, Tenerife, Real Madrid, Benfica, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen.
HONOURS: Bayern Munich.
Bundesliga: 1988-89, 1989-90, 2012-13.
DFL-Supercup: 1987, 1990, 2012.
UEFA Champions League: 1997-98.
Intertoto Cup: 2003, 2004.
BACKGROUND: The third highest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, Heynckes is in his third spell at Bayern, winning back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990 before being sacked in 1991, a decision general manager Uli Hoeness has always regretted.
Heynckes also won the Champions League with Real Madrid during a career that alternated between Germany and Spain, finally returning to Bayern in 2011.
He is due to retire at the end of the season, when he will be replaced by Pep Guardiola.
TACTICS: Heynckes began by making Bayern far more solid defensively than they had been under former coach Louis van Gaal.
He cut down the space between different components of the team and stopped defence being exposed in one-on-one situations.
Further up the field, he has allowed attacking players to become more fluid, while also adopting a Barcelona-style pressing approach to put their opponents under pressure.
SQUAD: Has integrated youngsters Toni Kroos and David Alaba into his squad while at the same time being mindful to keep everyone happy with a rotation policy that is not used purely because of injury.
Got Franck Ribery to enjoy his football again and has put Bastian Schweinsteiger into his preferred central midfield position.
TRANSFERS: Raised an eyebrow when he championed the 15million purchase of Jerome Boateng, who had not impressed at Manchester City.
Last summer added Javi Martinez – shattering the German transfer record by paying Athletic Bilbao 37million for the 24-year-old – who can play in defence but is mainly used in midfield.
QUIRKY FACT: Nicknamed Osram due to his face going red when he is under stress.
JURGEN KLOPP BORN: June, 16 1967.
PLAYING CAREER: Mainz.
COACHING CAREER: Mainz, Borussia Dortmund.
BACKGROUND: After an unremarkable playing career, Klopp immediately stepped into the role of manager and guided Mainz into the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.
Also secured European football but was then relegated and resigned in 2008.
He then took over at Borussia Dortmund, winning the title in 2011 and 2012.
In the latter season he claimed a number of records, including greatest number of points (81), most games unbeaten in one campaign (28) and joint most wins (25).
He also secured the club’s first domestic double.
TACTICS: Over time, Klopp has turned Dortmund into an expansive, free-flowing outfit, who close down the opposition quickly and attack with pace.
Their tactics have been compared to Arsenal, but it is more like Barcelona with a determination to create chances rather than keep the ball at all costs.
Klopp is wedded to the Dortmund ideal of entertainment.
SQUAD: Has never been afraid to inject younger players, including Mario Gotze, who was just 17 when he was handed his debut, while accepting massive signings are not possible due to the financial mismanagement of the past.
Has improved steadily each year, although the impending loss of Gotze and Robert Lewandowski suggest a reduction in status is imminent.
TRANSFERS: Lacking Bayern’s huge wealth, Klopp opted to bring in younger players who could develop.
Mats Hummels’ arrival from Bayern is an obvious example.
Shinji Kagawa was another notable arrival, while Robert Lewandowski cost barely 4million when he was captured from Lech Poznan.
Last summer Marco Reus arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach for 16million.
QUIRKY FACT: In 1995 Klopp obtained a Diploma at Goethe University Frankfurt.
He wrote his diploma thesis about Walking.
One striker that I was hoping that we may go in for is Chelsea’s on loan striker Lukaku, but already that fire has been put out.
The powerhouse Lukaku had an interview with Extra Time and was quized directly about his future and here is what he had to say:
I cannot stop my development.”
When quized directly about Tottenham he responded with;
As to his club future, when asked if he would consider a move to a club like Tottenham Hotspur, he added: “At Tottenham?
No, you can not, because they re close rivals with Chelsea. Why not go to Germany, to Schalke or Dortmund?
It s not for nothing that Dortmund are in the final of the Champions League.”
In a world fuelled on money and fame rather than the football it is refreshing to see a player (that has never been taken seriously by Chelsea) say that he would not move to a rival.
However we all know that this may change should be told that there is no interest from Chelsea.
Andy Carroll, celebrating with team-mates, has revitalised his career at West Ham.
Photograph: Frances Leader/Action Images Liverpool have accepted a 15m offer from West Ham United for Andy Carroll, a 20m loss on their record transfer fee inside 28 months, but face a struggle to convince the striker to sever his Anfield ties for Upton Park.
Carroll enjoyed an impressive, yet injury-hit season on loan with Sam Allardyce’s team, who have moved quickly to sign the 24-year-old on a permanent basis following the end of the Premier League season.
West Ham are prepared to pay a club record transfer fee to sign a striker that Allardyce intends to build a team around, while Liverpool want to sell Carroll to generate extra transfer funds for Brendan Rodgers.
The Liverpool manager has lined up Kolo Tour on a free transfer from Manchester City and made a 12m offer for Schalke central defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The two clubs have agreed a deal lower than the 17m that Liverpool wanted which was written into Carroll’s loan agreement when he reluctantly moved to east London last August, although they did receive a 2m loan fee and West Ham covered the striker’s 80,000-a-week wages.
It is also a significant reduction on the 35m Newcastle United received from Liverpool for the 24-year-old in January 2011.
Rodgers made it clear to Carroll last summer that he would not be a regular starter at Liverpool but, despite signing off from West Ham on Sunday with a tweet that read “enjoyed every minute of being at west ham” the striker is not sold on the idea of a permanent move.
After he played a leading role in West Ham’s 4-2 win over relegated Reading at Upton Park on Sunday, his manager Sam Allardyce emphasised how keen the side were to sign him permanently.
“If we can start with Andy Carroll that would be a great achievement for us as he can only get better and better,” Allardyce said.
“Then we build around that in terms of how we want to improve next year, with better quality.
“It is our target to make it a permanent situation.” One striker who looks to be on his way out at West Ham is the player whose place Carroll took, Carlton Cole.
Cole today appeared to say goodbye to the fans via Twitter.
“Life is filled with ups & downs today is a down but i’ll be back! Carlton Cole/CFC as i have been called has left the building UNDERCHUFFED,” he said.
“i want to thank the West Ham fans for their support especially the 1′s who made the away games feel like a home 1 COYI “i came to East London not knowing what to expect but i’m glad i did the last 7 years I’ve met a lot of good honest decent people THANKYOU.” meanwhile, the Romanian defender Razvan Rat could be heading to Upton Park after co-owner David Sullivan’s son wrote on Twitter: “Just signed the Roumanian captain RAZVAN RAT, the first of 4 to 6 Summer signings COYI WHU whufc.”