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FOOTBALL

Football legend Müller hails ‘giant’ Messi

German football legend Gerd Müller on Monday described Lionel Messi as a "giant" after the Argentine broke his calendar year goal-scoring record that had stood for 40 years.

Football legend Müller hails 'giant' Messi
Photo: DPA

“My record of 85 goals in 60 matches, which stood since 1972, was beaten by the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, and I’m very happy for him,” Müller said, according to a spokesman for his former club, Bayern Munich.

The former Germany striker added that he thought Messi was “an incredible player, a giant who is at the same time very nice and a polished professional”.

Messi, still just 25, on Sunday equalled then surpassed Müller’s record with two first-half goals that secured a 2-1 win for his side Barcelona against Seville club Real Betis, earning him plaudits around the world.

“I hope he’ll score one or two goals again in the matches that remain in 2012 and that his record will stand for the next 40 years,” added Müller, who was nicknamed “The Bomber.”

Müller, who was at his peak between 1964 and 1979 but battled alcoholism since his retirement in 1981, joked that Messi only had one fault: “He doesn’t play for Bayern Munich.”

Messi has previously beaten the record for the most goals in Spain’s La Liga in a season — 50 — and is favourite to win an unprecedented fourth Ballon d’Or award in succession when the prize is announced on January 7.

At 67, Müller is by far the best goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga with 365 in 427 matches but Miroslav Klose is one short of equalling his international goals record for the Mannschaft of 68.

AFP/mry

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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