Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno fails to make a save as Australia's Tomas Rogic scores his side's first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group B soccer match between Australia and Germany. AP Photo
Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno fails to make a save as Australia's Tomas Rogic scores his side's first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group B soccer match between Australia and Germany. AP Photo

The fight to be Neuer’s undisputed deputy

Germany’s adventures at the Confederations Cup were always going to be regarded partly as a series of individual auditions.

By naming a young, experimental squad for the tournament, manager Joachim Low invited that view.

He could hardly be surprised, then, when one man’s sloppy performance in the world champions’ tournament opener, the 3-2 win over Australia, drew a damning verdict.

“It could be all over for Bernd Leno and the 2018 World Cup,” surmised one German newspaper the morning after the goalkeeper fluffed his lines, at fault for both Australian goals, the first a shot that slithered beneath his dive, the second a gift for Tomi Juric, Leno having parried the ball into Juric’s path rather than catch or steer it away.

“Leno made some errors, but I am not worried about that. He’s a good goalkeeper,” Low said.

Germany have a few of those. Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, left at home recuperating from a foot injury, is Low’s clear No 1, and the hierarchy of the rest tends to be annotated not as second, third, or fourth choice but as 2a, 2b, and 2c.

Low indicated ahead of the Confederation Cup that all three of the glovemen selected for the Russia expedition, Bayer Leverkusen’s Leno, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp, should expect to play at least a match.

Leno may have to stew on the bench while Germany take on Chile today.

Leno played in the first game because Ter Stegen and Trapp had each been given the gloves in Germany’s previous matches, against San Marino and Denmark respectively.

They gave good accounts of themselves, and both would hope that the cachet of their respective clubs counts in their favour.

Leno’s Leverkusen had a tough season. So, in some ways did Barcelona, second in the Primera Liga, and PSG, runners-up in France, but Ter Stegen and Trapp both established themselves as first choice with their clubs.

Trapp recovered from being dropped by PSG in the autumn, while Ter Stegen won a fierce duel for status with Claudio Bravo, who Barcelona sold to Manchester City, and who, like Leno, may have to watch the next instalment of the Great German goalkeeping audition from the sidelines today.

Bravo is Chile’s captain, but has been nursing an injury in Russia. He missed his country’s win over Cameroon, the veteran Johnny Herrera deputising.

What Bravo could certainly tell Leno is that Ter Stegen is an ambitious rival.

For two seasons at Barca, Bravo kept goal in league games, while Ter Stegen was designated the keeper for Uefa Champions League and domestic Cup commitments.

The German won trophies in those competitions but became dissatisfied with the division of labour and said so, loud and clear. German followers of Ter Stegen would not be surprised to know that.

When he and Leno were rivals at German under-21 level, the duel for status was so fierce that Rudi Voller, the head of football at Leverkusen and a former national team manager, advised that they should not go together to the 2015 European under-21 championship, for the sake of a peaceful atmosphere.

They are co-habiting in Russia, and Ter Stegen will hope in the coming days he can strengthen his case. His fans would argue that, if Low is seeking a deputy to Neuer whose style is closest to Neuer’s then Ter Stegen is the man.

He prides himself on his willingness to act as the modern keeper-sweeper, in the way Neuer does. His passing, with his feet, is accurate and confident.

He also comes out of his area willingly, so much so that one Barcelona-based columnist earlier this season remarked of his risk-taking: “Ter Stegen is not scripted by his coach, Luis Enrique, he’s scripted by Alfred Hitchcock.”

His thrill-a-minute safaris upfield, founded on the principle of supporting a high pressing game, can leave his team exposed.

That sort of boldness is precisely what Bravo was heavily criticised for during his difficult first season at City.

The Chile captain, brought to English football by an admiring City manager, Pep Guardiola, has concerns this summer beyond the calf problem he carried into the Confederation Cup.

City have paid €40 million (Dh163.8m) to Benfica for the 23-year-old Brazilian Ederson Moraes, a move Bravo cannot help but see as a sign that his status has waned.

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Fire and Fury
By Michael Wolff,
Henry Holt

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Race card

5.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m

6.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,400m

6.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

7.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 1,200m

7.50pm: Longines Stakes – Conditions (TB) Dh120,00 (D) 1,900m

8.25pm: Zabeel Trophy – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (T) 1,600m

9pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 2,410m

9.35pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 2,000m

Captain Marvel

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law,  Ben Mendelsohn

4/5 stars

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Like a Fading Shadow

Antonio Muñoz Molina

Translated from the Spanish by Camilo A. Ramirez

Tuskar Rock Press (pp. 310)

Empires of the Steppes: A History of the Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization

Author: Kenneth W Harl
Hanover Square Press


Yorkshire Vikings 144-1 in 12.5 overs
(Tom Kohler 72 not out, Harry Broook 42 not out)
bt Hobart Hurricanes 140-7 in 20 overs
(Caleb Jewell 38, Sean Willis 35, Karl Carver 2-29, Josh Shaw 2-39)

Milestones on the road to union


October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.


March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Match info:

Manchester City 2
Sterling (8'), Walker (52')

Newcastle United 1
Yedlin (30')


Mar 10: Norwich(A)

Mar 13: Newcastle(H)

Mar 16: Lille(A)

Mar 19: Middlesbrough(A)

Apr 2: Brentford(H)

US tops drug cost charts

The study of 13 essential drugs showed costs in the United States were about 300 per cent higher than the global average, followed by Germany at 126 per cent and 122 per cent in the UAE.

Thailand, Kenya and Malaysia were rated as nations with the lowest costs, about 90 per cent cheaper.

In the case of insulin, diabetic patients in the US paid five and a half times the global average, while in the UAE the costs are about 50 per cent higher than the median price of branded and generic drugs.

Some of the costliest drugs worldwide include Lipitor for high cholesterol. 

The study’s price index placed the US at an exorbitant 2,170 per cent higher for Lipitor than the average global price and the UAE at the eighth spot globally with costs 252 per cent higher.

High blood pressure medication Zestril was also more than 2,680 per cent higher in the US and the UAE price was 187 per cent higher than the global price.


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
'I Want You Back'

Director:Jason Orley

Stars:Jenny Slate, Charlie Day



Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

<html><head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html" charset="UTF-8" /></head><body><!--PSTYLE=* Labels:FH Label 18 Sport--><p>Beach soccer</p><!--PSTYLE=BY Byline--><p>Amith Passela</p><p /></body></html>
Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reforms stamp duty land tax (SDLT), replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:

Up to £125,000 – 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; More than £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak extends the SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget until the end of June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

June 2021: SDLT holiday on transactions up to £500,000 expires on June 30.

July 2021: Tax break on transactions between £125,000 to £250,000 starts on July 1 and runs until September 30.

The Baghdad Clock

Shahad Al Rawi, Oneworld

Meydan race card

6.30pm: Maiden; Dh165,000; (Dirt) 1,200m
7.05pm: Handicap; Dh170,000; (D) 1,200m​​​​​​​
7.40pm: Maiden; Dh165,000; (D) 1,900m​​​​​​​
8.15pm: Handicap; Dh185,000; (D) 2,000m​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
8.50pm: Handicap; Dh185,000; (D) 1,600m​​​​​​​
9.25pm: Handicap; Dh165,000; (D) 2,000m

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