Up this time, there's news of an impending football first for the city of Mainz, an evening of fine dining for a group of fans following VfL Wolfsburg to sunnier climes and a veteran Hungarian keeper learning Japanese in the Bavarian capital...
Germany will take on Armenia in a friendly on 6 June in their last game before heading off to the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. The encounter will take place in Mainz – the first time the city has hosted a senior international – with all proceeds going to the German Football Association (DFB) and League Association foundations.
DFB general secretary Helmut Sandrock noted that, “The proceeds from this unique charity international match will ensure that the foundations can continue their important work on numerous projects going forwards.” Availability permitting, the game will also give German fans the opportunity to see one of the Bundesliga's new stars, Dortmund's , run out for the visitors.
There was a special treat for the 30 fans who accompanied VfL Wolfsburg to their winter training camp in Abu Dhabi as they were all invited to join the team for a meal at the Ritz-Carlton on the eve of the Wolves' friendly against RSC Anderlecht. Sporting director Klaus Allofs thanked the three-score faithful for undertaking a journey which “shows us you've got a special place in your hearts for the club”.
Trip organiser Lothar Hilmer (r.) earned a place at the captain's table alongside Allofs (l.) and coach Dieter Hecking, while the other fans enjoyed a couple of hours in the company of their heroes, plus a tour of the hotel.
At 37, has been around the professional football block a few times and the veteran 1860 Munich keeper is clearly not a man to leave anything to chance. The Lions have just signed Yuya Osako and Kiraly has wasted no time getting down to learning a few words of Japanese, explaining that, “I need to be able to communicate with our new striker”.
Above and beyond that, however, the 89-time Hungary international knows what it's like “to arrive somewhere unable to speak the language. I've got a mobile app with words like 'left, right and forwards' in Japanese, so it was just a matter of learning them off by heart."