Football: Toshack told to keep quiet about Real dismissal

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The Independent Online
JOHN TOSHACK has reportedly been told not to comment on his dismissal as Real Madrid's coach or risk losing a pounds 500,000 pay-off. Toshack left Real last Wednesday, but has since returned to the Bernabeu for discussions with Real's chief executive, Julio Senn, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca.

The former manager of Wales has yet to sign the agreement under which he will not be allowed to discuss Real Madrid in the media. Toshack's second spell with Real was due to end on 30 June next year, but a series of poor domestic results and criticism in the media of his own players resulted in last week's sacking.

Tonight, Real face a familiar foe in the Ukrainian champions, Dynamo Kiev, when the two sides meet in a Champions' League Group C match. Both teams have changed, however, since they last met more than eight months ago in the European Cup quarter-finals, when Dynamo won.

The Spaniards go into Phase Two of this season's competition with Vicente del Bosque at the helm as their caretaker coach. They will be boosted by the return of the striker Fernando Morientes, who will probably be preferred to Nicolas Anelka at the forefront of the attack.

Franz Beckenbauer, the president of Bayern Munich president, apologised to the Norwegian club Rosenborg Trondheim last night for once saying they were not good enough to play Europe's elite. He even tipped Rosenborg to win Champions' League Group C, over last year's finalists Bayern, Real Madrid and Dynamo Kiev.

The German League leaders, hit by injuries including one to their influential playmaker Lothar Matthaus, would be happy with a draw against Rosenborg in Oslo tonight, Beckenbauer added. "Please say sorry to the Norwegian people for me," Beckenbauer told the daily Aftenposten when asked about a remark three years ago that Rosenborg had no place in a competition meant for Europe's top clubs. "[At that time] Rosenborg were newcomers and we sat and joked about the team. Now it's an established and good team," said Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to victory in the 1974 World Cup and won again as coach in 1990.

Rosenborg won the Norwegian League and domestic cup last month and have had Champions' League victories since Beckenbauer's comment against teams including Milan, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Matthaus is out after tearing a thigh muscle during Saturday's 6-1 demolition of SC Freiburg, but Bayern showed their class by scoring three goals with 10 men after Markus Babbel was sent off.

Their Brazilian striker, Giovane Elber, tore ankle ligaments in the same game and is out while Bixente Lizarazu, the French defender, is nursing a sore calf and the midfielder Jens Jeremies is suspended.

"A draw will be great for us. We are not quite up to last year's level yet and have been unlucky with injury," Beckenbauer said. "Rosenborg are my favourites to win the Group. Real Madrid are catastrophic at the moment and Dynamo Kiev not what they were."

Lazio, joint leaders of Serie A, travel to the Stade Velodrome to face Marseilles in Group D. Both sides are keen to shrug off disappointing performances, Marseilles losing 1-0 at home to Auxerre, while Lazio were beaten 4-1 by their city rivals, Roma.