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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern reject Lewandowski-Benzema swap and more!

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Toni Kroos explains what he was thinking when he took that free kick against Sweden, Bayern extends its relationship with Beats by Dre, and a little futsal fun.

Real Madrid v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg
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Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Bayern Munich rejected Benzema + cash for Lewandowski (Kicker via Sport Bild and AZ)

Kicker recently revealed in their print edition that Real Madrid offered Bayern Munich their own striker, Karim Bezema, and several million euros in exchange for Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern leadership, unsurprisingly, turned down this direct swap. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has insisted that Bayern will not allow Lewandowski to leave under any circumstances.

In other news, Lewandowski recently gave an interview with Gerard Piqué for The Players’ Tribune.

Toni Kroos and Marco Reus explain that free kick (Kicker)

If you’ve ever wondered how players decide how to carry out a decisive free kick, Toni Kroos gave some insight into what was said just before he scored the spectacular winning goal for Germany.

In the 95th minute of Germany’s crucial match against Sweden, Germany won a free kick within striking distance of the goal and Marco Reus and Kroos strode up to decide how to take it. “I shouted that he should cross it it,” Mats Hummels said after the game—but Kroos never heard him. He probably would have ignored the advice anyway.

Kroos’s thoughts were elsewhere. As he sized up the Swedish defenders lining up in their penalty area, he recalled, “Over the game, the Swedes had simply headed away high crosses.”

Marco first wanted to take a direct shot. I said to him, “Hmm, I’m not convinced.” And then we decided simply to put the ball briefly into play to get a better angle for the shot.

That little move caught Sweden’s defense off guard, and Kroos did the rest with a perfect shot into the far corner. Here it is again:

Bayern extends partnership with Beats by Dre

Bayern announced today that they have extended their relationship with Beats by Dre, the Apple Inc. company that supplies the team with headphones and speakers. Bayern launched their partnership in 2015 and have now extended it until the end of the 2018/19 season. Bayern are offering two autographed “Mia san mia” headphones if fans would like to participate in a contest.

Bayern players’ physical trainer fundraising for futsal Bundesliga (Bild)

Douglas Costa’s personal trainer and friend Lucas Kruel has become a fixture since accompanying Costa from Shakhtar to Munich. Even after Costa’s departure for Juventus Turin, Kruel continues to see Javi Martinez, Rafinha, Thiago, and Juan Bernat, among others. But physical training is hardly all Kruel does: he’s also a die-hard futsal player and now he is raising funds to participate in the upcoming futsal championship. Kruel explained,

The new season begins in September. By mid-July, we need €60,000 to participate in the championship: for new players, salaries, food, gasoline for away games, hotel expenses, youth sponsoring.

But more is at stake than just the coming season: the DFB plans to open a futsal Bundesliga in 2020/21, and Kruel wants to be ready to leap on board. “We want to set ourselves up as professionally as possible to be able to be there,” he told Bild.

Kruel is thus on lookout for new sponsors, and he is already receiving some help from a local optometrist . . . and Bayern’s Rafinha:

Dr. Stephan Maschauer is already supporting us financially. Rafinha pays the rent for the Brazilian players. Morar Bem from Brazil is helping, too. I’m looking for partners interested in futsal. Money alone isn’t the most important thing. But without it we’d have to give up futsal.

Many believe that Brazilian players are particularly gifted technically because of the popularity of this fast-paced, indoor form of soccer in Brazil. You can see some of Lucas Kruel’s highlights yourself below.