Leno reveals lofty dream

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno has set his sights on becoming one of Europe's best - and believes Real Madrid can help him achieve that dream.

The Germany international has seen his stock rise since joining Leverkusen from Stuttgart in 2011, his performances earning him international recognition four years later.

Leno was previously linked with a move to the Spanish capital after catching the eye during his team's Champions League campaign, and he's keen to emulate compatriot Marc-Andre ter Stegen by making a name for himself in La Liga.

The 25-year-old has revealed a desire to play abroad after spending eight seasons in his homeland, with the Santiago Bernabeu his dream destination.

"It is now my goal to become one of the best goalkeepers around in Europe," he told T-Online.

"We are regularly playing European football with Leverkusen, but it remains my dream to one day play for a major club abroad. And Real Madrid are the team I have supported since my childhood."

Injured Boateng will be ready for pre-season

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Jerome Boateng has suffered a muscle injury to his right thigh, but insist he will be ready for pre-season training.

The Germany international has endured an injury-plagued campaign with his latest setback coming in Bayern's 4-1 victory over Freiburg.

Boateng's injury woes started at the beginning of the season when he returned from Euro 2016 - where the Germans reached the semi-finals - with a leg injury, then hurt his groin before needing shoulder surgery in December.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Boateng sustained an injury in FC Bayern's 4-1 victory over SC Freiburg and had to be subbed off after 11 minutes.

"Instead of being presented with the championship shield, the 28-year-old underwent an MRT which revealed a muscle injury to his right thigh. Boateng will definitely be fit for the start of pre-season."

Gomez: Wolfsburg must stay up

Wolfsburg striker Mario Gomez has made it clear that the Bundesliga club will not go down, as they prepare for the relegation play-offs.

The Wolves are set to meet Eintracht Braunschweig in the play-offs to decide which team will compete in the top flight next season.

The Lower Saxony outfit were on track to avoid the do-or-die tie, but conceded a late goal against Hamburg to lose 2-1 on Saturday.

Gomez, though, is determined to stay up, telling the official Bundesliga website: "When we took things in hand more in the second half, we should have scored three or four goals. As a team we didn't do that. 

"Now we have got what we deserved, and must go into the play-off. I'm a little bit speechless because football is brutal. But we're not relegated yet.

"We still have two matches against a second division side. We have to do it. We won't be relegated to Bundesliga 2."

Leipzig's Forsberg is Bundesliga assist king

The Bundesliga have recognised RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg as the league's leader in the assists category as the 25-year-old got 19 in 30 outings.

The winger had an outstanding season as he also added eight goals to his impressive assists record. His form propelled Leipzig to a second place finish and the Bulls will enjoy UEFA Champions League football next season.

The Bundesliga said, "The Sweden international was instrumental in the Saxon gatecrashers' top-two finish, signing off for the season with a Bundesliga-high 19 assists in 30 string-pulling outings.

"Joint-second on the list of providers sit Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern's Thomas Müller (both 12). Inverted wing veterans Arjen Robben (11) and Franck Ribery (nine) complete the top five.

"An exalted quintet, but still some way short of the Leipzig No.10 in the cut and thrust department. Forsberg's vision and instinct have ensured anyone fortunate enough to fall onto his heat-seeking radar thrives."

Bayern chief hails retiring trio

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has praised the outstandings qualities of the retiring Phillip Lahm, Xabi Alonso and Tom Starke in an emotional statement.

The trio of performers played their last match for the Bundesliga champions on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Freiburg and the football fraternity across the world has since been saying their goodbyes.

Rummenigge said, "Starke is a great keeper and an easy-going and relaxed guy. Alonso is a gentleman of football, a metronome on the pitch. When he had the ball he orchestrated the match like a footballing Karajan.

"Phillip is a man who has achieved outstanding things. A superb captain, a superb player. I'll miss Philipp."

Meanwhile, manager Carlo Ancelotti added that the whole squad deserved credit for a successful season. He said, "We've all done a superb job this year, we've been very professional. I'm very pleased to be here. I've found a family. I think we'll win more titles with this family if we continue like this."

Bartra delighted after Dortmund return

Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra was overjoyed at making an emotional comeback after his recovery from an arm injury.

The Spain international suffered a broken wrist during the bomb attack on the Dortmund bus ahead of their Champions League quarter-final clash against Monaco last month.

And, after being an unused substitute against Augsburg last week, Bartra played the full 90 minutes as BVB defeated Werder Bremen 4-3 on the final day of the Bundesliga season.

Bartra expressed his delight when speaking after the thrilling game, when Thomas Tuchel's side came from behind twice.

"I think it's one of the happiest days of my professional career," the Spaniard told BVB Total. "I experienced so much pain in what was a very negative experience.

"I'm thinking about the people close to me - my family and all  have teammates who've helped me throughout and the fans. I feel very happy. I feel loved by everyone. I finished the game.

"We've achieved our target. Winning wasn't just about three points - it was about playing football again, which is the thing I love the most and that's why it's been so emotional."

Ballack critical of Lahm over captaincy

While retiring Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm was lauded as a great by fans and players alike, former team-mate Michael Ballack has spoken of his "other face".

This was over the dispute for the captaincy of the Germany national team following the 2010 World Cup.

Ballack, the then captain, was ruled out of the World Cup due to injury, meaning that Lahm was given the armband when they came to South Africa.

But, during Germany's impressive run which saw them finish third, Lahm insisted he would like to remain the national team captain, which didn't sit down well with Ballack.

"I got to know Lahm's other face," he was quoted by Sport 1 Doppelpass.

"I didn't know that a player who takes on the role of captain doesn't have to give it back afterwards. That was a frontal attack.

"I never made the step back to the national team after that incident. I had no chance to do anything against it. The way it took place absolutely not okay."

Lahm was given a resounding send-off at the Allianz Arena when Bayern saw off Freiburg 4-1 on Saturday.

Aubameyang: It's a great feeling

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted winning the Bundesliga top goalscorer award ahead of Robert Lewandowski was a huge honour.

The Gabon international bagged a brace against Werder Bremen to move one goal ahead of Lewandowski with 31 strikes, as he finished at the top of the scoring charts for the first time.

BVB beat Werder 4-3 to also finish in third place - a result which automatically guarantees Champions League football in 2017/18.

And Aubameyang told reporters: "It's a great night. We finished third and qualified directly for the Champions League – and I won this trophy, so it's a great feeling."

The 27-year-old netted 39 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions for Thomas Tuchel's side this term.

Bundesliga salute Lahm as German giant

The Bundesliga have saluted retiring Bayern Munich star Philipp Lahm as a giant of German football and have wished him well with his future ambitions.

The 33-year-old officially retired after Saturday's 4-1 victory over Freiburg, and has brought the curtain down on a career spanning close to 16 years.

During his playing days, Lahm has won virtually everything available at both club and international level, with the 2014 World Cup with Germany arguably his highest honour.

The Bundesliga said on their official website: "He has become a giant of German football. An inspirational leader and captain, arguably one of the most intelligent players to grace the European game, he has won it all – Bundesliga, DFB Cup, Champions League, FIFA World Cup.

"Whatever he decides to do next, there is no doubt that Philipp Lahm has had an immense impact on both Bayern Munich and German football as a whole."

Ancelotti pays tribute to retired stars

Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti paid tribute to Phillip Lahm and Xabi Alonso after their final outings for the Bundesliga club on Saturday.

The duo completed consistent displays before their rapturous substitutions late on, deemed fit for exits of two footballing legends at the Allianz Arena.

With 1016 appearances and 39 major trophies between the two World Cup winners, they proved their professionalism in what would have been an emotional fixture, to help Bayern record a 4-1 victory over Freiburg in their final game of the season.

"We played well and we closed the season well," Ancelotti said in the post-match press conference.

"After that it was an emotional day for Alonso, for Lahm, for everyone. I want to say thanks to these two players.

"They did a fantastic season, they did have fantastic careers but now we have to look forward to try to find some good replacements."