Munich, April 30: At first glance, the Champions League’s semi-fil between Barcelo and Bayern Munich has been decided before kick-off (May 6 and 12) as teams at present seem to be cruising in different football altitudes.
While Barcelo’s supertural strike force of Messi-Suarez-Neymar seem to be humiliating records by breaking the 100-goal barrier for the season last weekend, the 2015 German champions and their coach Pep Guardiola appear to be in the centre of football’s intertiol disaster area, reports Xinhua.
Or so it seems when reading the gleeful comments that flooded the social media after the club was knocked out of the German Cup by Borussia Dortmund after an annoying night full of pelty shoot-outs and injuries to key figures like Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski.
What do Barcelo now have to be afraid of after Franck Ribery was sidelined and Robben and David Alaba are out until the next season?
Bayern have already this season overcome a whole series of slight and serious problems and are to be feared when they have their backs to the wall. Perhaps striving to be a determined team, no matter who is on the pitch, will this time be again successful. To come back after knock-outs is a part of Bayern history.
And after all, Bayern have made it to the last four European clubs despite all the trouble like Uli Hoeness’ prison sentence, team-doc Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt resigning after arguments with chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Guardiola, an energy-sapping post World Cup season and a multitude of injured players.
Hopes are growing in Munich that Ribery will be back in time for the Barcelo challenge. And that 26-year-old striker Lewandowski, who will undergo further examitions, could play against the Spanish club with a special face mask protecting his head.
But whatever happens, Bayern will have to develop special spirit and maybe change their own attitude to make their big dream come true and reach the fil on June 6 in Berlin. Playing Barcelo is not a game of two equals anymore, but football seldom is.
People might not be able to deliver finest artistic football anymore, but determition and discipline will still help. Bayern’s game will have to change without Robben. To do that Bayern will have to neglect the pain which took hold of them after a disastrous night followed by the derisive comments after four players missed their pelties.
Some German newspapers saw “back ice” on the pitch here after Lahm and Alonso slipped when taking their spot-kicks. Others recommended the “non-slip socks” that little kids wear when running around their mum’s feet on the slippery living room floor.
No doubt, six days before they travel to Camp Nou to face the powerful Spain club next Wednesday, Bayern is rock bottom.
Guardiola will have to once again show his famous special tactical skills and be a highly motivating coach with a clear mind that neglects all emotions crossing his path when returning to his “footballing home”.
Bayern will have to accept a more human-like status rather than one of having supertural abilities like after the 6-1 victory against FC Porto or the 7-1 against AS Rome or the 7-0 against Schachtjor Donezk.
And Bayern will have to forget about Guardiola’s statement expressing that only three titles will be good enough. To reach the Champions League fil by beating an at-the-moment better furnished team like Barcelo is a gigantic task and a big challenge. But it is a chance as well to prove Bayern is a club that will never give up. To beat Barcelo in aggregate would make fans around the world forget about a dreadful German Cup night and the worst pelty shoot-out in Bayern’s history. IANS