Full steam ahead in the battle to win the champions league: FC bayern returns to the island a good four months after its triumph at wembley with the confidence of defending champions.
First place in the preliminary round is the declared goal of the german soccer record champions, who want to continue their winning streak at the star ensemble of manchester city, despite the background noise.
"We want to finish first in our group. I'm hoping for a good game, and we definitely shouldn't lose," emphasized chairman karl-heinz rummenigge before boarding the special plane to england adorned with a bayern flag on the cockpit. "Manchester city is one of the toughest teams in europe," pep guardiola warned about 24 hours before kickoff. 100 days ago he started his mission at FC bayern, the game against mancity should now be a "good test" for his team.
After winning the supercup final against chelsea FC, the duel against the "citizens" is the first real test for the bavarians, who 130 days ago were still being celebrated as the "kings of europe 2013". "As champions league winners, we will certainly be taken to task a bit more. Fubball europe will naturally try to chase us," rummenigge explained. Maybe that's why no team has ever been able to defend its champions league title, the CEO speculated. "We are trying to make this difficult, perhaps impossible, possible."
The plane took off unusually late. Franck ribery almost had to miss the trip anyway because he forgot his passport. With an early pass it went to england, where in the evening also once again ubermittelte statements of captain philipp lahm were talked about. He had reprimanded sports director matthias sammer for his more than two-week-old team scolding and repeated critical words. Sammer should "please do it internally", lahm had said in the weekly newspaper "die ZEIT".
The statements are 14 days old, the FC bavaria stressed. They are not a topic in the team anyway, arjen robben reported. "That was two weeks ago and for us it is very important that we concentrate on football and not on such things," said the dutchman. Sammer himself had no problem with the statements, as he said during the trip.
Before the start of the manchester trip, the team had even trained for an hour at sabener strabe. Who guardiola rotates from the team, robben was also unable to say. "But we are all looking forward to the game. This is another good test for us. In the end, we want to compete with the best," said the dutchman. Jerome boateng spoke of a "top game of the champions league" before returning to his former effective location. "It's just a great game for us, we need opponents like that."
Guardiola also praised the quality of the squad of permanent opponent manuel pellegrini. "City is one of the best teams in the world with a very, very good coach," said the spaniard, who is meeting the chilean for the second time. Pellegrini could not defeat guardiola and FC barcelona as coach of real madrid, villarreal or FC malaga. With the since 20 games or five years in europe at home undefeated city-team should now glucken.
"We have to play at the limit for 90 minutes". Bavaria is the toughest opponent in the group," pellegrini explained. "We also want to beat the european champion. Most recently, they had dispatched local rivals manchester united 4:1, which uli hoeneb had also seen. "I think they are stronger this year," said the club president. The citizens' excellent attacking lineup, featuring former wolfsburg player edin dzeko, sergio aguero, stevan jovetic and alvaro negredo, is particularly impressive. Confidence is given by the conigsklassen series: the munich team won its last six games.
Both teams had started the group phase with 3:0 victories. Together, the squads of these two top european clubs are worth an estimated billion euros. "We are a fully autonomous self-financed club, whereas manchester city is financed by a sheikh," rummenigge pointed out the differences. He did not want to give an interim report after the first three months with guardiola. "You always take stock at the end of the season."But you know that "we have a great coach, the best coach in the world. A balance after 100 days is perhaps appropriate in politics, but even there it does not bring much." And even more so for the FC bayern in the year of defending the title on the way to the stage goal.