At 62, Horst Wein has the enthusiasm of a teenager when he steps onto a football field. It’s this very enthusiasm that kept the legendary German coach up until 3am on Thursday watching TV at an associate’s house in Sewri, Mumbai as Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid via tie-breaker in the Champions League semi-final second leg. This, despite having to report to the Don Bosco Ground, Matunga at 8am to train kids at the Kenkre Football Academy’s summer camp.
Real, too defensive
It took a good 120 minutes, plus about 10 minutes of the penalty shoot-out, to decide who would join Chelsea in the final in Munich on May 19, but Wein claimed the result was evident by the end of regulation time (90 minutes). “The defensive manner in which Real played the second half, it was certain that they would lose the match,” Wein told MiD DAY yesterday.
The FIH (international hockey federation) master coach explained: “Real had come into this second leg on a 1-2 deficit needing to score just one goal to progress into the final, and started off brilliantly scoring twice (6th & 14th mins). But as soon as Bayern pulled one back (27th min), it changed the equation drastically. Now, Real realised that they not only had to score another goal to progress, but in case Bayern got in one more, they would have to score two more. This fear engulfed the Madrid side, and they began playing defensively. When a team starts playing like that on their home ground, they are asking for trouble. Bayern were happy to take their away game into the tie-breaker,” said Wein, who has been associated with clubs like Barcelona, Arsenal, Inter Milan.
Wein is now confident his compatriots will put it across Chelsea in the final. “Bayern will take a lot of confidence into the final. They have beaten one of the world’s top teams, Real Madrid in their own backyard. And now, it’s Bayern, who have home advantage with the final at Munich’s Allianz Arena. I believe Bayern will win the Champions League now,” Wein signed off.