Final heartbreak motivates Bayern
The heartbreaking way in which they lost last season's Champions League final has helped Bayern Munich steel themselves for this campaign, according to manager Jupp Heynckes
Bayern face Barcelona tomorrow night armed with a 4-0 semi-final first-leg advantage and are odds-on favourites to make the Wembley showpiece next month.
Doing so would be a remarkable achievement given how last year's tournament ended up. Techincally at home to Chelsea in a Munich final, Heynckes men were beaten on penalties as their dream fell apart around them.
But once the debris was swept up, Bayern were able to regroup and have marched their way back to the brink of European glory.
“When you experience a final like we did against Chelsea, then you understand all the consequences,” Heynckes said.
“Some clubs give up, but everyone at Bayern reacted in a very positive way. We made changes, signed good players, modified some things, and strengthened the team spirit.”
Regardless of Barcelona’s prowess and standing as the best team of their generation, Bayern are not expected to be overturned tonight.
For Heynckes, though, the challenge is to prove that last week’s result was not a one-off. “We have to take into account the rival. We have our philosophy on football and this season we have proved that Bayern is a great team playing top quality football. We have our culture and we are capable of scoring goals tomorrow at the Camp Nou,” he said in his pre-match media conference.
Bayern Munich former president Franz Beckenbauer was forced to backtrack yesterday for suggesting that Barcelona were going to “provoke and use every trick possible” in today’s Champions League semi-final second leg at the Camp Nou. Barcelona have their backs to the wall after last week’s 4-0 first leg rout in Munich. He said on Monday that Barca, “with their pride hurt”, would resort to dubious tactics against Bayern. “I’m sorry if my comments were wrongly interpreted. I meant to say that the two teams would do everything to make it to the final, nothing more than that,” he wrote.