Champions League: Bayern Munich, Barça’s beast | Sports | The USA Print


Barça expectantly attends the match against Bayern (9:00 p.m., Movistar). He needs to know as soon as possible if the path he has taken is as good as it seems and the optimism that he gives off at the start of the League can continue in Europe. No team has martyred the Catalans more than the Bavarian champion. So the appointment arrives that neither painted for the boys of Xavi. There is still no title at stake and the match is not even decisive for qualification for the Champions League round of 16. The occasion is unique, however, to validate the morale and football level of Barcelona.

The Barcelona look for a guarantee certificate in the Allianz. The challenge is above all football if you take into account that they have never won in Munich. Perhaps the benchmark would be the one from 1996 when Cruyff’s squad had an excellent performance with the Fifth of Lo Pelat (2-2). The watchword is to check on the most difficult pitch that Barcelona’s joy is justified and the illusion will be lasting after the fuse of excitement has been lit at the Camp Nou.

Europe hopes to find out the aspirations of Xavi’s Barça after a regular clash with Bayern, which tends to set a trend: the only two times that the Catalans have defeated the Germans —out of a total of 13— they have then won the Champions League (2009 and 2015). Both were in knockout games and not in league games, like now, and Messi and Guardiola were in both. The difference is that today’s City coach occupied the Barça bench in the first (4-0) while in the second he sat on the Bayern bench (3-0). The Germans signed Guardiola in 2013 after being hypnotized by the Camp Nou in 2009. The Barça and La Masia model had also had an impact on the Bundesliga. The Germans did not take long to evolve while Barça entrusted itself exclusively to Messi.

Bayern regained its implacable dominance over Barça. There are already nine victories for only two draws in 13 matches, the last two ending 3-0. The fall in 2013 by 4-0 and 0-3 in painful times due to Tito Vilanova’s illness was also double. And he will never forget Barcelona on 2-8, 2020 in Lisbon. That win triggered a gigantic crisis that ended with the presidency of Bartomeu, the re-election of Laporta, the departure of Messi and the arrival of Xavi. The changes have been so many that only two of the players who lined up at the Da Luz stadium will be at Allianz: Ter Stegen and Busquets.

“You have to delete the last games against Barça from the hard drive,” warned Nagelsmann. “The team is much more aggressive and has important signings,” stressed the Bayern coach, who will not be able to count on Coman. “There is no need to issue sentences for a game regardless of the result. “We can’t stick our necks out or lose our humility or intensity”, answered Xavi.

Barça wants to see in Xavi the coach capable of starting a fruitful stage from the Lewandowski effect. The change of team of the Pole, who at 34 years old has nine goals in six games, explains the situation of both clubs: the azulgrana have built their project with a hat footballer for the Germans (he did not renew). “We will have to go up three gears”, synthesized Salihamidzic, sports director of a flexible Bayern and who no longer loads the game on a battering ram as was the case with Lewandowski. Bayern’s three draws in a row in the Bundesliga, a competition he governs out of the corner of his eye, contrasts with San Siro’s 0-2 loss to Inter. Nagelsmann confesses that he is angry while Xavi feels satisfied with a team that changed “the mentality”, a decisive factor to face Bayern, habitual black beast and once beautiful for Barça.

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