Created on 01-04-2008 at 00:00 AM
Martin Demichelis attracted plenty of attention on Tuesday, largely due to the temporary disfigurement of his craggy features caused by a pronounced bump on his left forehead and black eye below it, the “enormous” consequences of a collision between the Argentina man and team-mate Gabriel Heinze in a friendly meeting with Egypt last week. “We both wanted to head clear, but we headed each other instead,” Micho ruefully explained.
Despite the shiner, the 27-year-old was in upbeat spirits at a news conference on Tuesday, as he has been cleared to play against Getafe in Thursday’s UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg. Demichelis was forced to sit out Bayern’s weekend league fixture, in stark contrast to Heinze. The Real Madrid defender played a full part in his side’s 3-1 victory over Sevilla, scoring the opener with his head. “It didn’t affect him at all. I hit him on the back of the head,” Demichelis revealed.
Wary of Getafe
Some 20 km south of Real’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, the compact ground where Bayern are due to play the second leg next week. The match in Munich is the more pressing priority, and Demichelis declared himself far more concerned about that than his unsightly injury. “I rate Getafe as one of the best teams still in the competition,” the centre-half opined.
Micho has already watched TV coverage of the Spanish top flight outfit, and will join his FCB team-mates for a detailed video analysis of the club’s European opponents on Wednesday. Getafe lost 2-0 to Osasuna at the weekend, but Demichelis knows the Spaniards will be “totally motivated“ when they arrive in Bavaria. “They’re not just coming to Munich for a kick-about, they want to make the next round.“
Bayern are the team under pressure on Thursday, Demichelis acknowledged: “Getafe have nothing to lose.“ The men in red know they will need “total aggression, full concentration and high motivation,“ the Argentine commented. “The best thing would be to score early. It won’t be easy, but we believe strongly in ourselves. We have to go out there and show what we can do.“
Demichelis has already taken one of Getafe’s stars to one side and informed him of Bayern’s iron resolve to win the UEFA Cup. Argentina number one Roberto Abbondanzieri also keeps goal for the Spanish club side. “I’ve spoken to my good friend,” Demichelis reported, also revealing the placing of a small wager between the pair. The Munich star will be even more determined to open his UEFA Cup scoring account this week – and it will not bother him in the slightest if the ball goes in off the prominent bump on his forehead.