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Ex-FCB striker Maierhofer

‘Rooney’s on fire at the moment’

Former Bayern II striker Stefan Maierhofer plays in England now, where he is nicknamed “Big Man” or “The Hoff” on account of his massive 6 ft 7 ½ in (2.02 m) stature. The Austria international scored 21 goals in 42 games for Bayern II between 2005 and January 2007, captaining the side by the end and making two Bundesliga appearances for the first team. He subsequently moved via Koblenz, Fürth and Rapid Vienna to Premier League outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I’m delighted I opted for England,” Maierhofer told fcbayern.de. The 27-year-old hit the target once in eight outings for Wolves before Christmas, but required surgery on a groin injury and is currently gaining match practice on a month’s loan to second division Bristol City.

Maierhofer twice faced Manchester United at Old Trafford, but lost 1-0 in the League Cup and 3-0 in the league. The player spoke to us about his experience and memories of taking on the Red Devils on their home patch.

Interview: Stefan Maierhofer

fcbayern.de: Stefan, has Hermann Gerland called you for any tips and advice about United?
Maierhofer: “He hasn’t called, but why should he? I’ve faced United twice, but I reckon Bayern have enough people to give Hermann Gerland and the coaching staff all they need to know. I last spoke to him about six months ago, and thanked him again for everything he’s done for me. We had a special relationship. He was a father figure to me, firm but always honest, and I liked that. If I find the time, I’d like to drop by and give him a gift from Vienna next summer.”

fcbayern.de: How are the English media treating the meeting between Bayern and United?
Maierhofer: “There’s definitely respect for Bayern. The TV is showing lots of previews, with plenty of highlights from the 1999 Final in Barcelona. And everyone’s saying beware of Robben, they’re showing his goals against Fiorentina over and over again.”

fcbayern.de: What can Bayern expect against Man Utd?
Maierhofer: “I think we’ll see two great games. You have Bayern with Van Gaal’s tactics, with Ribéry, Robben and the young lads like David Alaba – I know him from the Austria team and call him ‘little brother’. We’re frequently in touch. And then you have Manchester United, who play very attractive and effective football. But do me a favour and watch out for Rooney! He’s on fire at the moment. Everything he tries is coming off right now.”