presented by
Chairman confident

FCB take 19-strong squad to Manchester

The mood in the FC Bayern camp was relaxed but focused on Monday afternoon when the squad and officials set off for Tuesday’s Champions League clash away to Manchester City. Former City star Jérôme Boateng, who suffered a dead leg in FCB’s 4-0 victory over Hoffenheim at the weekend, also took a seat in the Lufthansa charter jet bearing the 175-strong Munich delegation comprising the playing and coaching staff, officials and fans. “I’m fine,” the defender confirmed after completing the final pre-match training session at the Säbener Strasse facility.

“There are many reasons why we’ll take it seriously and hopefully also succeed tomorrow,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declared before take-off. “There’s prize money at stake - €1m per match! And it’s also about ranking points.” Should FCB win and Barcelona lose their fixture in Nicosia, the Bavarians would overtake the Catalans in the UEFA five-year ranking. “And a win would also be good for the Bundesliga,” the Munich chairman pointed out.

The Bayern squad for Tuesday’s clash comprises 19 players, including youngster Gianluca Gaudino. FCB have already won Champions League Group E, but Rummenigge said he was “certain we’ll give a good account of ourselves.” Pep Guardiola is the guarantor of that: “Our coach is very ambitious. He’s not going to gift a win to anyone.”

By contrast, City have only collected two points from four fixtures so far and face a real fight to make the last sixteen. “They have their backs to the wall and have to win both their remaining games,” observed Rummenigge, so the pressure is firmly on the reigning English champions.