Badstuber: I'm ready to play

Read article contents
Increase size

David Alaba is rated doubtful, and Juan Bernat misses out due to injury: left-backs are becoming a rare commodity at FC Bayern these days. As a result, Holger Badstuber could be an option for the Champions League match against Olympiacos. "I've played at left back before, I know the position," commented the man whose regular place is at centre-half, but who is aware that Pep Guardiola has plenty of options: "In the end it's up to the coach."

"Holger is in the squad." That is all Guardiola had to say prior to the meeting with the Greek champions. The FCB coach, who had shortly before said that Badstuber is "perhaps the best footballer I've ever seen when it comes to build-up play," insisted that he would only finalise his starting line-up on the day of the match itself.

'I have a good feeling'

Badstuber made his yearned-for comeback against Stuttgart two weeks ago. He was sidelined for 200 days due to a ruptured muscle in his left leg sustained in the Champions League quarter-final against Porto in April. It was only the latest in a three-year-long series of injuries.

"We're glad Holger is fit again after such a long time," said Manuel Neuer, "I'd be pleased if he didn't have to face any further setbacks. We don't need to discuss his qualities. Everyone knows that we need him."

Badstuber said that he used the international break to "further improve my fitness. I have a good feeling, that's the main point." The rest is up to Guardiola, "and I'm ready to play," Holger declared.