Choupo-Moting and anticipation of a 'great story'
Immediately after the draw, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting talked about a "great story." In the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the FC Bayern forward faces his former club Paris Saint-Germain. In Wednesday's first leg at the Allianz Arena it will be 227 days since Choupo-Moting last played in a PSG shirt in the most important game in European club football against FC Bayern. "The anticipation is massive. It's a repeat of last year's final. Perhaps nobody could have expected that we'd play each other again so quickly," said the 32-year-old.
Choupo-Moting played for the French serial champions for two years. In 51 games for PSG, the Hamburg-born striker scored nine goals including a crucial, late winner in the 2-1 victory in last season's Champions League quarter-finals against Atalanta. With his former teammates, he is still in "close contact. I've recently written a lot to the German lads Thilo Kehrer and Julian Drexler. I also have a close relationship with Presnel Kimpembe," said the striker.
Beyond that, Choupo-Moting is happy to look back at playing alongside the star strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappé: "They're primarily great lads you can have a lot of fun with on and off the pitch. They have exceptional quality. The lads are amongst the best players I've ever played with. They have incredible individual quality."
In the reunion on Wednesday it is not just about taking care of the two Parisian superstars: "You have to be more than just aware of the pair of them. But not just those two -- there are so many top players in the team we have to keep an eye on. The important thing is that we play as a team and that's the strength of Bayern." He won't need to give his teammates any big tips: "The lads have already played against each other. At this level you know what you have to do and that you have to be 100% focused and produce your best form."
In last Saturday's Bundesliga top match at RB Leipzig, Choupo-Moting replace the injured FCB top scorer Robert Lewandowski. "He played against the best defence in the league and did a good job," said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. The forward is also in the running to be in the starting line-up against his former club.
"The whole world of football is looking forward to this game"
"If I'd been able to make the choice then I would have preferred to have this clash in the final," said Choupo-Moting looking forward to the reunion with his former teammates. "There's respect on both sides. The lads know they have a tough job but we also know it will be very difficult. The whole world of football is looking forward to this game."
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was recently interviewed by the club magazine 51: