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07 December 2023

Bayern need 'cool heads and hot hearts' to shock Real

Photo: AFP


Bayern Munich need "cool heads and hot hearts" if they are to learn from Juventus and pull off an unlikely Champions League victory at Real Madrid, says chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bayern face an uphill task in Tuesday's semi-final, second leg, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium after losing 2-1 in Munich last Wednesday when a defensive slip let Marco Asensio hit the winner.

To compound their problems, Bayern have lost both key defender Jerome Boateng and creative winger Arjen Robben with groin injuries.

Nevertheless, the Germans jetted to Madrid on Monday determined to pull off an unlikely win.

They can take solace from Juventus who went down fighting with a 3-1 win in Madrid in the quarter-finals after losing 3-0 in Turin, bowing out 4-3 on aggregate.

"Juve are a good example of putting pressure on Real in Madrid," said Rummenigge.

"We need cool heads and hot hearts."

Defender Niklas Suele, who will step in for Boateng at centre-back, added: "It's a difficult starting position, but we trust ourselves to do it.

"It will be important to switch well between attack and defence.

"We also did well against (Cristiano) Ronaldo (who failed to score) in the first leg."

Pressure to score

Rummenigge says the loss of Boateng and Robben gives their replacements the chance to step up and shine.

"Boateng and Robben will not make the trip and we can't change that," said Rummenigge.

"I think lamenting makes no sense, we have other players who can step in.

"When I look at the development of Niklas Suele, that's been top notch.

"Whoever stands on the pitch will have to go to their limits if we want to be successful."

Bayern must score at least two goals to have any chance of reaching the final on May 26 in Kiev.

"We're confident," said right-back Joshua Kimmich, who scored in the first leg.

"We did not play at our top level and still had some chances.

"The aim is to score two goals and conceding wouldn't change much."

In the first leg, the Germans were kicking themselves for converting just one of their 17 shots on goal, compared to Real's seven, two of which Marcelo and Asensio put away.

"We will get some chances and when we get them, we will have to use them," said Bayern president Uli Hoeness.

Rummenigge defended Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who was criticised in the German media for struggling in front of goal in the first leg.

"I find this discussion ridiculous, as we all actually find it ridiculous at Bayern Munich," fumed Rummenigge, a former striker.

"He has scored 39 goals again this year and we are glad that he is with us and that next year he will play with us."

Rummenigge pointed to legendary Bayern striker Gerd Mueller, who scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany in the 1970s.

"He (Lewandowski) is a goal machine and I can remember Gerd Mueller for example, who is the number one in all (goal) statistics, not only at Bayern Munich, but throughout Germany.

"He also had eight or ten games in which things did not work out, where he didn't play the way he wanted to.

"But then, there are days when you score two or three times.

"I hope he (Lewandowski) has a day like that tomorrow."