Bayern Munich just about scraped through to the semifinals of the Champions League against Benfica, but manager Pep Guardiola did not let slip a chance to have a go at Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo after the match.
After almost single-handedly turning around a 2-0 deficit against Wolfsburg with a hattrick, Ronaldo had said that he would like to face Benfica in the semi finals.
Benfica were yet to play the second leg of their quarter final against Bayern Munich at that time, with the Bavarians leading 1-0 from the first leg. Ronaldo must have been delighted after a 27th minute goal by Raul Jimenez put Benfica ahead against Bayern, but Guardiola’s side pulled things back by scoring on either side of the half time whistle.
Although Benfica did pull one back with a brilliant Anderson Talisca free kick in the 76th minute, it was too late for them, as Bayern went through with a 3-2 aggregate win over the Portuguese side.
After the match however, Guardiola took the opportunity to apologise (sarcastically one would assume) to Ronald for defeating Benfica.
“I know Cristiano Ronaldo wanted Benfica in the semifinals. I am sorry for him,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. “It’s normal that Ronaldo would have wanted to play Benfica as he is Portuguese. Manchester City are a possibility, so are Real [Madrid] and Atletico. We are happy to be here and will play anyone.”
Keeping the Real-Barca rivalry alive in the Chmapions League?
Both Ronaldo and Guardiola have been mortal enemies since the latter was a manager at Barcelona from 2008 to 2012. Guardiola has moved on to Bayern Munich since then, while Ronaldo has stayed back at Real.
With the exit of Barcelona at the hands of Atletico Madrid, the neutral football fans’ mind would naturally look for any other El Clasico angle between the four teams remaining in the competition. With Guardiola employing his Barcelona philosophy at Bayern Munich, it may be safe to say that Real Madrid (and Ronaldo) will be facing a familiar test if they draw the Bavarians in the semi final.