Bayern Munich travel to the Vicente Calderon to take on Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi finals.
Bayern will be without the services of Badstuber and Robben for this tie, both out with long term injuries. Jerome Boateng’s role will be subject to a late fitness test on the day of the match. Guardiola said “Jerome is here with us,” he said. “He has been three months without playing, but he has a lot of experience and great character. We will decide tomorrow.”
Not winning the Champions League
Pep Guardiola, who will soon move to Manchester City in the summer, said that he is aware and accepts the notion that he must win the Champions League for his time in Bavaria to be deemed a success. Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via ESPN), Guardiola said, “Three semis in three years is not something that every team does,” Guardiola said. “I have read in Munich that without winning the Champions League, the work would not be complete. I must accept that.”
On opponents Atletico Madrid
Guardiola spoke of how much he respected what Diego Simeone has achieved during his spell as manager of the Rojiblancos.
He said,”The best trophy Atletico have achieved, with Diego Simeone and his team, is that they are now equals to Barcelona and Real Madrid, just as feared when they play in Europe.”
Pep is impressed by the consistency of Simeone’s side, saying that only the biggest teams can play matches in quick succession, such as every three days, and keep winning season after season.
Guardiola insisted that Atletico are a better all-round team than they were given credit for, saying, “But what I have seen is that they defend very well. But they do very many other things well –not just defend. They are also very good at set-pieces, they have a very good team structure, they press well. They are fast on the counter-attack. To achieve what they have done, you have to do everything well, not just defend.”
Guardiola’s first two years at Bayern Munich saw them get eliminated by Spanish opposition Real Madrid and Barcelona, who would both go on to win the finals. Pep’s side looks set to win their third consecutive Bundesliga under his reign. Now in his final year, before he joins Manchester City, Guardiola will be desperate to win the Champions League and end his Bavarian chapter in the best possible manner by delivering European success.