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06.04.2009 11:01

Klinsmann: “Both teams try to please the fans”


Difficulty and respect are two words the German manager uses frequently when referring to Barça. An admirer of attacking football, Klinsmann is looking forward to a very open match.

Shortly before leading Bayern Munich to Barcelona, manager Jürgen Klinsmann, in an exclusive interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, has suggested that the two teams use different methods to pursue common objectives.

Do you think Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona are teams with a similar profile?

“It’s a bit different, because we’ve got different players, different traditions and different surroundings in Munich and Barcelona. Bayern has a different style of football. We know we have to be well organised in defence, to be compact and close down spaces so as not to let the opposition through. But we are still a team with an attacking mentality. We like to keep possession, go out and attack and entertain our fans.

bayern_.jpgOur responsibility is to show people nice football and so in that way we’re similar to FC Barcelona, although we have different ways of doing that, because we go more in for the 4-4-2 and Barça are more inclined to play 4-3-3. But we both try to make the people happy.”

What ¡s your opinion of Pep Guardiola as an ex player and now manager of FC Barcelona?

“Pep Guardiola was not only a good player but is somebody who knows the FC Barcelona culture, philosophy and system that was created by Cruyff and is now famous around world for being attacking football. Guardiola has adopted that philosophy just like the club has, and that’s why we feel huge respect for them.”

Most analysts say that you are a manager that likes attacking football, is that true?

“I think it’s my nature to like that kind of football, because I was a forward and preferred to attack rather than defend. But in modern football you have to compromise and play to the style of football that suits your team, the players you have and the club’s philosophy and culture. I think FC Barcelona is a good example of how to create this football philosophy focused on attack, and the 4-3-3 has its roots in Johan Cruyff and Dutch influences. It is amazing what they do and I think that’s why so many people like the football we see from Barça.”

Knowing the characteristics of your opponent, do you think you’ll have to pay special attention to defensive duties in these games?

klinsi.jpg“All managers know that when you lose the ball you have to try to get it back and when you’re doing that you have to try to attack as quickly as possible. Barça have players like Eto'o, Henry, Messi and very good attacking midfielders to get the ball forward. We have Ribéry, Luca Toni, Zé Roberto and Schweinsteiger to go forward once we’ve got the ball. I think both teams will try to score goals, both will want to play a good first leg.”

What do you think would be a positive result to take back to the Allianz Arena?

“Logically as the visitor you at least want to get a draw, and to try to get a goal. Our objective is to come home with a favourable result and then play a good game in Munich. We know it will be a very hard encounter. We have huge respect for Barcelona but we also have plenty of confidence in ourselves. I have no doubt that the people can expect a great match.”

Do you think Ribéry is the most important player you have?

bayern_ribery.jpg“There is no doubt that he is a very, very important player but right now we have a very good team as a whole. It’s like Barça, with everybody talking about Messi and Eto'o when there is a great squad. We have tried to build a team based around the strengths of each player but Ribéry is certainly a very creative element, very strong and decisive at times. But I still think that if we look at both teams we see that they both have very high quality players. These are practically two international teams playing each other.”
Klinsmann: “Both teams try to please the fans”
Memories of the Camp Nou
Playing Barça is also Bayern’s return to the Camp Nou for an official match, at a stadium that surely brings back memories.

“Bayern have fond memories of the Camp Nou because we won here in the UEFA Cup. I think these are special moments for the players because this is a very special stadium, and things like this don’t happen every day. So they get involved and enjoy themselves. But it is the same for the Barça players when they have to go to the Allianz Arena, one of the nicest stadiums in the world. These are the moments you live for, that you train for, that you desire and that you work hard every day to be in.”

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