THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Schweinsteiger: We must score against Real

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger

The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be in the focus of world football, when hosts Real Madrid CF take on FC Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League semifinal on Wednesday. The German giants are just one match away from the dream final at home on May 19.

Bayern registered a 2-1 win in the first leg at the Allianz Arena courtesy to a last minute by German international striker Mario Gomez last week. But the Germans are fully aware of the tough match ahead on Wednesday and they don’t take things for granted.

Star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is expecting a Spanish Armada at the Bernabéu, when both sides face each other in a match termed “Clasico de Europa”.

“We expect them to come at us so we will have to work hard defensively,” Schweinsteiger told at the pre-match press conference. “The home supporters will be full of emotion and screaming their team on, which will play a part. If we’re playing well in the first 20 minutes, though, they will calm down and that has to be our aim. I feel we must score – I think we will”.”

“The chance to reach the final in our own stadium is motivation enough for us, but their stadium, with so many spectators and emotions, is sure to influence the game,” he continued. “A game like this is the highlight of the season, this is what you work hard the whole season for and the chance to play in a game like this motivated me through my injury.”

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes knows that his team need to score at least one goal to advance to final. “It’s clear that we need to score one or two goals. We are quite capable of that as we have dangerous forwards, but first we must range ourselves in a compact and narrow way and that will create chances to counter attack.”

Real coach Jose Mourinho is expecting nothing less than a victory from his team. “I see my players excited about this semifinal like my Inter players were two years ago before the semi-final against Barcelona. They just want to win it.”

“Bayern are a great team, the coach is good and they have the right to think they are going to play the final,” said Mourinho. “I also know what Bayern want to do. If they don’t score, they will be out and I think they will score.”

The stage is set for an extravaganza in the Spanish city of Madrid, with two of the best teams in the world eying for glory.