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Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona, Champions League: Press Conference Roundup

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We listen in on and pick out the important stuff from Pep Guardiola's press conference before every game, be it Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, or UEFA Champions League.

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Will there be a football miracle, or will it just be an attempt to end the Champions League season on a high note in front of the home fans?  Or could there be another blowout loss waiting for FC Bayern, as they attempt to go all out to make up the 0-3 deficit from last week, and end up getting countered to death.  Ummmm ... option A, please!

Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.

FC Bayern Press Conference, May 11th, 2015

Other than all the questions about how to accomplish the impossible (maybe Miracle Max is available?) in order to make the Champions League final in Berlin, Pep addressed where he'll be working next season.

Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):

On the current situation - We are happy to be in the Champions League semifinal.  We are behind by 0-3 against one of the best teams in Europe over the last 15 to 20 years.  But we have a game tomorrow, and we will try.  I know that people want us to attack and play forward, but we must first defend well, and focus on our playing style.

On Luis Enrique's quote that it doesn't look good for Barcelona - (Barcelona's coach actually said, with a straight face, that it didn't look good for his team, going into the return leg) I understand what he means, in football, anything can happen.  We can't concentrate on the result, but have to look at our playing style.

On the rumors that Pep is leaving Bayern this summer to coach Manchester City next season - Guys, I've already said this 200 million times.  I am staying here, I have another year on my contract.  That is all (of course, no word on extending his contract, either, but it's nice to hear him definitively deny the rumors that he's leaving Bayern this summer, even if nobody really believed it).

On Bayern's tactics for tomorrow - We have to score some goals, but how, that's the big question.  I will try to make up our deficit through controlling the game.  We have to take advantage of the few chances that we get.  We'll see how it goes in the game.  Nobody expected the high scoring results against Shakhtar and Porto either.  We have to be patient.  We have to play football, a lot better than in Barcelona, of course.

On Barcelona scoring a goal - I'm not thinking about that.  We recognize their quality, of course.  If they score a goal, we have to score five.  We'll see how we play the game.

On whether Mario Götze will play - Yes, he is an option. To score a goal, you have to earn your chances.  You need good players for that.  And Mario has great qualities in and around the penalty box.  But, I don't want to talk about individual players.

On Robert Lewandowski, and having to play with a mask - He has had a very good season, and has scored a lot of goals.  If he had converted on a quarter of his chances, he would have 25 to 30 goals.  I am very happy with him.  Of course, he could play better without a mask.

On lessons learned in the last season's semifinals against Real Madrid - The first legs were completely different.   In Madrid, we lost 0-1, in Barcelona it was 0-3.  In the second leg against Real, we allowed a lot of counters and set pieces, we can't let that happen against Barcelona.  If we blindly attack, it won't do us any good.  We have to control the game.

On the mindset of the players - Their mindset is not a problem.  It's all about the quality of our footballing.

On the effect on his reputation if they lose to Barcelona - I'm not here to be the best coach in the world.  That's shit.  I want to help my players.  In Barcelona, I did my best, and I'm doing that in Munich too, from the very beginning.  I have to see if it's enough.  Then we'll see if the fans, the people in the club, the journalists, the former professionals, the experts and everyone else is happy.  It's not about counting titles, that's not what determines whether I am a good coach.  In Barcelona, I always said, that everything was down to the fact that I am at a great club with outstanding players.  I want to be a good coach for my players.

On what needs to be done in the game - We will try everything tomorrow, to try to make it.  But we're not going to blindly attack and run back.  I know that in Germany, there is a lot of scoring in games, but I am a completely different coach.  Barcelona has outstanding counter attacking players...outstanding!  That's why we have to watch out.  We have those kind of players too, like Arjen Robben.  But they are not available.  I would love to score three goals in five minutes, hit long balls and score goals, but that isn't possible.  I know what people expect in Germany.  But, with our playing style, with the emphasis on control, we have won the championship (Bundesliga) convincingly and early.  Now we have to see how it goes against Barcelona. We have to use our heads, the heart, too, obviously, but important is up here (taps on his forehead).

On missing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery - We have had to make do without them for two, three months.  We lose their quality, their competitiveness, they can go around one or two players in the penalty box.  But we won the championship without them.  We were also missing a lot of other players, like David Alaba or Holger Badstuber.  In the first leg, we saw that it wasn't enough against Barcelona.  Tomorrow we have the opportunity for another test, to see if it's enough.  The other teams have balanced rosters right now, we don't at this moment.  Every coach dreams of having all his players available.  But the situation is what it is.  If we are eliminated tomorrow, it won't be because of these players.

On whether there will be a footballing miracle - We don't give up (said in English). It's a football game.  Of course, this team has the quality to achieve it.  This is the sixth time for me in the Champions League semifinals, that's a dream for me.  It's my life, my job.  We've battled a lot to be here.  We will try.

Note - This roundup was taken from transcripts of today's press conference, as reported in Abendzeitung and TZ.