Bayern Munich have to face Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals, but that’s nothing to fret, at least according to Sandro Wagner. In an interview with Bundesliga.com, the striker gave plenty of praise to the electric, record-setting Cristiano Ronaldo, but said that Bayern have a defense capable of thwarting Madrid’s attack altogether. The frequency at which Ronaldo scores, Wagner admitted, is quite remarkable:
Ronaldo scores so many goals, it’s amazing! I don’t even have that many goals in training. I think it’s great. I like people like that. It’s fun. It would be boring if we were all the same.
Despite the obvious threats Ronaldo will pose Bayern in both legs of the semifinals, Wagner believes that it’s no mistake his side are boasting one of the best defenses across Europe, and that they have what it takes to keep Madrid at bay:
He’s going to be playing in these games [against us]. He’s an incredibly good player and I’m glad that we’ll face him twice. However, our defense is brutally strong. We have the best defense in Europe, so we don’t need to hide.
If you’re confident you can stop this man, we’re not sure how much more confident you can actually be, it’s impossible:
Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League:— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) April 11, 2018
Having already wrapped up a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, Jupp Heynckes will have plenty of room to rotate his squad for the league matches on either side of both legs against Madrid. The DFB-Pokal semifinal match against Bayer Leverkusen is the first real hurdle Bayern have to clear before shifting their focus to the first leg at the Allianz Arena, with the weekend match against Hannover just four days prior.
Retrospectively, Wagner admitted that Madrid were clearly the strongest side left to face in the Champions League draw, but feels that his side are up for the task:
Real were the toughest draw of the three [Liverpool and Roma will meet in the other semifinal]. But we don’t have any blind players on our team, so we’re very positive and confident for the games. We’re in a good mood and looking forward to it.
Skeptics could argue that this is a bit of over-confidence from Wagner, but if there’s any mood you’d want the Bayern players to be in going into the tie, you’ve got to like this kind of audaciousness. Wagner himself is coming off of a two-goal performance vs. Borussia Monchengladbach and is primed to make a strong close to the season; at least we hope!