When Bayern Munich drew Barcelona for the Champions League’s one-legged quarter final this season, everyone started talking about how it could turn out to be the biggest match of the year. And yes, when we look back at Friday’s match between the two European giants, it is safe to say that it was more remarkable than what most people anticipated.
Jerome Boateng would probably be the happiest person after Friday’s demolition of the Catalans — he really needed a break from all those memes. In an interview given to Bild, the defender shared his thoughts on the game against Barça and the upcoming semi-final tie against Olympique Lyonnais.
With Manchester City — who was predicted by most pundits to be Bayern’s semi-final opponent — out of the competition, Hansi Flick’s boys are set to face Lyon on Wednesday. After watching the game against Barça, most people are of the opinion that beating Lyon would be a piece of cake for the Bavarians. But just like how anyone else at the club would react to the question, Boateng begs to differ.
He said, “Many of us watched the match together. We were all surprised by the result. But it wasn’t for nothing that Lyon knocked Juve out. They’re in the semifinals for a reason. Lyon plays in a very disciplined matter. It will be a difficult task. But in the end, we don’t care against whom we’re playing — we simply want to get to the final!”
Being one of the four people directly involved in two of the biggest humiliations in football history, Boateng talked about how his team had more control over the game last Friday than against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup:
“In terms of their course, the games were very different. Against Brazil, we didn’t have ultra-control of the game. Now we didn’t let Barcelona breath at all, simply pressed very well. After the 7-1, we were full of self-confidence, but the World Cup final was still a very difficult game with few scoring chances. The 8-2 definitely also gives us a boost. But the next game is always the most difficult one.”
There is one person every single Bayern fan is most grateful for currently and that is Hansi Flick – the embodiment of sanity on the sidelines. (Honestly, in a world full of Simeone and Guardiola screaming at the camera it is so refreshing to watch someone as calm as Flick!)
We have heard several Bayern players talk about their relationship with the coach before. Here’s what Boateng had to say about his coach: “He has absolutely developed positively. I already came away with a very positive experience with him on the national team; he was an important person I could talk to there. He treats all the players the same, everyone wants to give him their trust in return. His team talks are very good. On top of that, he’s simply a great person with whom you can also talk about private things at times. He’s an absolute blessing for FC Bayern. The whole team is benefiting from Hansi Flick’s clear plan.”
The defender had gone through a lot over the past few years. When asked to comment on his journey, he said: “That’s in the past. I’m living in the here and now an dsimply want to do my part to ensure that we are successful. I never gave up or let myself down — always keep pushing, that was the most important thing. And I have the coach’s trust. I’m having fun again, getting my minutes, can show that I can help the team. I enjoy every second with Bayern at the moment. Since the coaching change, things are going better.”