Amid the fireworks of the FIFA 2022 Men’s World Cup Final, there must have come a realization for Bayern Munich fans — the two biggest stars on the stage, France’s Kylian Mbappé and Argentina’s Lionel Messi — are both playing for Paris Saint-Germain, whom the Bavarians will face in the Champions League Round of 16 in February.
Both are heading into the second half of the season in high form after heroic efforts throughout the tournament. Oh, and there’s a third name to add to this super-dynamic trio: Brazil’s Neymar Jr., no slouch himself.
Can Bayern do it? Sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžic is at least subscribing to the maxim of showing no fear.
“PSG has these three exceptional players, but I have big confidence in the quality and character of our players,” Brazzo said in an interview for Sport Bild (via @iMiaSanMia). “I’m looking forward to the games.”
While Messi is riding high and Mbappé and Neymar are stewing over their near-ascents to glory, Bayern’s Germany-heavy lineup of attackers and midfielders have had a lot of time to ponder a second straight World Cup humiliation. But Bayern do boast a France-heavy backline. It should set the stage for all manner of fireworks and drama in 2023. How will players like Bayern captain Joshua Kimmich react to their recent failures — or successes?
“Two totally different clubs,” Brazzo added in comparing his own stern Bavarians to the glitz and glamor of the Parisians. “We can look forward to an attractive, emotional and exciting tie. Many world class players will come up against each other.”