I feared Bayern would reach double figures, admits traumatised Zinnbauer

The ex-European Cup winners suffered an embarrassing 8-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena, and their coach admitted it could have been even worse

Hamburg boss Josef Zinnbauer has claimed that Saturday’s 8-0 loss at Bayern Munich will haunt him for the rest of his life, revealing that he spent the dying minutes praying that the hosts wouldn’t hit double figures.

The visitors capitulated after Thomas Muller opened the scoring 21 minutes courtesy of a contentious penalty, with Mario Gotze and Arjen Robben adding to the Bavarians’ lead before the break.

The second half was a disaster for Hamburg, as further goals from Robben, Muller, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribery and Gotze saw the former European Cup winners suffer one of the most humiliating defeats in their long and proud history.

Zinnbauer was traumatised by the nature of Hamburg’s collapse and admitted afterwards that he was simply grateful that Bayern had not broken through the 10-goal barrier.

“I’ll not forget this day for the rest of my life,” he told reporters after the game. “There’s not a lot to discuss when you’ve lost 8-0. 

“We have to apologise to our fans because 8-0 is unbelievable, although we did meet incredibly strong opponents today. 

“The margin of victory is the right one. Bayern were world class but there is no excuse for losing 8-0.

“By the end, I was hoping that we wouldn’t lose by double digits.

“We now have to pick ourselves up, put the game behind us as fast as we can and show a reaction in our next game, against Borussia Monchengladbach.”

Robben: Guardiola would talk football at 3am!

The Dutchman holds the Catalan coach in the highest esteem, claiming he is responsible for his improved form over the past 18 months

Arjen Robben says he has learned more from Pep Guardiola than any other previous coach, revealing that the Bayern Munich boss is so intent on helping his players that he would be willing to offer advice at three o’clock in the morning!

The Netherlands internatonal has played under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, Jupp Heynckes and Guus Hiddink during a club career that has taken in spells at super-clubs such as Chelsea and Real Madrid.

However, Robben believes that his current coach is a class apart, admitting that he is in awe of Guardiola’s intelligence, tactical acumen and dedication to his profession.

“When I started working with Pep 18 months ago I noticed how he goes much deeper into football,” the 31-year-old told The Guardian. “His intelligence is obvious. 

“Tactically, he’s one of the best in the world and under him I have made more steps in my development. I’ve come quite a long way these last 18 months.

“These days you have guys who are 19 or 20 and they’ve played their first game and they feel they’ve made it. It’s not true. There’s always so much to improve, no matter your age. 

“That’s why I’m really enjoying working with Pep. I learn from him every day and that’s a special feeling.

“We have a very good relationship. I like the way he thinks about football and his tactical flexibility means we’ve played a few systems. 

“It’s not like we are a 4-4-2 team. We use all kinds of formations with Pep and this means I can play inside or outside, just behind the strikers or even as a striker. 

“That’s fantastic because the way he wants to play, with a very dominant style, suits me perfectly. 

“And you can discuss anything with him. If it’s 3am, Pep would be happy to talk to you about football.”

Robben also hailed Guardiola’s will to win, revealing that the former Barcelona boss was devastated by Bayern’s recent 4-1 loss at Wolfsburg.

He added: “After the game you could see on his face how much it hurt him. He hates losing. But every great manager hates losing. If Mourinho loses 4-1, he doesn’t sleep well. 

“[Pep and Mourinho] are winners. They’re so strong and that’s why they are so successful.”

Robben joined Madrid from Chelsea in 2007-08 for a reported €35 million and won La Liga in his first season in the Spanish capital but left for the Allianz Arena the following year.

He claimed at the time that he was upset at being “forced out” following the high-profile arrivals of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu, but says Madrid’s decision to offload him to Bayern was a blessing in disguise.

“The best and most important step of my career was when I moved here – and Louis van Gaal brought me from Madrid to Bayern,” he said. “It was the best move of my career and it’s thanks to him. 

“In the first year we reached the Champions League final [in 2010], which was a big surprise, and won the double in Germany. 

“Van Gaal made me an important member of the team and fortunately I delivered.”

However, Robben revealed that working with an osteopath during his final year at Madrid also played a key role in his remarkable form in Bavaria.

“I continued the relationship when I came here,” the Netherlands international added. “We have a great medical team and with the special training we do, the extra work I put in, it’s getting control over your body.

“You know when you are in the danger zone as you get a better understanding of your body. Now, touch wood, it’s going really well. I feel really good. I have lots of energy but that doesn’t happen like magic. I put in many extra hours in the gym and with the physios.

“You feel strong on the pitch. You have this feeling of power, that you can show the best of your football. This season has been the same and it’s surprising. A lot of players here went to the World Cup final – and I made it to the third-place game. Everyone expected us to have difficulties but it’s not turned out that way.”

Robben shares top spot in the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier, having netted 14 times in just 17 appearances.

Robben: Mourinho doesn't like injured players

The Dutch star had numerous fitness problems during his time playing under the Portuguese coach but still holds his former boss in high regard

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has provided an insight into his time with Chelsea, insisting that Jose Mourinho “does not like injured players”.

The Dutchman spent three years at Stamford Bridge and although he won two Premier League titles, fitness issues curtailed his progress and he was eventually moved on to Real Madrid in 2007.

And Robben admits that it was always going to be an uphill struggle to win over Mourinho, as he joined the Blues with injury problems.

He told The Guardian: “It was hard at first because I came with an injury. It was very difficult for me and also for him. Of course, he doesn’t like players who get injured. So it wasn’t easy but I always had the feeling I had his confidence.

“I played some great games for Chelsea but it was unfortunate I had injury problems and I couldn’t do it over a long period – like now.

“For me it was very good to work with him at that age because I was young and, yeah, with Mourinho, you have to be mentally very strong. You have to jump on the train with him or… you’re off. So it was great for my development.”

Reflecting on the lack of a winter break in England, Robben still finds it “crazy” that Premier League clubs are expected to play so much football over a short period of time.

He added: “I can’t say I miss it, but it also had its charms. The real charm was the family coming over for Christmas – and watching me play at home on Boxing Day. But playing four games in 10 days is crazy. A break in the middle of the season is good for everybody.”

Zidane: Neuer had a case, but Ronaldo deserved Ballon d'Or

The Frenchman has hailed the goalkeeper for a fantastic 2014 but still believes the Portuguese was head and shoulders above all his rivals

Zinedine Zidane has acknowledged Manuel Neuer would have been a worthy winner of the Ballon d’Or but says Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was the right choice.

Neuer was shortlisted for the prize after helping Bayern Munich win the German double during the 2013-14 season before then playing a key role in Germany’s World Cup success in Brazil.

However, Zidane believes Ronaldo, who also faced competition from Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi, simply couldn’t be overlooked.

“I understand that Germans think that Manuel Neuer should have won the Ballon d’Or,” the former Blancos ace told Die Welt . “It was not only in Germany that there was a debate over whether Neuer would have been a better choice, but also France and Spain.

“He would have deserved it, as he is a fantastic player who took goalkeeping to another level with his ability on the ball. But, at the same time, Ronaldo is a player from another planet!

“In truth, it was exasperating having Neuer competing with Ronaldo for the prize!”

Zidane, who is currently coaching Real Madrid Castilla, lifted the Ballon d’Or himself in 1998, after inspiring France to World Cup glory on home soil.

Zidane: Guardiola inspires me

The Frenchman has worked closely with Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti but he is in awe of the Catalan’s footballing philosophy

Zinedine Zidane has revealed that Pep Guardiola is his coaching role model, as he admitted that the Bayern Munich boss inspires him.

The former France international is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of all time, having inspired his country to World Cup glory in 1998 before scoring one of the most famous volleys in history as Real Madrid claimed the Champions League by beating Bayer Leverkusen four years later.

Zidane, who retired in 2006, is now trying to prove himself as a coach. He served as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Madrid for the 2013-14 season before taking charge of the Spanish side’s B team last summer.

The 42-year-old also previously worked as an advisor during Jose Mourinho’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu but Zidane still rates Guardiola as his biggest influence – even though he has never worked with the Catalan.

“Bayern were always a good team but now the club has arrived on a global level, and that is mainly due to Pep, who has given the club an extra touch of class,” the ex-attacking midfielder told Die Welt.

“He brings his own take on the game and is making the difference at Bayern.

“He is a great coach. I knew him as a player, as we often played against one another at the highest level, but now I am a rookie coach and he is an experienced, world-class coach.

“He is doing a fantastic job at Bayern, as he did at Barcelona. I’m fascinated by how he works and I can learn a lot from him.”

Zidane also revealed that he had offers from clubs in major European leagues before eventually deciding to take charge of Real Madrid Castilla, explaining that he is determined to work his way up from the bottom.

“It was a conscious decision to take charge of Real Madrid Castilla. I was good as a player but as a coach I’m a beginner,” he added.

“I will gradually improve. Of course there were offers from the best leagues, but I want to do well and develop, and not because of my past but because of my work and coaching ability.

“I have a lot to learn. Coaching is a very different job to playing football. The learning process takes time.”