2010/2011 German Bundesliga
The Red Devils have had endured a difficult domestic campaign but their Scottish boss is excited by the prospect of trying to upset Pep Guardiola’s men
David Moyes insists his Manchester United side are ready for the challenge of Bayern Munich in the Champions League following Saturday’s 4-1 win over Aston Villa.
The Red Devils claimed their first win in the league at home since January as goals from Juan Mata, Chicharito and two from Wayne Rooney ensured the hosts would come from behind to defeat Paul Lambert’s side at Old Trafford.
Moyes, who had earlier witnessed a plane fly over Old Trafford carrying a banner with the words ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’, is now relishing Tuesday’s meeting with Champions League favourites Bayern. He told BT Sport: “I’m really looking forward to it. The Champions League quarter-finals.
“At the start if you said we’d get to the quarters then great but we want to be in the semi-final and then the final.
“But we’ve got a big tough game against probably the best side around. But bring the challenge on and coming to old Trafford is not easy for any side.
“I’ve been saying all the time I’ve been here the crowd have been great. We didn’t start well but the crowd were great. Every fan I bump into they tell me they know exactly what it’s like at Man United.
“The fourth goal is the type I’ve been looking to score. Adnan [Januzaj] weaving away and it was a great cross. You want to be excited by the football you see and the fourth goal excited me.”
On Rooney, Moyes added: “He’s a top player and he’s been great since the start of the season.
“I said after the game if you keep scoring two goals a game then it’s going to give us a great chance of doing much better. His form and the way he’s playing has been great.”
Moyes also hailed Mata’s performance after the playmaker scored his first goal for the club since becoming the club’s record signing after joining from Chelsea in January.
He continued: “Everyone knows what he’s capable of but he needed a goal because it’s a big part of his game and it’s a reason we signed him because he scores goals.
“He’s been instrumental in a lot of our good play and I think he’s played really well in recent weeks.
“I took over from Sir Alex a great team who were champions. But we need to add to it.
“All the players I seem to talk to are really keen to join Manchester United let’s hope it comes to fruition in the summer time.”
With Sami Kedhira and Mesut Ozil sidelined and Bastian Schweinsteiger among those to have struggled for fitness, the former keeper is concerned for his side’s chances in Brazil
Oliver Kahn is worried that long-term injuries to key players could hamper Germany’s chances at the World Cup later this year.
The likes of Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger have both missed large parts of this season with respective knee and ankle problems, and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil remains out with a hamstring injury.
With the showpiece in Brazil a little over three months away, former goalkeeper Kahn – who won the Golden Ball for his performances at the 2002 World Cup, where Germany were beaten by Brazil in the final – has concerns over the impact those injuries could have on the squad.
“Half a year ago I would have immediately said that the national team has a big chance to win the World Cup,” he told the German Football Association’s official website.
“Of course there are Spain and Brazil, but our team was incredibly impressive in the qualifiers.
“The last tournaments and the successes of Germany suggest that we might get very far. On the other hand, the injured are a big problem.
“Khedira, Schweinsteiger, who was a long time injured, Ozil, [Marcel] Schmelzer, [Mats] Hummels.
“Especially with the great heat and the rigours of travel in Brazil, the coach has to wonder which players are fit for this tournament.”
The former Germany international says the Dutch winger deserves “the highest respect” for his current performance levels following his difficulties in the 2011-12 season
Arjen Robben has been the best player for Bayern Munich this season, according to Lothar Matthaus.
The Netherlands international, who scored the winning goal in last year’s Champions League final,
has notched 18 goals and seven assists in the current campaign as Bayern have romped to the Bundesliga title and latter stages of Europe.
Robben came under fire just two years ago after he missed a crucial penalty in Bayern’s defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena, and Matthaus believes the 30-year-old deserves the highest praise for the way he has performed since the disappointment of 2012.
“For me, Arjen Robben has been the face of Bayern this season,” the former Germany international told Bild. “He’s not selfish, he creates goals for others, he stands in the service of the team.
“But he also scores goals. And all this after all the problems he had. This great development and his achievements deserve the highest respect.”
The 34-year-old has revealed that he feels physically better now than at any previous point in his career, and also admitted that he intends to stay in the game when he does quit
Barcelona ace Xavi says that he is in best shape of his life and is therefore not even entertaining the idea of hanging up his boots right now.
The Spain midfielder turned 34 in January but insists that while he he does not see himself still being involved in international football when the 2018 World Cup rolls around, retirement is currently the last thing on his mind.
“I am physically well,” he told So Foot. “I feel even better than the previous two seasons.
“Honestly, this is the first time in my career that I have felt so good. I’m more mature and much better physically.”
Consequently, Xavi has given little thought to what he will do with himself when he does eventually decide to call time on his illustrious playing career.
“What I know is that I love football and I intend to stay in this world,” the World Cup winner stated.
“In any case, I would not know where to look [for a job] in an office. What do you want me to do – economics?
“Social and political debates are too complicated for me. What I like is football.”
When he does retire, Xavi will leave behind an incredible legacy, given he has been a key component in the Spain and Barcelona sides that have dominated world football and international and club level for varying periods of time.
Consequently, some pundits feel that he will go down as his country’s greatest ever player – but the man himself is embarrassed by such talk.
“There are many other players,” he argued. “Why shouldn’t [Iker] Casillas be considered the best Spanish player of all time? He has virtual the same titles as I do.
“There’s also [Carles] Puyol, [Sergio] Ramos, [David] Villa, Raul … And [Fernando] Hierro, [Pep] Guardiola, Luis Suarez, [Alfredo] Di Stefano …
“But just the fact that I’m cited in this debate is an honour.”
Xavi humbly added that two coaches in particular have played a key role in the successes he has enjoyed as a player.
“[Pep Guardiola] will always be an important person in my life,” he confessed. “He was when I was a kid, and he was when he coached me [at Barcelona.
“I’ve liked working with all the coaches I’ve had but if I had to highlight two, it would be Pep and [former Spain boss] Aragones. They have been very important.”