Being bought from the Stadio Olimpico this summer does not mean he will provide Bayern with additional assistance on the Serie A side’s weak points
Mehdi Benatia claims Pep Guardiola does not need insider information to guide Bayern Munich to Champions League victory over Roma on Tuesday.
The centre-back was signed for an undisclosed fee towards the end of the summer transfer window by the Bundesliga champions, having impressed a host of top clubs in his debut season at the Stadio Olimpico.
Despite having the advantage of knowing many of the Giallorossi’s tactics and players under Rudi Garcia’s wing, Benatia does not expect Guardiola to come crawling to him for assistance in grabbing an away win in midweek.
“I think that Guardiola has a strong team around him, he always perfectly puts the opponents under the microscope and analyses them,” the defender told the Bundesliga’s official website.
“I don’t think he needs my advice. But, if it should be the case, then I’m available any time.
“Somehow I suspected Bayern would draw Roma. The draw was on the day that I was officially presented at Bayern. I sat with my wife and my agent at the hotel and said ‘I am sure we’ll meet Roma’. And so it proved. I was very happy.
“It just makes me happy, because it will be an opportunity for me to see all my friends again. I still have a lot of friendships with the players such as Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi, Francesco Totti, and so on.”
Benatia might be delighted to be back in Rome but the home fans in Tuesday’s European clash are unlikely to share his positivity – Benatia left in acrimonious circumstances and club officials branded the defender as “poisonous” and a liar for forcing his way to Bayern in August.
“Roma fans may accompany me with whistles, but that does not bother me,” the Moroccan insisted. “I know that I always gave my best in Rome. For me, personally, it is a special game for sure.
“It will surely be very intense, especially because Roma have not played in the Champions League for many years. But we also have a lot of potential and plan to win there.”
Bayern top Group E after two games with two triumphs – ahead of Roma, Manchester City and CSKA Moscow – and Benatia is unsure who their main rival, but has his sights on last-16 qualification and, he hopes, his first Champions League title.
“It’s hard to say who our main group rival is because Manchester City are also very strong,” he added. “The English champions have a lot of experience at this level.
“Roma are really good, though, and is unpredictable. We know how hard it is to win there, but I’m optimistic.
“We are aiming for victory on June 6, 2015 in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. In the past five years, Bayern stood three times in the final. I really want to one day win this trophy.”