Heynckes: Guardiola wouldn't help Bayern

The 68-year-old feels the former Barcelona boss has too much respect for his old club to help his future employers in their upcoming clash

Jupp Heynckes believes that Pep Guardiola would reject the opportunity to help Bayern Munich with their upcoming clash with Barcelona.

The former Blaugrana boss is due to take the Allianz Arena reins in July after leaving Camp Nou last summer but the 68-year-old feels the Spaniard has too much respect for his old club.

“Pep Guardiola wouldn’t do us any favours out of respect for his former club,” Heynckes told Sky after the match.

“We have a great scouting department, I have two scouts who make me a detailed work-up of every opponent. Moreover, I know everything about Barca.”

Bayern rested a number of players for the 4-0 win over Nurnberg and Saturday and Heynckes as delighted with his side’s performance under the circumstances.

The first half was outstanding. We played well and showed great movement. It was great,” he continued.

“If I said that it was expected, I’d be exaggerating. But that reflects the inner workings of the team. This is Bayern Munich. Everyone wants to contribute to the success.

“Every player can play with us at any time.”

Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, highlighted the impact made by the peripheral members of the team.
The players who came in again wanted to prove that they rightfully belong to the squad,” he added.


any of them were highly motivated. You can only salute them. I’m currently enjoying and very relaxed about our football. It’s wonderful.”

Bayern Munich 4-0 Nurnberg: Bundesliga champions send message to Barcelona by blitzing Bavarian rivals

Bayern Munich fired a warning shot in the direction of Barcelona by fielding a veritable ‘B’ team in an impressive 4-0 rout of in-form Nurnberg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Having seen his side clinch both the Bundesliga title and a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the preceding seven days, coach Jupp Heynckes understandably elected to rest a number of key personnel for this Bavarian derby.

However, worryingly for Barca, there was no discernible dip in the quality of Bayern’s play, with the hosts racking up first-half goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Rafinha. Reserve goalkeeper Tom Starke was finally called into action to save a penalty from Timmy Simons before Xherdan Shaqiri added a fourth goal for the thoroughly-dominant hosts soon after.

The Allianz Arena was in a celebratory mood, particularly in light of last weekend’s title-winning triumph at Eintracht Frankfurt, but the home side’s players seemed solely concerned with making Nurnberg suffer, taking taking just five minutes to break the resistance of a side that had been unbeaten in nine coming into this game.

Indeed, Shaqiri, Daniel van Buyten and Franck Ribery had all gone close to opening the scoring before Boateng broke the deadlock with an acrobatic half-volley, after the visitors had failed dismally to deal with a corner from the left-hand side.

Bayern continued to exhibit an unquenchable thirst for goals and, after a further spell of sustained pressure, they double their advantage 17 minutes in, Boateng turning creator this time, stepping out of defence before playing a wonderfully-weighted ball through to Gomez, who fired low past Raphael Schafer.

The hapless Nurnberg goalkeeper was beaten again midway through the first half, this time more culpably at his near post, by Rafinha, who had been slipped in on goal by Claudio Pizarro.

Nurnberg managed to keep Bayern at bay for the remainder of the half and they should even have got themselves off the mark just after the break when Rafinha bundled Mike Frantz over in the area. However, Simons saw his subsequent spot-kick catch Starke flush in the forehead, and the ball rebounded away to safety.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors were punished for their profligacy, with Shaqiri restoring the natural order of things by shooting low past Schafer after controlling a Ribery corner and then quickly shifting the ball onto his left foot.

Bayern repeatedly threatened to add to their tally, with Pizarro lifting the ball over the bar when he really should have found the back of the net, but there was no dampening the spirits of the home fans, who were treated to another stunning demonstration of their side’s remarkable strength in depth.

Villar: La Liga better than Bundesliga

Barcelona will face Bayern Munich in the last four of the game’s premier club cup competition, while fellow Liga giants Real Madrid will take on Borussia Dortmund

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar is hoping that this year’s Champions League semi-finals will prove that La Liga is stronger than the Bundesliga.

Runaway Primera Division leaders Barcelona have been drawn to face the newly-crowned champions of Germany, Bayern Munich, while Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund – who won their respective nations’ titles last season – will square up in the other final-four encounter.

Villar has the utmost respect for the Bundesliga and its participants but is hopeful that la Liga’s finest will come out on top.

“The Germans have the stadiums,” the RFEF chief told Marca when asked about the countries’ domestic leagues, “but the Spanish have more quality.

“But this [the Champions League] is not really a direct Germany-Spain showdown because the four semi-finalists have squads of very different backgrounds. Still, I’m hoping for an all-Spanish final.”

Both Liga sides must travel for their respective first legs, with Barcelona meeting Bayern at the Allianz Arena on April 23 and Madrid in Dortmund the following night.

Zubizarreta: Barcelona will keep quiet this year

The former Spain international believes the Blaugrana were quite rightly punished by Chelsea last year for looking ahead to a Clasico final against Real Madrid

Andoni Zubizarreta believes Barcelona have learned their lesson when it comes to presumptuously talking about a final that they have not yet reached, claiming that they will keep quiet ahead of this season’s Champions League semi-finals.

The former Spain international believes that the Blaugrana were guilty of complacency last season, having had their heads turned by the prospect of a Clasico tournament decider against Real Madrid.

As it transpired, neither Liga outfit progressed, with the Catalans bowing out to Chelsea and los Blancos being beaten by Bayern Munich. With Friday’s draw having thrown up the possibility of an all-Spanish final once again, Zubizarretta is praying that Barca do not make the same mistake as last year.

“We spoke too much about the final last year and then we didn’t get there,” the goalkeeping legend is quoted as saying by his club’s official website. “We need to focus on the semi finals.”

Indeed, Zubizarreta believes that overcoming Bayern, the form side in Europe, will require Barca’s full attention.

“We’ll see a lot of great football in this semi-final,” he predicted. “It a game between two great teams with different styles.

“There will be great players, great coaches and great fans, plenty of all those things … When I analyse Bayern’s club, squad and history I can corroborate that they’re a great club, but when I look at our own, I see the same. It’s a challenge for us.”

Zubizarreta therefore believes it is imperative that the Catalans can get Lionel Messi and Co. back in peak physical condition for the tie.

“Having all of our players is not so much a desire as an objective,” he explained. “But ultimately we have a large squad and we’ll have to use it. Let’s hope we can get them all back fit!”

Barca travel to Bavaria for the first leg on April 23 before welcoming Bayern to Catalunya on May 1.

Del Bosque: Dortmund showed weaknesses against Malaga

The Spain boss believes Liga’s finest have been matched with ‘two strong rivals’ but he was not impressed by Jurgen Klopp’s side in their last-gasp quarter-final win

Vincent Del Bosque is hoping that this season’s Champions League final will be an all-Spanish affair, though he feels that Real Madrid have a better chance of reaching Wembley than compatriots Barcelona because he views Borussia Dortmund as a weaker side than Bayern Munich.

The Spain boss was delighted to see la Liga’s representatives kept apart in Friday’s draw in Nyon as it has thrown up the mouth-watering prospect of a first Clasico European Cup decider.

When asked for his views on the pairings, Del Bosque was reluctant to pick favourites, but he did hint that it was Dortmund who impressed him least in this week’s quarter-final second legs, with Jurgen Klopp’s men having required two injury-time goals to defeat Malaga 3-2 on aggregate.

“It has been the best possible draw for Spanish football,” the former Madrid coach told reporters on Friday.

“And it is a great success that Spain has two teams in the top four in Europe. I hope that the two reach the final, so that two Spanish sides will get to play at Wembley.

“However, they face two strong rivals, although Borussia Dortmund showed more weakness against Malaga.”

Both Liga sides will be away first, with Barcelona facing Bayern at the Allianz Arena on April 23 before Madrid meet Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park the following night.