Bayern clarify Tweet after Auschwitz claim

The German champions released a statement after Italian media outlets drew comparisons between a Twitter matchday graphic and the WWII concentration camp


Bayern Munich have responded to claims in the Italian media that a matchday graphic posted on Twitter is related to the atrocities committed in Auschwitz during World War II.

The Bundesliga club tweeted an image of train tracks leading to the Allianz Arena with the words “until the end”, signifying that one team will be knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday:

However, outlets such as Tuttosport and Gazzetta have drawn similarities between the graphic and images of the tracks which led into the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

Bayern have since denied the claims, releasing an official statement which reads:

“Unfortunately, out matchday graphic has been misunderstood to represent historic events, something which was never intended.

“If we have hurt the feelings of Juventus fans in particular or any other users as a result, we sincerely apologise.

“Our only intention with the graphic was to play on the sporting aspect of this evening’s Champions League last-16 tie, whereby one of the two teams has to exit the competition.”

.@FCBayernEN pic.twitter.com/G9mb1JMLzw

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 16, 2016

Bayern press officer Markus Hörwick added: “This graphic has been made by young people who have no idea of German history.”

Alaba: Guardiola reinvented football

The Austria international believes the former Barcelona coach has played a huge role in Bayern Munich’s success in the last three years

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba believes Pep Guardiola has reinvented football with his unique philosophy.

Bayern have won two Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal under the guidance of the Catalan, while they will be hoping to add another Champions League trophy to the cabinet in the next few months before their manager joins Manchester City.

And Alaba, who has been working with Guardiola since the latter took charge of Bayern in 2013, feels the Bavarians would not have been as successful without the 45-year-old.

“The coach is very demanding but it’s really amazing to train with him,” Alaba was quoted as saying by the Guardian. “It’s like he reinvented football.


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“He thinks about football 24 hours a day, he’s always explaining to us on the screen what’s the best way to attack, best way to defend, the best way to play with the ball.

“Now that he’s here in his third year, we understand him better as well. We wouldn’t be as successful without him. He’s given us the best tools, you can see it in our game.

“His detailed preparation makes it easier for us to beat opponents. And to beat them better as well.

“Will Guardiola’s departure at the end of the season affect us? We have goals and dreams that we work very hard for to achieve. We don’t have a lot of space in our heads to worry about other things.”

Aguero keen to avoid Messi & Guardiola in Champions League draw

The striker has revealed the two sides he wishes to avoid in the last eight of Europe’s top competition and also denied a reported phone call to Lionel Messi about Pep Guardiola


Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is keen to avoid European giants Barcelona and Bayern Munich in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw.

City will be in the last eight for the first time in their history after securing a 3-1 aggregate victory against Dynamo Kiev in the round of 16.

Having been comfortably beaten by Barcelona at the first knock-out stage in each of the last two seasons, Aguero is wary of once again meeting Luis Enrique’s men, as well as future coach Pep Guardiola’s Bayern, but knows the Blues will have to face the biggest challenges if they are to win the trophy.

“You always want to go far, and to do that you have to face the best,” he told reporters. “Obviously Barca and Bayern are there, who are the two best by form, and obviously if we can avoid them all the better, but at some point we will have to face them.”

There is a very real possibility, should Bayern overcome Juventus in Munich on Wednesday, that City could be pitted against Guardiola, their incoming manager, in the next round.


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It had been reported that the Argentina striker called his international team-mate and close friend Lionel Messi to talk about the Spaniard after a deal to bring him to City was made official in February, but he said that is not the case: “No, no, we only chatted beforehand, before it was announced. Obviously for Leo he was a great coach, he won a lot of trophies and we hope he does well.

“I don’t know him [Guardiola], but let’s finish the season first in the best way possible.”

City could only muster a goalless draw with Kiev on Tuesday night but prevailed on aggregate thanks to the convincing first-leg victory they earned in Ukraine three weeks ago.

The hosts were rocked by early injuries to Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi at the Etihad Stadium, with the former likely to be out for at least a month, but Aguero insists it was visitors’ cautious game plan that made the clash a laid-back affair.

“I think it was a little strange because we were waiting for Kiev to come out and play a little,” he continued, “but we did not expect them to come out so relaxed, we did not have anything to lose. As I say it was a strange game.”

On reaching the last eight, he added: “I’m happy, we’re all here for this, to fight at the top and we are happy to get through.”

'Real Madrid have nothing else but the Champions League'

Zinedine Zidane’s men are set to end the domestic season empty-handed, but the ex-Barca B striker believes they will be even more determined to win in Europe


GOALEXCLUSIVE


Red Bull Salzburg forward Jonathan Soriano warned that Real Madrid’s failure to make an impact domestically will make them even fiercer opponents in the Champions League this season. 

Zinedine Zidane’s men languish 12 points off Liga leaders Barcelona and crashed out of the Copa del Rey due to a selection error involving Denis Cheryshev. 

But the former Espanyol and Barcelona B striker believes that will only spur them on in the quest for the Undecima

“The best – or the worst – thing for Real Madrid is that they nothing else. They had that issue in the Copa del Rey and they have it very difficult in La Liga. So I guess they will give their best so they can seal Champions League glory,” he told Goal


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“With Barca it is just the same story once again. It is amazing. They do not get tired of winning and they will be a leading candidate to win [the Champions League] again.”

Soriano also asserted that he was flattered to hear his name linked with his ex-club in Catalunya, who are reportedly keen to add another striker to their ranks. 

“It was already said in winter that there was a chance. Just being one of the candidates or hearing people talking about it makes me stronger to keep fighting for that,” he said. 

“Despite playing in Austria, just the interest itself is a big reward for me. We know how difficult it is because Barca will have many options and there is only one winner in the end… Or  maybe even nobody at all.

 
And the 30-year-old additionally tipped Pep Guardiola to succeed when the Bayern Munich coach moves to the Premier League with Manchester City.
 
“Pep is a great coach for me and he will make it right in any team. He will set his own ideas, introduce his philosophy and I am sure it will be a great attraction to see the football he does in England,” Soriano affirmed.