Bayern are by far the best team in the last four – Hargreaves

The former England midfielder is confident Pep Guardiola’s men will lift the trophy in Berlin in June

Owen Hargreaves has tipped his former club Bayern Munich to win the Champions League and claimed they are “by far the best team in the last four”.

The German champions thrashed Porto 6-1 on Tuesday to advance to Friday’s semi-final draw 7-4 on aggregate.

They will be joined in the pot by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, with Barca having breezed past Paris Saint-Germain before the holders and Italian champions scraped past Atletico Madrid and Monaco respectively on Wednesday.

It is a draw made up of European heavyweights but Hargreaves believes one team stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky, he said: “Bayern are by far the best team in the last four.”

Barcelona are favourites to lift the trophy in Berlin but Hargreaves believes Bayern have the edge over Luis Enrique’s men.

“Barca are strong when they have the ball but Bayern are also strong against the ball. They probably have more possession than Barcelona. Barca plays with many attacking players and are, therefore, not as good at winning the ball back.”

Hargeaves won the Champions League with Bayern in 2001 and again with Manchester United in 2008.

Uefa charge Guardiola over t-shirt gesture

The Bayern Munich boss donned a t-shirt asking for justice for an Argentine journalist killed in Sao Paulo at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s win against Porto

Pep Guardiola has been charged by Uefa after he wore a t-shirt in support of a campaign for justice after the suspicious death of an Argentine journalist.

Jorge ‘Topo’ Lopez was killed in Sao Paulo in July after the taxi he was travelling in was hit by a stolen car. He was in the city to cover Argentina’s World Cup semi-final clash with Netherlands at the Arena Corinthians.

The death of the hugely popular journalist was met with sombre tributes across the footballing world at the time, including from coaches such as Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and then-Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella.

But while the campaign for justice to be brought against the perpetrators has been met with widespread support, Uefa has decided to crack down on Guardiola’s gesture ahead of Bayern Munich’s Champions League victory over Porto.

The Bayern boss attended his official pre-match press conference wearing a black t-shirt donning only the hashtag #JusticiaParaTopo (Justice for Topo).

The gesture contravened Uefa’s strict rules on non-football statements being advertised in the football arena, and the European governing body confirmed on Wednesday that it had charged Guardiola for an “incident of non-sporting nature”.

The case will be dealt with by Uefa’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on May 21.

Neuer is the world's best goalkeeper – Ter Stegen

The Barcelona shot-stopper admits that he has a lot of work to do in order to catch up to the Germany No.1 and is happy with his progress in Spain

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has hailed his Germany team-mate Manuel Neuer as the world’s best goalkeeper.

The Bayern Munich shot stopper has been a pivotal part of Bayern’s success following his move from Schalke and is believed to have overtaken the likes of Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon as the most secure keepers in world football, along with Thibaut Courtois.

And Ter Stegen admits he has a lot of work to do to catch up with the Germany No.1.

“Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world,” he told Uefa. “I’m a bit behind him.”

Ter Stegen has had to settle for a place on the bench for most of the season at Barcelona following his move from Borussia Monchengladbach, but has played a key role in the Copa del Rey and Champions League for Luis Enrique’s men.

“It’s difficult for me, being in and out of the team and not playing all the games, but that’s part of the development of a player. I’m glad I can play in the Champions League and that we’re in the Copa del Rey final. To me, that’s testament to my work.

“Good performances always improve your confidence, but to me it’s not only important what I alone do. It’s important what the team does on the pitch, and if we win together I’m happy.”

Martinez 'overjoyed' at returning to training with Bayern

The midfielder has been out of action since he ruptured his cruciate ligaments in August but took part in his first session

Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez is targeting a return to first-team action this season after he resumed full training on Wednesday for the first time since rupturing cruciate ligaments in August.

The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder sustained the injury to his left knee during the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

However, after surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation programme, the Spaniard trained on Wednesday and is hopeful of featuring before the end of the season.

“It’s just fantastic, I’m overjoyed,” the 26-year-old told Bayern’s official website.

“It’s only the first step. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me yet.

“My team-mates were cheering and clapping for me. I guess they’re all delighted for me. I hope I can pick up a few minutes playing time very soon.”

Martinez arrived at the Allianz Arena in 2012 and was part of Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning side in his debut season.

Further honours followed under Pep Guardiola last term, including the Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal.

Sammer leaves door open for Muller-Wohlfahrt return

The club’s sporting director says he has a great respect for the doctor, while Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he will keep in contact with him

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has refused to rule out the possibility of Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt returning to the club.

The 72-year-old brought an end to almost 40 years of service with the Bavarian club when he and his staff left after he felt they were blamed for the 3-1 defeat to Porto in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

It is the second time Muller-Wohlfahrt has left Bayern, having departed due to a falling out with Jurgen Klinsmann, only to be reinstated after the coach was sacked.

And Sammer has spoken highly of the 72-year-old, suggesting there is a way for him to return to the Allianz Arena.

“Everyone knows we have a fantastic relationship with Dr. Muller-Wohlfahrt,” he told Sky. “Personally, as a player I always backed him, we have a wonderful relationship – and that will always remain so.

“Everything else is the future, I cannot properly answer about a possible return now.”

Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he will keep talking to him, insisting that the club still hold a lot of respect for his work.

“I was on the phone with Muller-Wohlfahrt yesterday. It was a good conversation.

“We have a high regard for him, both professionally and personally. He is a prominent personality and is always an important part of the Bavarian family.”

Former Bayern Munich player and brother of Rummenigge, Michael, believes that the doctor must be brought back to the Allianz Arena. 

“There is much more to come to terms with. I hope everyone pulls together again to get him back. That would be the best solution for everyone.”