Neuer targets Chelsea revenge

The goalkeeper is eager to make amends for his side’s Champions League final defeat to the Blues, while explaining the differences between Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes

Manuel Neuer says Bayern Munich are hungry for revenge ahead of their Uefa Super Cup clash with Chelsea.

The Bavarians were beaten on penalties by the Blues in the 2012 Champions League final, before lifting the trophy after beating Dortmund back in May.

But the goalkeeper admits there is still a score to settle with the Premier League side and says he will be doing all he can to gain revenge.

He told “It’s a unique chance for us players to win this trophy,” he said. “It’s a final, and a match against the Europa League winners, and that’s Chelsea. We still have something to clear with them, and take revenge, so hopefully we can win in Prague.”

The 27-year-old then gave an insight into the pressure Bayern were under ahead of last season’s Champions League final and admits the prospect of defeat at Wembley was unthinkable.

He added: “[Winning the Champions League] was very important. We would have had a very difficult time if we hadn’t done it. Last season we were very motivated, we wanted to finally achieve a lot of success and managed to win the treble, but we could have never lost the final against Dortmund.”

Pep Guardiola has since taken over from Jupp Heynckes as Bayern boss and guided the treble-winners to wins in all three of their opening Bundesliga matches, with the latest a 2-0 victory over Nurnberg.

And Neuer explained the differences between the former Barcelona boss and Heynckes, having got to know the Spaniard in recent months.

“He’s certainly a totally different person to Jupp Heynckes,” he said. “Jupp had a lot of experience from coaching many big clubs in Europe and he had a good feeling for different situations.

“We’ve not played under Pep for that long, but he’s clearly an advocate of attractive football, just like Jupp.”

Can Bayern Repeat the Success of 2012/13?

It is still far too early to predict who will win which league across Europe. There is the generic top four or five teams that will be there come the end of the season but very rarely do we see an open title race in Europe’s top leagues.

In years gone by, some sides have dominated their domestic league and managed to add a cup competition along the way but it’s not often that a team dominates every competition they enter into.

Last season, while many fans were hoping a club from England might win, Bayern Munich won the Champions League,swept away their domestic rivals in the Bundesliga, before going onto win the DFB Pokal Cup.

In Europe, the Bavarians bounced back from their failure two seasons ago to beat local rivals Borussia Dortmund, after beating heavy favourites, Barcelona, in the previous round. With Pep Guardiola coming into to replace JuppHeynckes the pressure is on to deliver the same feats from last year, and the Spaniard himself has to work hard to show he can manage in a different country.

The transfer market has seen them add to their squad with Mario Gotze and Thiago coming in to strengthen an already impressive squad.

With Europe’s elite trying to build themselves, Bayern will be under the cosh to deliver once again. Dortmund will be on their tales domestically, while Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester United will all chase them in the Champions League.

Guardiola and his men have their work cut out from the off as they look to defy the odds but their team is more than capable of repeating their success. With a young squad and ambitious manager, it is scary to think how far they can go in the future.

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Robben & Ribery star after rescuing Bayern

Goal picks out the best performers from across the German top flight after a typically thrilling weekend of action over the whole country

One of the most hotly-anticipated Bundesliga seasons in recent years is living up to its billing. Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich continue to go from strength to strength, but Schalke are in crisis, losing two of their first three games.

And there were plenty of stellar performances across Germany worth saluting in Goal‘s Team of the Week.

Heinz Muller is one of two Mainz players who makes the cut after they continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a 2-0 home triumph over Wolfsburg.

He is joined by club team-mate Nikolce Noveski, who was a rock at the back. Alongside the Macedonian are Hiroki Sakai of Hannover, victorious over Schalke, and Philipp Lahm, who grabbed an assist in Bayern’s win over Nurnberg.

Franck Ribery was on the end of his skipper’s cross, while Arjen Robben added gloss to the Bavarians’ win with a superb effort late on. Kevin Volland helped keep up Hoffenheim’s sound start to the campaign, while Lars Bender and Sidney Sam were both on song in Leverkusen’s 4-2 win over rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, the latter netting twice.

Stefan Kiessling was on the scoresheet for the Werkself, while Mame Biram Diouf grabbed the decidsive goal in H96’s win over Schalke.

Ribery: Mourinho wanted me at Chelsea

The Frenchman says that he is in constant contact with the Portuguese but insists he is relishing playing under Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has revealed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wanted to take him to Stamford Bridge.

The France international was heavily linked with the English outfit in 2010 during Carlo Ancelotti’s time at the helm, but the winger has revealed the new Blues boss was also keen to tempt him to move to London.

“We often talk,” Ribery said of Mourinho in an interview with German magazine Kicker. “He wanted me to go to Chelsea.”

Ribery is now fully focused on leading Bayern to victory over Mourinho’s side in Friday’s European Super Cup showdown.

“We have a good relationship and respect between us,” the 30-year-old explained. “But I want to beat him!”

The Frenchman went on to admit that he is loving life under new Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, who replaced Jupp Heynckes at the helm earlier this summer.

“The contact with him and the players, the warmth he brings – I have all I need to feel good,” he enthused.

“I have already had many conversations with him. I have got to know him well – and vice versa. It’s not that I need to feel important but I need a relationship [with the coach].

“A hello, a little pat on the back, some praise – these things give me confidence, and only when I have that can I also give my best.”

Ribery, one of the favourites to lift the Ballon d’Or following his exceptional form last season, joined Bayern from Marseille in 2007.

Freiburg – Bayern Munich Preview: Champions seek fourth win in four

Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident Bayern Munich can continue their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season against Freiburg on Tuesday.

The defending champions have conceded just one goal in the process of beating Borussia Monchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt and Nuremberg. 

Pep Guardiola’s men are included in a group of four teams who boast 100 per cent records, but Schweinsteiger insists that there is more to come from Bayern given their relative struggles in front of goal against their Bavarian rivals.

“I knew Nuremberg would basically defend in their own half,” he said. 

“We could certainly have scored a goal or two much earlier.

“We had to be a little bit patient, and we were. But we always stayed on the attack.

“Everyone saw that we shifted up a gear in the second half, and then we scored the vital opening goal. We know we can play even better, but that’ll come.”

Bayern were able to name Ribery in their starting line-up for the win over Nuremberg, despite suffering an ankle injury against Frankfurt, while Mario Gotze made his competitive debut for the club. 

However, they will be without Thiago Alcantara for at least seven weeks after the Spanish midfielder tore ankle ligaments in Saturday’s game at the Allianz Arena. 

Bayern did not concede against Freiburg in the Bundesliga last season, winning 2-0 at the Mage Solar Stadion in November before taking three points at home thanks to an Emre Can goal. 

Despite finishing fifth last season and qualifying for the Europa League, Christian Streich’s men have endured a tough start to their league campaign this time around and are yet to record a win. 

However, once they have taken on Guardiola’s men on Tuesday, Freiburg will have faced three of the current top-four sides. 

While striker Sebastian Freis is in good form, having scored two of Freiburg’s five goals this season, the visitors’ leaky defence will be a cause for concern going into the clash.

Having conceded eight goals in just three games, Freiburg will need to be on their mettle to keep Bayern’s frontline at bay.