an Late Tuesday evening, when the fans above the stadium in Barcelona had already disappeared, FC Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann, sat down in the press room and said a surprising sentence: “This is my first time at a club where You’re going into the Champions League not as an underdog, but as someone who should win. What he said was not surprising, but where he said it. He didn’t sit at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon or the Olimpijsquez in Kiev, where he will compete with his new team in the Champions League preliminary round over the next few weeks. He was seated at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, where football has been played more beautifully than any other stadium in the world in this century.
Is this really a place where FC Bayern “should win”?
Yes, it will happen in September 2021. That evening at the Camp Nou, only the colors of the jersey were reminiscent of FC Barcelona, which has shaped the game with its own style of play. Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, among others, defensive and midfielders, ran on the lawn in red and blue shirts. Under coach Pep Guardiola he was a co-producer on a formidable team. Led by coach Ronald Koeman, they are meanwhile the followers of an unlikely team that can hardly defend themselves in their stadium. According to the interpreter at the press conference, Koman later said, “We tried to maximize.” The maximum was then: a 0:3. And because these three goals from Thomas Müller (34th) and Robert Lewandowski (56th, 85th) were actually still too few, another Munich guest Joshua Kimmich said a little less cautiously: “We could have won more “
It certainly hasn’t happened often in recent years that an away player at Camp Nou was able to draw such a conclusion with a clear conscience. “If you win 3-0 here, that’s a very important sign,” said Thomas Mueller – but then did not explain how the sign should be interpreted: whether the winners were the only superiors or the losers only. Were you?
“They showed today that they are better than us,” said Ronald Koeman, who had to watch from the front row as his players, only once surprised those from Munich. In the 28th minute, defender Ronald Araujo, who had relinquished his position for a free kick, remained unrestricted in the penalty area. He led the ball over the goal. and otherwise? “If you don’t have momentum in front of you, it’s very difficult to win,” Koeman said. But it was not only the movement in the legs, but the most of the movement in the mind and in the pass. The new Barca team lacks the old Barca qualities.
If you looked near Camp Nou before the first game of the season in the Champions League, you saw fans of a club that has physically drawn to the reality of the present, but yet mentally detached itself from the past. not done. Men and women sold jerseys numbered 10 at the stands in front of the stadium, but not the name of Anu Fati, who will henceforth wear this number, but the name of Lionel Messi, who made them. last 13 years. But Messi is gone – because FC Barcelona (gross debt: 1.35 billion euros) can no longer afford him. The only thing is this: although the quality of the squad has declined, instead of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann (loaned to Atletico Madrid) playing in Memphis Depay and Luc de Jong Hurricanes, but the demand is not. Neither internal nor external. And so on that first evening of the Champions League, FC Barcelona looked like a poker player who always had an ace and a king in his hand – and now competes in a showdown with the big players with only ten and nine .
Julian Nagelsmann and his Bavarian were immediately caught up in the hoax on Tuesday evening. They kept making the players of FC Barcelona helpless. You can see that especially in those moments when they should have attacked. Or as Robert Lewandowski put it: “Barca could not see our goal.” His coach saw it that way. “We defended very well and very passionately,” Nagelsmann said – and explained that with control of the ball. This guarantees “the grain needed on the defensive to defend more actively”. This was visible – in the Catalan half and Bayern’s half, where the back four lost almost no duels around central defender Dayat Upamecano. “And if you have the offensive quality that we have,” Nagelsmann said, “the chances are high that you will win even with zero games.” That’s what happened – even though they were at least lucky before the first goal. Thomas Müller’s shot, which might have been saved by Barca’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, got distracted.
In the Camp Nou press room, Julian Nagelsmann said that after his first Champions League win with his new club, he would take a “little sip”. And yet doubts arose that the coach and his team tasted victory against an opponent, at least not until late at night in Barcelona this season.
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