Joshua Kimmich Slams ‘Naive’ Bayern Performance But Insists Real Madrid Have Big Weaknesses

Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich has admitted that his side were “naive and reckless” during their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

The 23-year-old opened the scoring for his side at the Allianz Arena, but goals from Marcelo and Asensio gives Real Madrid the advantage going into next week’s return fixture.

“We were completely naive and reckless with our chances. Real shot twice on goal and twice they scored. That’s their quality and that just [must] not happen to us” Kimmich told ​German media after the game.

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One

“If a team shoots twice on goal and scores twice, that’s quality. But today they have also clearly shown that they have very big weaknesses.”

The German defender has played 41 times this season in all competitions, and already with the Bundesliga title all wrapped up, will be hoping to turn the game around in the return leg. But, with wasted opportunities in the first leg, Bayern will need to step things up if they are to proceed any further in the competition. 

“Last season we also turned it around, more or less, so that we took the game into extra time. We know that we have to score two goals. It’s possible – Juve showed that, we showed it last year” Kimmich added. 

“I would say the game itself was not a bad one, but such mistakes are simply punished in the Champions League semi final, especially against Real Madrid.

“I did not expect that we would have so many chances, but you just have to take them and kill them in the first half.”

Bayern Munich need to score at least two goals at the Santiago Bernabéu to reach the final of the Champions League.

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Real Madrid will be hoping to become the first team to lift the prestigious trophy three years in a row, since Bayern Munich themselves achieved the feat between 1974 and 1976. 


Former Spurs Boss Tips Gareth Bale to Choose London Homecoming Over Bayern Munich Switch

Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp expects Gareth Bale to leave Real Madrid this summer in favour of a move back to Tottenham ​and not Bayern Munich, as has recently been reported.

The Welsh winger has endured a torrid time in Spain since leaving the north London giants in 2013, picking up a number of injuries which have hindered his expected transition into one of the world’s best.


The 28-year-old is rarely out of the treatment room, and word from behind the scenes is that Florentino Perez and manager Zinedine Zidane have lost patience with the player.

Speaking to ​talkSPORT, Redknapp, who managed Spurs from 2008-2012, said: “Gareth would be a great signing for Tottenham, it would be fantastic.

“He’s an amazing player. He can play so many positions and in so many systems, there are so many strings to his bow, he’s such a fantastic talent.

Tottenham's English manager Harry Redkna

“Going back to Tottenham – if he comes back [to the Premier League] he would only go to a top-six club, but it would be nice to see him go back to Spurs.

“I think he’ll come home, he’s a homeboy. I remember giving him four or five days off at Tottenham, we didn’t have a game for two weeks or something, and he went back to Wales to see his mum, he didn’t go abroad or anywhere exotic. He’s quite a Steady Eddie, I think he’d like to be back at home.”


It was Redknapp’s management at Spurs that allowed Bale to flourish, and a number of fans would surely love to see him return to the Premier League where he initially became a superstar, and avoid the less publicised Bundesliga.


Spanish Report Claims Real Madrid Have Put Clubs on Alert With Decision to Drop Price for Star Pair

​Clubs including ​Manchester United, ​Chelsea and ​Tottenham have reportedly been put on high alert as Real Madrid are willing to drop their asking price for both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, according to notorious Spanish outlet Don Balon (via ​TeamTalk).

Both players have been ​strongly linked with the exit door at the Bernabéu Stadium over the last few months.

The report claims that president of Real Florentino Perez has dropped the price of both players, with the two starts now reportedly available for just €70m (£61.1m). 

Although, the report does later claim that the price would be the starting point of any negotiations between clubs over the future of the two stars. 

Bidding wars could see the price for both will see that figure rise to nearer £100m, according to the report. 

If the starting price that has been reported is accurate, it may encourage any clubs that have shown a interest in the players to make the first move. 

​Premier League clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with Wales star Gareth Bale, while a return to Tottenham has also been mentioned as a possibility for the 28-year-old.

Bale joined Real from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, and has gone onto score 81 goals in 183 appearances for the Spanish club. 

Team mate Karim Benzma has been at the club for almost ten seasons, making a total of 405 appearance for Los Blancos, scoring 190 goals. 


However, the reports of a reduced price for both should be taken with caution, as the outlet that has reported the news has a reputation for reporting things that don’t always turn out to be true. 


Dani Carvajal a Doubt for Bayern Return Leg After Suffering Thigh Strain in UCL Semi Final 1st Leg

Real Madrid were without right back Dani Carvajal in a recovery training session on Thursday following the previous evening’s 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi final tie.

Carvajal lasted just 67 minutes of the game, with Lucas Vazquez forced to operate as an emergency defender in the closing stages to help keep Bayern at bay in Munich.


Although there has been no official word from Real, news from Spain suggests that the 26-year-old’s thigh problem means he is likely to be sidelined for a period of two to three weeks.

That would see him miss the return leg against Bayern next week, giving coach Zinedine Zidane a potential defensive headache as he plugs the gap in the defence. Continuing with Vazquez may be the best option, with Nacho still recovering from injury and Achraf Hakimi still very young.

Caravjal should, however, be fit for the Champions League final in Kyiv on 26th May if Real can hold onto their advantage. He has played in each of the club’s three triumphs in the last four years.


In the recovery session, there was an opportunity for 20-year-old Castilla forward Victor Campuzano to join in with the first team squad. Under-19 goalkeeper Dario was also involved.

(You may also be interested in ‘Liverpool Tell Real Madrid to Forget Signing Mohamed Salah Even for Record-Equalling €222m Deal’)


‘My Goodness’: Twitter Reacts as Full Backs Grab the Headlines in Real Madrid’s 1st Leg Win

​Finally! A UEFA Champions League semi final between two of the best teams in Europe. 

‘But there was a Champions League semi final last night too?’ Yes, but it was between Liverpool and AS Roma… Liverpool and AS ROMA.

Last night’s ‘clash’ between England and Italy’s fourth best teams was, in truth, more worthy of the Europa League than the Champions League. Thankfully tonight however, we were blessed with a genuine heavyweight meeting between to European giants, and it’s fair to say that Twitter was fairly excited by this: 

Within ten minutes of kick off Bayern Munich fans’ pre match excitement from Bayern Munich turned to dread, sadness, dejection (insert more sadness synonyms here), as they watched their star man Arjen Robben being carted off with an apparent muscle strain: 


Despite Robben’s injury, Bayern continued to beat on, boat against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past*, and ensured that the aforementioned woe felt by Bayern Munich fans all across Twitter didn’t last too long. On the half hour mark, a powerful right foot strike from Joshua Kimmich and some horrendous goalkeeping from well known horrendous goalkeeper Keylor Navas, gave Bayern a 1-0 lead: 

*words courtesy of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Just as I finished collating Tweets for Kimmich’s opener, another full back decided to pop up with a goal. Despite Bayern Munich’s first half dominance, it wasn’t Kimmich or Rafinha (it’s never Rafinha), it was Real Madrid’s Marcelo, who grabbed a crucial – and brilliant – away goal for Los Blancos. 

The Brazilian international’s goal was so crucial in fact, that some Real Madrid fans went full cap locks on Twitter to celebrate. Because that’s how we celebrate goals nowadays? 

Ten minutes into the second half, a third and final full back decided that he too wanted to make the headlines. 

With the tabloids in mind, Rafinha decided to play a square ball directly into the path of Lucas Vazquez, who was subsequently able to tee up Marco Asensio for Real Madrid’s second goal of the evening: 

After Rafinha’s costly error, through self-nullification rather than great defending form Real Madrid, Bayern’s hopes of grabbing an equaliser petered out. Los Blancos were genuinely bad, but the Bavarian’s – somehow – found a way to be worse:

A 2-1 away win at the Allianz Arena will look impressive in the history books. But with Bayern Munich being explicitly hampered by injuries to some of their star players, and essentially just shooting themselves in the foot in the second half, a questions remains: is the 2017/18 Real Madrid good, or just unbelievably lucky? 



Bayern Munich 1-2 Real Madrid: Visitors Take Advantage of Wasteful Bavarians With Smash and Grab Win

Real Madrid called upon all of their experience at the Allianz Arena to snatch a third successive win in Germany, coming from behind to take control of the first leg with a masterclass in counter attacking football.

The left footed efforts of defender Marcelo and substitute Marco Asensio was enough to take advantage of a wasteful Bayern Munich, who never got going after taking the lead through a Joshua Kimmich strike.


Following Liverpool’s explosive first half against Roma in the other Champions League semi-final, both sides in the Allianz Arena erred on the side of caution in a cagey start. As they jostled for early possession on a tantalising night in Germany, an early blow struck the already depleted Bayern Munich squad, as former Los Blancos star Arjen Robben left the pitch with an inconspicuous thigh injury.

Replacing the dangerous Dutch winger, Thiago Alcantara tried to get a hold of the ball for the hosts, giving the ball away several times in a first half opening lacking clear-cut chances.

With chances few and far between, the best opportunity in the first 20 minutes fell to an unlikely source, as full back Dani Carvajal found space in the box following a neat one-two, smashing a shot at deputy goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

Showing his counterpart how it’s done, young starlet and promising defender Joshua Kimmich took full advantage of a wasted opportunity, breaking forward to give the Bavarians the lead. Starting the move inside his own box, a sweeping counter attack ended with Kimmich emphatically bagging his fifth goal of the season emphatically, smashing home from a James Rodriguez pass – on loan from parent club Real Madrid – to give Bayern Munich the lead.

Replays showed a poor effort from Keylor Navas to save a routine shot, as the Costa Rican demonstrated a lack of experience to dive over the ball instead of parrying away.

Jerome Boateng also departed the field with a hamstring injury inside 30 minutes as the hosts dropped like flies. Not stopping the Bayern Munich juggernaut, who have already wrapped up the Bundesliga and still on course for a treble, Franck Ribery wasted a chance to double the lead with a poor first touch inside the box, sparing the blushes of the Los Merengues defence.

Lining up to take full advantage of a lacklustre Real Madrid back line, Germany international Mats Hummels was close to the second of the night, driving a volley from eight yards out over the bar from a Bayern Munich corner.

Against the run of play, the experience of Real Madrid highlighted if you don’t take your chances you will pay for it. On the stroke of half time, a headed pass across the box from Carvajal teed up an unmarked Marcelo outside the box after a Ronaldo overhead kick attempt. With his head up, the Brazilian defender smashed home a left footed shot to level up the game and kick off the battle of the full backs.

With just enough time before an enthralling end to the first half, Polish captain Robert Lewandowski should’ve put the hosts back in the lead, fluffing his lines and a free-header from a Rodriguez free kick. Wasting chance after chance, Thomas Muller also got in on the act with a missed diving header at the back post.

The half time team talk showed at the beginning of the second half, as Bayern Munich fired out of the blocks. The dangerous Ribery, turning the defence inside out all night, was inches away from gifting his side a second. Showing a clean set of heels to Casemiro, the French winger pulled a cross back to set up a tap in for Muller, but an excellent intervention from Raphael Varane kept the score line level.


It didn’t take long for that to change as Bayern Munich, despite their domestic dominance, again  highlighted their naivety in European competition. From a corner, the hosts were punished for a poor mistake on the half way line. With only two defenders back, Rafinha gifted possession to half time substitute Asensio.

The exciting Spanish winger staked a claim for a starting berth with blistering pace. Giving the ball out wide to Carvajal, the compatriots linked up as Asensio received the ball in acres of space inside the box, before placing his shot past Ulreich with ease to snatch two away goals.

Taking matters into his own hands, Ribery nearly equalised instantly from another corner. Jinking inside the box, the former Marseille midfielder again tested Navas with a low shot that was pushed away from goal.

Not for the first time in the first leg, referee Bjorn Kuipers was called into action as the home fans jeered for another penalty claim, which was waved away by the Dutch official after a tangle between Lewandowski and Muller.

In a frantic second half, Kuipers waved away further protests from Ronaldo, who had the ball in the back of the net. Controlling the ball expertly – albeit with his arm – the Portuguese talisman buried his shot, which was instantly ruled out.

Sensing a chance to put the tie to bed, substitute Karim Benzema nearly bagged a third with 15 minutes left on the clock. The French forward was in a perfect position to score, but the striker who has been in and out of the team hit his first attempt straight at the goalkeeper.

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One

With the final clear cut chance of the game, Real Madrid transfer target Lewandowski fluffed his lines once again, missing a relatively easy chance with the goal gaping as Navas breathed a sigh of relief.

A relieved Zinedine Zidane looked delighted at the final whistle as his side take two vital away goals back to Santiago Bernabeu for the second-leg in a weeks’ time.


Local Heroes: 14 Home Grown Players Who Led Their Clubs as Captain

Barcelona have a tradition of home grown captains, with current skipper Andres Iniesta the third consecutive club captain at Camp Nou to have come through the youth ranks.

It extends back to 2004 and will likely continue following Iniesta’s expected departure this summer, with Lionel Messi next in line to keep it going.

Home grown captains make football special and help to retain an element of identity in an ever more globalised game.

Here’s a look at 14 home grown captains from around Europe in recent memory…

14. Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid)

Fernando Torres was only a teenager when he was named Atletico Madrid captain during his first spell with the club 15 years ago, having risen through the ranks to become a local talisman upon the club’s return to La Liga from a spell in the second tier.

The striker would eventually leave Atletico in 2007 for a rollercoaster of a career with Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan. He then returned to Madrid in 2014, initially on loan, although he hasn’t been been reinstated as skipper.  

13. Mark Noble (West Ham)

A 17-year-old Mark Noble helped West Ham earn promotion from the Championship back to the Premier League in 2004/05 after breaking into the first team during the campaign. And by 2007, the young east Londoner had established himself as a regular.

Upon taking over the role from Kevin Nolan, Noble had the honour of captaining the Hammers in their final season at Upton Park and has now worn the armband for three seasons. Still only 30 years of age, he will likely surpass 450 West Ham appearances next season.  

12. Gabi (Atletico Madrid)

Madrid-born Gabi rose through the Atletico youth ranks and made his senior debut for the club at the age of 20 in 2004. But after just a couple of seasons, the combative midfielder actually left his boyhood team to join Real Zaragoza instead.

After four seasons away, Gabi returned in the summer of 2011 and was soon made captain. He lifted the Europa League trophy at the end of his first year back and later got his hands on the Copa del Rey, La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup.  

11. Tony Adams (Arsenal)

Originally hailing from Romford in east London, Tony Adams joined Arsenal as a schoolboy at the age of 14 in 1980 and had made his debut for the first team by the age of 17. Remarkably, he was made club captain at the age of just 21 in 1988.

In 14 long years as Gunners skipper, the defender won four league titles, three FA Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, before retiring in 2002. Impressively, he captained league title winning sides in three separate decades: the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.  

10. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

After serving as one of Barcelona’s numerous understudy captains from as early as 2008, Andres Iniesta finally took over the armband in 2015. Immediately, his reign continued the club’s success as the season finished with La Liga glory.

This season, Iniesta has lifted the Copa del Rey and looks set to add another La Liga title to his collection. However, despite recently signing a new ‘contract for life’, it looks likely to be his last at Camp Nou as a potential move to China beckons.

9. Gary Neville (Man Utd)

Gary Neville was named Manchester United’s new club captain in 2006 shortly after Roy Keane’s sudden exit from the club towards the end of the previous year. Unfortunately for the determined defender, much of his time in the role was spent injured.

Having played close to 500 games for United prior to 2006, Neville managed barely more than 100 in his five years as skipper as a result of injury and age. He was ruled out of most of the club’s successful 2007/08 campaign, but played a meaningful role in 2008/09 and 2009/10.  

8. Xavi (Barcelona)

Xavi was Barcelona captain for just a single season in 2014/15 before he left the club to wind down his career in Qatar, but it was an incredible campaign that resulted in Bara completing the second historic treble in their history.

He only started half of the games in La Liga that season and was a substitute in both the Copa del Rey and Champions League finals, but it was the perfect way to bring down the curtain on an incredible career with his boyhood club.  

7. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Steven Gerrard spent 12 long years as Liverpool captain from succeeding Sami Hyypia in the role at the age of 23 to leaving his boyhood club in the summer of 2015 to spend his final 18 months as a professional with LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer.

Gerrard steered Liverpool towards their greatest modern triumph in 2005 when his inspirational performance was central to winning the Champions League. His incredible late goal in the FA Cup final a year later also pushed the Reds to victory.  

6. John Terry (Chelsea)

Having been courted by Manchester United as a youngster, John Terry joined Chelsea at the age of 15 and was eventually captaining his club by the time he was 23, taking over from retiring World Cup winning veteran as Stamford Bridge skipper.

Terry’s first season wearing the armband coincided with Jose Mourinho’s arrival as manager and he lifted the first of four Premier League titles. He also lifted the Champions League in 2012, even though he was suspended for the final, and several domestic cups.  

5. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas inherited the captain’s armband at Real Madrid in 2010, having already been a first team regular for 11 seasons at that point, and a heavily decorated one at that. He had first joined Los Blancos in 1990 at the age of nine.

Casillas was the Real captain who finally picked up the elusive Decima in the Champions League in 2014, while also lifting the 2011/12 La Liga title and the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup during his five-year reign as skipper.  

4. Raul (Real Madrid)

Raul was initially a youth prospect at Atletico Madrid, but city rivals Real were able to poach the 15-year-old in the early 1990s when controversial Atleti president Jesus Gil opted to close down the academy. Real promptly put the finishing touches on Raul and he debuted in 1994.

His captaincy coincided with the emergence of the Galacticos era, but Raul ensured the club at least retained a home grown element among the marquee signings. In all, he lifted two La Liga titles as Real skipper, as well as a Spanish Super Cup.  

3. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)

Philipp Lahm’s first real taste of senior football came during a two-year loan spell at Stuttgart early in his career, but the Munich-born defender was Bayern through and through and would go on to enjoy incredible levels of success with his boyhood club.

Having initially joined the club as a 12-year-old, Lahm became Bayern captain partway through the 2010/11 season and finished that campaign with his first Bundesliga title as captain. He was later skipper for the 2012/13 treble season, eventually retiring at the top in 2017.  

2. Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

A true one-club man, Carles Puyol was made Barcelona captain in the summer of 2004 when Luis Enrique retired and saw great success as the club transitioned from one era to the next, winning back-to-back La Liga titles and the Champions League with an international squad.

Puyol remained a crucial piece of the jigsaw under the management of Pep Guardiola as a senior member of a team filled with fellow La Masia graduates. He was skipper as the club won its first treble in 2008/09, adding a further Champions League title in 2010/11.  

1. Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)

AC Milan is in Paolo Maldini’s blood. His father, Cesare, was a former European Cup winning captain with the club, and a 10-year-old Paolo first joined I Rossoneri junior ranks at the age of 10 in 1978, before himself becoming captain in 1997 after already 12 years in the first team.

Maldini’s first honour as Milan captain was the 1998/99 Serie A title, followed by two further domestic triumphs, a Coppa Italia and Champions League glory in 2002/03 and 2006/07. He eventually hung up his boots in 2009 after more than 900 games, over 400 as captain.  


REVEALED: Lionel Messi Will Out Earn Cristiano Ronaldo by €32m This Season

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is by far the highest paid player in the world this season and will finish the campaign having earned in excess of €30m more than rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi signed a new contract with Barça in November that is thought to be a major factor behind propelling him ahead of Real Madrid’s Ronaldo.


Neymar was also thought to be ahead of Ronaldo in terms of basic wages following his summer move to PSG, but the Brazilian remains behind the Portuguese overall as France Football’s list also takes into account all bonuses and sponsorship income.

Messi’s overall income this season will total an estimated €126m, ahead of Ronaldo on €94m, and Neymar on €81.5m. The trio, who were Ballon d’Or finalists together in 2015 and 2017, are way ahead of the rest of the world’s best paid players this season.

Ronaldo’s Real teammate Gareth Bale is fourth on the list with earnings of €44m, while Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is next on €29m, almost €100m less than Messi.

Real Madrid v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

La Liga players dominate the top 10, with LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic the only player other than Neymar not at a Spanish club. The Swede famously took a massive pay cut to join the Californian franchise, but his other incomes have been booming this season.

Others playing in England, China and Germany feature in the top 20:

Player​ Club​ 2017/18 Earnings (€)
​Lionel Messi ​Barcelona (ESP) €126m​
Cristiano Ronaldo​ Real Madrid (ESP)​ €94m​
Neymar​ Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)​ ​€81.5m
​Gareth Bale ​Real Madrid (ESP) €44m​
​Gerard Pique ​Barcelona (ESP) €29m​
​Toni Kroos ​Real Madrid (ESP) ​€28m
​Sergio Ramos ​Real Madrid (ESP) €27.5m​
Zlatan Ibrahimovic​ LA Galaxy (USA)​ €27m​
​Antoine Griezmann ​Atletcio Madrid (ESP) ​€26m
​Luis Suarez ​Barcelona (ESP) ​€26m
​Andres Iniesta ​Barcelona (ESP) ​€25.5m
​Ezequiel Lavezzi Hebei China Fortun​e (CHN) €25m​
Alexis Sanchez​ ​Manchester United (ENG) ​€23.5m
​Karim Benzema ​Real Madrid (ESP) ​€23.5m
​Thomas Muller ​Bayern Munich (GER) ​€23m
​Edinson Cavani ​Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) €22.5m​
Oscar​ Shanghai SIPG (CHN)​ €22m​
Robert Lewandowski​ Bayern Munich (GER)​ €22m​
​Paul Pogba ​Manchester United (ENG) ​€22m
Manuel Neuer​ Bayern Munich (GER)​ €21m​


​​Messi is the first footballer to earn more than €100m in a single season.


Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid: Picking a Combined XI Ahead of Wednesday’s UEFChampions League Clash

​After a disappointing La Liga campaign, Real Madrid will be looking to the Champions League to save their season. 

But Bayern Munich stand in their way on Wednesday and a clash against the German champions will be by no means an easy game for Madrid.

Bayern have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title this season meaning manager Jupp Heynckes has had the chance to rest his star players in preparation for the midweek fixture. Real Madrid also come into this game with fresh legs though, having not played at the weekend. 

The two teams boast some of the world’s best footballing talent, and with everyone fully prepared for the fixture it promises to be an exciting encounter. With that being said, here is a hypothetical starting XI if those talents decided to join forces and play for one team. 

1. GK: Sven Ulreich (Bayern Munich)

Had this game come a month later I may be putting Manuel Neuer in the goalkeeper slot, but the German keeper has only recently recovered from injury and is unlikely to feature in the game ahead of Sven Ulreich who has been Bayern’s number one for most of the season. 

Keylor Navas could easily have been selected in goal but Ulreich has deputised well in Neuer’s absence and boasts double the clean sheets of Navas in the league. The Bayern Munich keeper hasn’t conceded in 12 Bundesliga games, whereas Navas has only managed six clean sheets for Madrid in La Liga. 

2. RB: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Kimmich faced a hard task to replace the retired Philipp Lahm this season, but the 23 year old has stepped up to the challenge. Kimmich has registered ten assists from full-back this season in just 26 appearances, and has even bagged a couple of goals in the Champions league.

Daniel Carvajal has stood out for Madrid this season but his attacking statistics are nowhere near as impressive as Kimmich’s and the Spaniard tends to suffer from ill-discipline, having picked up 15 yellow cards this season. 

3. LB: Marcelo (Real Madrid)

David Alaba and Marcelo are arguably the two best left-backs in the world, so to choose one or the other is tough.

But Marcelo has to go in the combined XI by default. Alaba has struggled over the past week with a thigh injury and is a doubt for Wednesday’s tie.  

Marcelo, however, is a perfectly good replacement. The Brazilian was instrumental in Real Madrid’s Champions League winning campaign last season and given license to go forward can be deadly in the final third.


4. CB: Jerome Boateng

Boateng has been a mainstay in Bayern Munich’s defence since 2011 and that does not look to change anytime soon. 

He has been central Bayern and Germany’s success over recent years, helping the German club to six Bundesliga titles and his international team to a World Cup win in 2014.  

The former Manchester City man boasts strength and pace in abundance, making him one of the worlds best in his position.  

5. CB: Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is the perfect defensive leader. 

No defender has been as influential in world football than the Madrid man in recent years. His influence on this Madrid team has been made abundantly clear in his recent absence, especially in Madrid’s 3-1 loss to Juventus in the last round of the Champions League.

Ramos’ passion, fearlessness and occasional recklessness is all part of the Madrid skipper’s charm and what has made him such a defensive icon.

6. CM: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

Toni Kroos has to go in this team. 

The former Bayern Munich man is absolutely vital in any success that Madrid have. His lack of pace is offset by his unrivalled ability to read the game, and his phenomenal passing range which has seen him rack up seven assists this season.

7. CM: Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)

Partnering Kroos is Thiago Alcantara. 

Thiago has been touted as the next Xavi for good reason. Just like Xavi, Thiago has a fantastic eye for as pass and is superb with the ball at his feet. 

But the 26 year old Bayern Munich man is not just a carbon copy of the Barcelona legend, and has elements of his game that even Xavi did not hold. Besides from his passing capabilities, Thiago’s defensive contribution is strong and he has shown prowess in front of goal this season. 

The Spaniard has scored 7 in all competitions this season, despite having missed a big chunk of the season through injury. 

8. CM: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric rounds off the midfield three, ahead of the likes of James Rodriguez, Javi Martínez and Casemiro. 

The Croatian is a more well-rounded player than his competitors for the midfield position. He can defend, as well as attack at an impressive level, but the influence Modric can have on a game makes him an easy addition to this team.  

9. CAM: Isco (Real Madrid)

Another tough position to pick, the centre attacking midfield role has options such as Müller, Marco Asensio and even James Rodriguez who can also play higher up the pitch. 

But Isco’s season for Madrid makes him the obvious choice. Isco has scored six and registered six assists in La Liga this season, despite not holding a consistent position in the Madrid lineup. 

His fast feet and ability to hold up the ball make him one of the most promising players in the Madrid squad.

10. ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

There is really much more that needs to be said. Ronaldo started Madrid’s league campaign poorly but has since picked up 24 goals in the league and 15 in the Champions League, scoring in every single game of the competition. 

Ronaldo has found a new role as a central striker in his latter years, but the position change hasn’t made him any less potent in front of goal. 

11. ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Whether Lewandowski will still be at Bayern Munich come this time next year or indeed at the club who Bayern face on Wednesday is unknown. 

What we do know however, is that the Polish striker cannot stop scoring. He has scored 28 in 28 appearances in the Bundesliga this season making him a sure addition to this squad. 


5 Classic European Cup Clashes Between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid

Bayern Munich face Real Madrid at Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening, in a fixture that has returned some up and down results over the years. 

While both teams have endured very different fortunes in years gone by, they are now two of Europe’s biggest clubs.

In anticipation of this season defining game, here’s five classic clashes between these two teams that had very different impacts on the title.

5. Real Madrid 1-1 Bayern Munich, March 1976

In 1976 the two great aristocrats of European football were drawn against each other in the semi final of the European Cup. The meeting had anything you could possibly want in a football match; a broken nose, a pitch invasion, and some truly calamitous defending.  

Roberto Martinez opened the scoring for Real, but Bayern Munich equalised through Gerd Muller while Madrid were still protesting to the referee about a corner they felt they should have been awarded. 

Roberto Martinez broke his nose in the second half in a collision with Bayern goalkeeper Sepp Maier. Towards the end of the game, Madrid striker Santillana was shoved over in the penalty area, just for the referee to controversially wave play on. 

Incensed by the refereeing decisions a Real Madrid fan evaded police officers and dashed onto the pitch to attack Gerd Muller, and the match official. The situation was a massive embarrassment for Real Madrid, who had long resisted putting up metal cages that many European stadiums had installed.

The game finished 1-1, and Bayern Munich progressed into the final after winning the second leg 2-0. 

4. Bayern Munich 4-1 Real Madrid, April 1987

In 1987 Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were paired together again for the semi finals of 1986/87 Champions Cup. Both teams were leading their respective domestic divisions and were enjoying fine seasons in Europe.

Bayern Munich won the game 4-1 but besides from the emphatic scoreline, the game is notable for the actions of Madrid player Juanito. 

Real were already 3-1 down when Lothar Matthaus bundled into right back Chendo with a cynical two-footed challenge. Chendo jumped to his feet and shoved Matthaus to the floor. 

Juanito charged over, bringing his studs down into Matthaus’s back, in full view of the referee Bob Valentine and then proceeded to lift his right knee once more and brought it down on Matthaus’s jaw. The Madrid forward was unsurprisingly sent off and missed the second leg of the tie, in which Real were eliminated from the competition losing 4-2 on aggregate.

3. Bayern Munich 4-1 Real Madrid, March 2000

13 years on Lothar Mathaus was still on the scene, playing in the centre of a back three for Bayern Munich. 

Mehmet Scholl opened the scoring for Bayern Munich despite being offside by a comically large distance. Giovanni Elber doubled the lead after Fernando Hierro had misjudged a long punt from Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. 

Real pulled one back but two late goals from Alexander Zickler completed the rout. Bayern won 4-2 at the Bernabeu, meaning they had scored eight goals against Real in the space of just a week.

2. Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich, April 2012

The two sides met again in 2012. The tie finished 3-3 on aggregate after the two legs.

The second leg was hosted by Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. The home side were 2-1 up after 90 minutes, and the game went all the way to penalties. 

Ronaldo stepped up to take the first penalty but it was saved by Manuel Neuer. Casillas then saved from Kroos then of Bayern Munich and Lahm to put the shoot-out level, but then Sergio Ramos blazed his penalty miles over the bar, and that was that. 

1. Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich, April 2017

In another tie riddled with refereeing errors Bayern Munich fell out of the Champions League quarter finals after a Ronaldo hat trick helped Real Madrid to a 4-2 win in extra time.   

Bayern had done well to get themselves back into the tie after coming into the game 2-1 down from the result in the first leg. 

The German team were on top in the game, and had brought the aggregate score back to 3-3. But referee Viktor Kassai sent off Arturo Vidal incorrectly near the end of normal time. 

Salt was rubbed into Bayern Munich wounds when Ronaldo then went on to score two offside goals in the extra time period to send Madrid into the next round.