Monday, May 22, 2017

Bayern can win Champions League – Santa Cruz

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 May 2016

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Bayern Munich can overturn their 1-0 semi-final deficit against Atletico Madrid and go on to win the Champions League, former striker Roque Santa Cruz believes.

The striker, who made over 150 appearances for the Bavarian club between 1999 and 2007, insisted that the Bundesliga leaders can beat Diego Simeone’s men in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg.

Bayern play host to Atletico at the Allianz Arena, where they have emerged victorious 21 times from 23 games this season.

And Santa Cruz expects home-field advantage to prove pivotal on their way to a sixth European Cup.

“I think Bayern have all the chances to keep going through the Champions League,” Santa Cruz told Omnisport.

“They still have an adverse score but I think they are perfectly capable to get over it, so they can have the chance to fight for the Champions League.  

“I think they have a very important team which will give them everything they need to fight on the three fronts, they have everything at hand, so they’ll have to compete and see how are those games going on.”

Santa Cruz also fondly recalled Bayern’s 2001 Champions League triumph, the German side winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Valencia in Milan.

“Spectacular, that was the year when we won the Champions League after a long time,” the 34-year-old recalled.

“We had been always close, fighting in semi-finals, losing finals, and well, that was truly a magical night.

“It is a really lovely memory for everyone who was there and every Bayern fan, to conquer that fourth Champions League.”

Santa Cruz believes Carlo Ancelotti could face difficulties as he prepares to take over from the Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola next season.

“I think it’s complicated to replace a successful manager, even more in a team so prestigious and great like Bayern, because anything below winning the league is too little,” the Paraguayan said. 

“Plus, in the last years they’re winning the cup [DFB-Pokal] too, so you don’t have too much to improve, and that is more pressure on you. But that was the same situation Guardiola found in his arrival at a team which had won the treble.

“Bayern are a team that live in the present, that leaves all the past behind, but Ancelotti will have the same pressure, having to be successful from the first year.”

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