Thursday, November 23, 2017

Champions League quest fires Bayern and Muller

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 11 Aug 2016

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Thomas Muller believes the quest to win another Champions League will keep Bayern Munich’s motivation levels high this season.

Bayern are aiming to win a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title, having finished top of the pile domestically in each of Pep Guardiola’s three seasons at the helm.

But Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice during his time with Barcelona, was unable to add Europe’s top prize during a trophy laden spell, meaning his Bayern did not scale the heights of Jupp Heynckes’ 2012-13 treble winners.

“The objectives are the same each year,” Germany international Muller told a news conference. “We want to win everything there is to win, which is not to be confused with the impression that everything is nothing other than the treble. 

“This is the small but distinct difference. The targets are large and well justified, but – you know it well yourselves – everything is just not predictable. Even if you play well you can lose and vice versa.”

New boss Carlo Ancelotti boasts one more Champions League crown than Guardiola but Muller made light of the suggestion that this could be a decisive factor.

“Pep Guardiola had also not the worst record,” he said. “Yes, okay, he has won one less title and that is certainly bad, you’re right! I forgot.”

Muller added: “It is always the same on this subject – you need a good performance and a bit of luck.

“Of course, the new coach may have other approaches. Whether that then helps us in the decisive matches, I hope so but there are no guarantees.

“Every year there are five or six teams that have the same right as we do, namely to win the thing.”

Bayern face Borussia Dortmund in the Supercup on Sunday having missed out on their past three tilts at Germany’s traditional season curtain-raiser.

“It’s about a title we haven’t won in three years,” Muller said. “That obviously makes us highly motivated.

“The Supercup is something between an important title and a test game. If Bayern face Dortmund it’s a game the whole nation watches.”

Mats Hummels could face a hostile reception on his return to Signal Iduna Park, having swapped Dortmund for Bayern at the end of last season, but Muller has no time for such an eventuality.

“Mats does not look like he is in fear because of the situation,” he said. “Whistles from Dortmund’s fans would be complete nonsense.

“Mats played in Dortmund for many years and he brought back success as an important player, so you can show gratitude.

“We signed a played who is very experienced, who can talk to the players next to him and communicate his opinion.

“It was a very good signing. Mats can be a very important linchpin for us but we don’t have to produce too much pressure now. We know what Mats is able to do, especially with the ball on his feet.”

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