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Guardiola defends under-fire Gotze

After Mario Gotze came in for criticism from Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has voiced his support for the forward.

Gotze’s form in recent weeks has come into question, with Bayern legend Beckenbauer saying earlier this week that the Germany international needs to “grow up”.

“No blame is on Gotze. He is a superb talent with a great future,” Guardiola said.

“Gotze is the best professional I’ve met. He’s had a great season, one game of 10 minutes doesn’t change that.”

Gotze was a late substitute in Bayern’s 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at Camp Nou.

That result appears to have ended any hopes of reaching the final and, coupled with the DFB-Pokal semi-final loss to Borussia Dortmund, it has been a disappointing two weeks for the Bundesliga champions.

But ahead of the return leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, Guardiola remains in positive mood.

“I’m realistic. We have 90 more minutes against Barcelona. I believe, so does the team. Against Barca it is hard, but we can do it,” he added.

“I am a realist. You have to win. To dream about it is not enough.

“It’s been an amazing season. Of course, we wanted the treble, but it’s been a great season. I am very pleased with our performance against Barcelona.

“We played okay in Barcelona, but not perfect. We want to play our best team on Tuesday to give us the best chance.

“We’ll rotate our squad for the game against Augsburg [on Saturday]. Our focus is on Tuesday.”

Fri 8 May, 2015
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