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No Messi, no Barca claims ex-Bayern ´keeper Pfaff

Former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff questioned whether Barcelona can reach the UEFA Champions League final if Lionel Messi does not play well.

Barcelona were drawn against Bayern in the Champions League semi-finals on Friday, with the Bavarians’ coach Pep Guardiola set to face his former club in a competitive fixture for the first time since moving to Germany.

Bayern stormed into the last-four with a 6-1 second-leg demolition of Porto on Tuesday to claim a 7-4 aggregate victory, while Barca cruised past Paris Saint-Germain 5-1.

Pfaff, who played for Bayern between 1982 and 1988, reckons the German club have the edge on Barca in terms of depth.

“Barcelona is a great team but I believe the collective Bayern Munich is much stronger,” the Belgian said.

“If at Barcelona Messi doesn’t have a good day, half of the team isn’t good. The striker can be good but if the last pass doesn’t come it’s difficult.

“I think the whole team of Bayern Munich, from the goalkeeper to any other player can combine very well.”

Barca will host the first leg and, while Pfaff does not deny that Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez make up one of the most dangerous attacks in world football, the 61-year-old is confident Bayern can match the Catalan club across 180 minutes.

“Yes, this is a difficult game. And this is of course a very big game,” he said.

“To play in Barcelona against Neymar, Messi and Suarez; with these three strikers the defence of Bayern Munich has to stay very concentrated.

“But the game is about two lots of 90 minutes. And so I think that Bayern Munich will go through.”

Fri 24 Apr, 2015
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