Bayern Munich and Barcelona meet once more within the Champions League on Tuesday on the Allianz Area with either side looking for their former identities. Xavi’s rebuild at Camp Nou is nicely underway: the previous Barça midfielder’s achievements in lower than a yr on the helm shouldn’t be underestimated. He inherited a large number and is now watching his new-look facet pulverize opponents, the season beginning very promisingly at Camp Nou. Xavi has after all had loads of assist from the financial wheeler-dealing of Joan Laporta, however the enchancment was tangible even earlier than a summer season spending spree. Julian Nagelsmann however is confronted with a barely totally different process in Munich, that of making an attempt to stop the collapse of one of the crucial superb homes in European soccer. The 35-year-old was snapped up by Bayern in April 2021, when the Bundesliga facet had been nonetheless technically European champions, though he didn’t take over formally till July, by which era Chelsea had assumed that title, Thomas Tuchel instantly the German supervisor en vogue.
Nagelsmann below scrutiny in Champions League
Since then, Nagelsmann has added the 2021-22 Bundesliga title to the membership’s trophy room, however it’s in Europe that Bayern managers are finally judged and that’s the place the younger coach’s destiny could also be determined this time period. Bayern have drawn their final three league video games to drop to 3rd within the desk however few genuinely anticipate both Union Berlin or Freiburg to stay above the Bavarian powerhouse subsequent Might. Bayern’s conventional challengers, Borussia Dortmund, are in fifth, degree on factors, as either side adapt to a brand new actuality after the departures of Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, respectively. Bayern began their Champions League marketing campaign with a strong 2-0 victory away at Inter Milan and that was sufficient, for now, to paper over the cracks being proven within the Bundesliga. Defeat in opposition to Barcelona might not be seen as so forgivable although, given the Liga facet have by no means been victorious in Munich.
Bayern nonetheless retain a lot of the facet that delivered Champions League glory in 2020 below Hansi Flick however they’ve misplaced key elements together with Lewandowski, David Alaba and Javi Martínez. Xavi’s facet accommodates simply 4 of the facet that lifted the trophy in 2015, the final profitable European marketing campaign at Camp Nou (with their present boss on the bench): Marc-André ter Stegen, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, and solely two of these stay undisputed starters.
“What occurred in our final 4 conferences in opposition to them doesn’t depend, it is a fully totally different staff. The best way they press after shedding the ball is paying homage to Xavi’s enjoying days. They’ve younger gamers to be careful for like Pedri and Gavi. Xavi has been doing an amazing job, they are going to be a troublesome opponent,” Nagelsmann stated in his pre-match press convention.
Bayern and Barcelona within the Champions League
The European Cup / Champions League is in its 68th season and a complete of twenty-two totally different golf equipment have gained the competitors. Actual Madrid maintain the report with 14 wins and AC Milan are the second-most profitable facet in historical past with seven. Finishing the rostrum are Bayern, who’ve gained six titles (1974-76, 2001, 2013, 2020), putting the German membership in an elite group of golf equipment who’ve been afforded the honour of maintaining the trophy completely for having been champions 5 occasions or extra.
Barcelona are additionally a member of that elite, with 5 trophies to their identify, one delivered by Johan Cruyff’s Dream Group (1992), and the opposite 4 delivered largely by Leo Messi (2006, 2009, 2011, 2015).