Even our editorial staff was discussing this topic. On the one hand you could argue that Real has never lost a final but on the other hand most proclaimed, that it was nearly impossible to beat the Spaniards over the course of two games. In both cases the time would be now.
Just like last year it will be the big challenge to beat Real Madrid in two legs. Not so easy. Especially if the outside factors don’t favor Bayern. And still, Munich should have learned to focus a little more on game preparation and not to get lost in needless and somewhat embarrassing referee discussions.
Not making the semis last season was primarily due to a sub-par fitness level across the team as well as a total lack of control in central midfield, where the much needed support for Thiago was missing. Often the internal factors outweigh the external ones. This is backed up by the missed penalty in the first leg and some ill-advised tackles that led to Vidal being sent off – whether that was the right call or not. To acknowledge their own shortcomings and fix them the next year would be a strategy well suited for Bayern.
What such a strategy could look like will be highlighted in greater detail in our preview. However, Real Madrid will be the first big indicator this season. Neither Paris nor the weakening Bundesliga could bring out the best of Heynckes Bayern.
At the same time the club is once and for all at the end of an era. Even though the contract renewals of Ribéry and Robben speak a different language, as much as one is inclined to cling on to past success, the end is near. Who knows how long it will be before we will witness Bayern in the semis again?
Despite the appointment of Nico Kovac as head coach for next season, the future is as uncertain as ever. Which makes this legendary clash with Real Madrid all the more exciting. The back to back champion Real is the heavy favorite, but as every Sunday league coach will tell you: “Everybody here puts his pants on the same way as you”. Pack ma’s!
The first leg of the semis will be played in Munich on the 25th of April. One week later on the 1st of May Bayern will travel to Madrid to take on Real at the Bernabeau.