Bayern Munich are currently showing the way to other clubs on how to stay at the top and not let factors such as personnel changes affect the level at which they can compete, according to former Spanish player Jofre Mateu.
Bayern are set to face Olympique Lyonnais in the semi-final of the Champions League after decimating Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-final. They currently look favourites to win the title and seem to have replaced the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery with relative ease.
“You can’t see any weakness in Bayern Munich right now,” Jofre, who came through the ranks in Barcelona before playing at a number of clubs around Spain, told IANS.
“Lyon have some very fast players like (Karl) Toko Ekambi and Memphis (Depay). But with (David) Alaba and (Alphonso) Davies there, they almost stand no chance. I think it is going to be more on the small details as it was with (Manchester) City. If (Raheem) Sterling had made it 2-2, probably we would be in a different situation.”
Lyon have been the surprise package of the season thus far. They managed to finish seventh in the league but in the Champions League, they defeated Juventus in the Round of 16 before beating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 3-1 in the quarter-final. Both Juventus and City were expected to beat Lyon with relative ease.
“I think Lyon are approaching the matches very cleverly in terms of attacking movement. They are very careful of course because they have some weaknesses in defence. They are accommodating a lot of people in the back and then advancing but I don’t see that working against Bayern because they cross a lot,” said Jofre.
“If you put your team very deep then Bayern have a lot of players with good crossing abilities and also players with good ability to attack the crosses. For me Bayern is the clear favourite but it is a knockout match, so you never know what can happen. One action can change everything.”
Bayern stand in stark contrast to Jofre’s former club. Like the German champions, Barcelona have had to deal with ageing club legends departing in the recent past but this has only been followed by erratic transfers and financial mismanagement. This coupled with the degradation in the club’s famous youth system has made Barca a shadow of what they were for much of the previous decade.
“(Bayern) are showing the way,” said Jofre while explaining that the Bavarian giants seem to be more decisive with players that they need in their squad which has helped them go through the transitional phase with relative ease.
“As a player you have your rights, at the same time your debts too. In the big clubs there are a lot of players who are all competitors. They are good players but in any company you have a vision. That if you are not able to get a certain level in let’s say five years, we need to move. I don’t know why professional football clubs do not take those kinds of decisions. Probably Bayern has started with that,” he said.
The Champions League semifinal match between Bayern Munich and Lyon can be viewed on the Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3 (Hindi).