Friday April 12 2013
‘Barcelona are the benchmark’

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has praised Champions League semi-final opponents Barcelona.

The Germans have today been drawn against the Catalans in this year’s final four, for a first meeting between the two in the Champions League since 2008-09’s quarter-finals.

“Barcelona are the benchmark for me in Europe. They have won the Champions League more than any other team in the recent years,” reflected Rummenigge to reporters after Friday’s draw.

“They are the best team in Europe at the moment, with fantastic attacking potential. We played them in 2009 and received a real thumping.

“I remember that game well and I don’t really like to think about it, because it was quite painful to watch. However, it’s a wonderful opportunity to show that we have improved a lot since then.”

Bayern will play the first leg at home on April 23, before travelling out to Catalonia for the second leg on May 1.

“I think we will see two very good games, played at the highest possible level. Furthermore, I think playing at home first is a slight advantage, contrary to the popular belief that it’s a disadvantage.

“We saw that against Juventus, where people said that it might be a disadvantage. But we produced a great performance at home and that set the stage for the return leg and our progression into the semi-finals.

“I’m really excited that we will get to play the best team in Europe. I still feel Barcelona are the big favourites to win the Champions League.”

Football Italia website