Barcelona’s Gerard Pique on differences with Bayern Munich: How are clubs handled

Gerard Pique has said that the difference between Barcelona and Bayern Munich is in the way the two clubs were managed ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League meeting between the two teams.

Barca beat Bayern in the Champions League semi-finals on their way to the treble in 2015, but have been declining ever since and the German side have won the last two meetings between the two teams with a combined score of 11- 2.

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Barca travel to Munich this week, risking being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage for the first time since 2000 if they fail to register a win.

“Managing the club is that simple,” Pique said bluntly when asked why Bayern, who have already qualified for the round of 16, have been so much better than Barca these days. last years.

Bayern won the Champions League in 2020 after beating Barca 8-2 in the quarter-finals, while they have also won nine Bundesliga titles in a row. Barca have only won the Copa del Rey in the last two years.

Pique implicitly blamed former president Josep Maria Bartomeu for Barca’s decline and he ranked him among the club’s worst presidents in an interview in September.

Joan Laporta’s return as Bartomeu’s successor in March represented a fresh start, but he inherited a club in debt which has had a ripple effect on the pitch this season.

Barca can reserve their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a win in Munich, but if they fail and Benfica improves their home result against Dynamo Kiev, they will enter the Europa League in during the new year.

“We are playing for our lives,” added Pique. “We can reassert ourselves that we can compete in the best European competition. The last two games against Bayern did not go as we hoped, but it is a thing of the past.”

Barca entered the game after a 1-0 loss to Real Betis that left them seventh in La Liga, but Pique said there had been some bright spots since Xavi Hernandez replaced Ronald Koeman as ‘trainer in November.

“We could be here for hours talking about the situation we find ourselves in, but we have to focus on the present and the future,” said the defender.

“We see things now – like getting the ball high, pressing after losing the ball, the intensity, the hunger – that are needed to win trophies. From there the goals and performances will come in, but that won’t. not change overnight. “

Barca face a Bayern side who have scored 19 goals in their five Champions League appearances this season, with Robert Lewandowski (27) responsible for more goals than Barca (25) in all competitions this season.

The German squad will be without Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry for the game, but coach Julian Nagelsmann has said they will field a strong squad even though they have already secured first place in the group.

Xavi, who has won two, drew and lost one of his first four games in charge, said he was eager for the challenge as Barca aimed for a first-ever win in Munich.

“Bayern are one of the worst opponents we can face,” Xavi said. “They are one of the best teams in the world and we are playing on their field. It will be extremely difficult.

“If we win we qualify, which means it’s a final. History says we never won in Munich, but the records are here to be broken and we can’t wait for the game to start. “

Barca are still without Ansu Fati, Pedri, Sergio Aguero and Martin Braithwaite for the game, which will be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions in Germany, but Xavi has said Ousmane Dembele is “100%” and Jordi Alba should shake a hit.

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