NEWS | 22/04/2014 | alberto navarro“Bayern is a big rival, we are playing well at the moment and I don't think there's a favourite”, said the Madrid player.
Xabi Alonso appeared in the press room after the final training session before the match with Bayern Munich: “The fans' support is fundamental for us as the first match is at home. I remember some league matches and the game against Dortmund when we could see people from the bus when we arrived at Concha Espina. That initial boost is important. I'm sure tomorrow people will be waiting for us on Concha Espina too. The support and encouragement from the stands in these matches are a bonus for us”.
“We need the whole team to be involved because we know that it is important to attack and defend as a unit. If we are not all together helping each other we can lose out in midfield, but we know them very well, we know what they are like. We need all eleven players to work together to get through the tie. On the pitch we have to lift the crowd and get the people in the stands to do their part”.
Bayern Munich as favourites
“I don't think we are underdogs. Bayern Munich is a great rival and we are also playing well at the moment. I don't think there's a favourite. We are not interested in that and it's more something that is discussed outside, not in the dressing room”.
The similarities between Guardiola's Bayern and his Barcelona
“They are very different. Just the coach is the same. It's not worth making the comparison, we just have to recognise that Bayern is a great team. Guardiola has given his players a different system with more flexibility. The foundations of the team are similar, but during the match there is more variation and more depth. Last year they had a great team too, making history with Heynckes”.
Wait to counter or take the ball from Bayern
“We have to play a complete match. Possession is a relative statistic and having it just for the sake of it is pointless. You have to know how to interpret the game and how to harm them. We are feeling good after our last cup match. Motivation and drive are essential tomorrow”.
The experience of last year's semi-final against Borussia Dortmund
“The circumstances are different. The second leg was at home and this time it's the first leg. We intend to go out to win the match because the best thing to do is to get a good result and a good lead for the second leg in Munich”.
Cristiano Ronaldo's importance
“He'll play if he's 100%. They'll all discuss it keeping in mind what's best for him. He's a very important player for us and we need him to play. He makes us more explosive and gives us the potential to create chances and score goals. When he's on the pitch we make the most of his strengths. He will be very important for us”.
Bale and his good form
“He has been very important so far in his first season. He is at a new club, in a new country and a new league. His performances have been very good and we hope they continue to be for the rest of the season. We're all very happy with him”.
“I think he's a great referee. Both teams can relax, we know he'll be good”.