‘Unstoppable with one man’
De Ligt: ‘For analysis Haaland, I don’t need images’
Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt is eagerly looking forward to Tuesday’s clash with Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The Oranje international is especially looking forward to his duels with Norway’s top striker Erling Haaland.
“Maybe the best striker in the world,” De Ligt believes. “You can’t stop him with one man, our whole team has to do that together.”
Bayern Munich eliminated Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round, but Manchester City rates the in-form De Ligt a little higher. He scored another stunning goal in the league match against Freiburg last weekend.
“I don’t think there is a stronger opponent than Manchester City,” De Ligt said. “I can hardly wait for this match to start, but knowing that it will be very complicated.”
‘We know how City play’
Newly appointed Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is also looking forward to the duel between the European soccer giants. “We are looking forward to the match tremendously, we also know that it will be tremendously difficult.”
He does not expect any surprises from the opponent. “After all these years with Pep Guardiola as coach, we know roughly how and how well City plays,” said the German, who spent a few seasons in the Premier League with Chelsea. “But we are well prepared for everything. This is a match at the highest level of European soccer.”
Tuchel was also asked at the press conference how he expects to fight Haaland. The coach replied with an anecdote.
“I once had the privilege of talking to Johan Cruijff. He told me how they dealt with a striker they could never control at Barcelona. ‘We stopped covering him then,’ he told me. That player hasn’t scored since then when they stopped covering him.”
“But that’s not what we’re going to try,” Tuchel stressed. “But of course, he’s an impressive player.”
Guardiola on Jordan
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, at his press briefing, obviously got that one question again: whether Manchester City will succeed in winning the Champions League this year.
The Spaniard couldn’t resist responding to it wittily. “Michael Jordan was maybe the best athlete ever and won six NBA titles. And how many seasons did he play? Sixteen or so,” Guardiola said.
“It’s hard to be able to win every time. The most important thing is to keep presenting ourselves at this level and be able to say we are there.”
The match between Manchester City and Bayern Munich begins at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Guardiola gets that Champions League question again: ‘And how many times did Jordan win an NBA title?’