Andoni Zubizarreta, former goalkeeper and ex-director sport at Barcelona looked ahead to this evening’s meeting between Ronald Koeman’s side and Bayern Munich in an extensive interview for German daily TZ by Luis Martín.
Zubizarreta recalled some of his own encounters with Bayern as a player and German clubs in general. He expressed his admiration for goalkeeping legend Sepp Maier who he idolised as a child and gave his thoughts on what to expect tonight at Camp Nou considered Barça were thrashed 2-8 by the Bundesliga champions in their last meeting.
“I think that defeat in Lisbon won’t have any bearing on this game to be honest. They are two completely different games, different teams, different people… You can’t tell me that Memphis Depay is going to affected by the memory of that night. And even those who did suffer in that game will be looking forward to this one, it won’t affect them at all. Barça changed coach immediately after that defeat which is understandable. And Bayern don’t have the same coach either, they also brought in a new coach a few months afterwards – and that is at a club which generally is very stable. But that’s how football is,” he said.
Barcelona’s first European game without Messi
For Zubizarreta, the most interesting aspect of tonight’s game is that “It’s the first group game, and Barça’s first game in Europe without Messi… at a time when Barça is in a delicate institutional situation. Normally, they would be favourite or the tie would at least be 50:50… now I see Bayern slightly more as favourites, but not because of the 2-8 in Lisbon . I think that will be more on the crowd’s minds than on Ter Stegen’s”.
When asked about his own memories of that 2-8 defeat, Zubizarreta said, “I didn’t watch the game live, I watched a repeat so my feelings are obviously different. It was a strange game in many ways. The situation itself was strange because of the pandemic, for the change of format and for the moment which Barcelona were in at the time… it was a weird game with a bizarre result, unheard of. Barça had their moments during the game until they vanished. In a way it reminded me of the Brazil-Germany game at the 2014 World Cup. The last 15 minutes of the game in Lisbon was just constant attacking and goals – something you don’t normally see so often. And like in the Brazil-Germany game, there is a moment when one of the team thinks, that’s it, it’s over. But German teams don’t, they continue to the end”.