Champions League – Bayern on mission to defend their title: “Continue the triumphant advance”

Munich (AP) – Hansi Flick laughed when it came to the defending champion’s goal in the new Champions League season. Only 59 days after the magical night with the handle pot, the “Campeões de Lisboa” are striving for further successes and records in the prestigious premier class.

“We want the best, as we did this year,” said the good-humored coach on the day before the start for his FC Bayern. “If we bring our quality to the table from game to game, we can be successful again. Perhaps as successful as last year.”

The Munich opening specialists, who are aiming for the 17th start win in a row, are looking forward to last year’s defending champion Atlético Madrid for the new star Luis Suárez. “That’s a highlight,” said Flick. For Bayern’s 80 million euro record man, Lucas Hernández, the reunion on Wednesday (9 p.m. / Sky) with the football club to which he switched when he was eleven is particularly emotional.

But despite all the anticipation for his former colleagues, Hernández has long been talking about a “typically German mentality” in his second year, as he put it on Tuesday. “Here you want to win, win, win. Here you want to continue the triumphant advance,” said the French world champion. The photo of him with the premier class trophy over his head from two months ago is still fondly remembered, but it goes on.

The insatiable ensemble after the triple and two Supercup trophies wants to achieve in an extremely grueling season in Europe’s elite league what only the “royal” of Real Madrid have been able to achieve in this competition for over a quarter of a century: defending their title. “The Champions League is always something special. We are ready,” said Robert Lewandowski before a group stage which, given six group games in just eight weeks, has the character of speed dating.

“Europe’s Footballer of the Year” could be the first star ever to score in the tenth group game in a row in the next ghost game in the Allianz Arena. Led by Lewandowski and front man Thomas Müller, the peat factory, which scored 43 goals on the way to the title in the previous season, also wants to expand its winning record. As the first team ever, Bayern won all games on the way to the title: eleven wins in a row is the record.

“In the first game, of course, you don’t know how the international opponents are doing in the Champions League,” puzzled captain Manuel Neuer. Whether the indispensable teammate Joshua Kimmich can participate depends on the time of the birth of his second child.

In 2016 there was the often hot-blooded fight with Atlético four times. As the final in the European Champions Cup, the 1974 duel marked the start of a great Bayern era. “We’ll try to hurt them,” said coach Diego Simeone, who called the Munich team “the best team in the world” the night before the game.

Hernández, who had a good relationship with Simeone, is looking forward to seeing you again. “Of course, I have a special relationship with Atlético Madrid. The club gave me everything, I grew up there,” reminded Hernández, warning of the defensive artists from the Spanish capital. “When you have to play against Atlético it’s always a very difficult task.”

Eight points and 8: 1 goals after four match days is the result of the new team of Messi friend Suárez, who came from FC Barcelona and went down with Barcelona 2: 8 two months ago. “Against Barça, I saw that they don’t care whether they lead 2-0 or 3-0: they always want to crush their opponents,” said Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco in awe. His offensive colleague Diego Costa is plagued by a muscle injury.

The Atlético appearance from the previous season should be warning enough for Bayern at the beginning of the path towards the finals on May 29, 2021 in Istanbul. Because Madrid threw defending champions Liverpool FC out of the competition. But that is not an issue for Bayern, who showed plenty of defensive weaknesses in as many league games as Madrid with nine points and 17: 8 hits. Much more attracts the desire for more trophies even before the group stage with RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow as further opponents. “Defending the double is really fun. Defending the triple is even more fun,” said Leon Goretzka tellingly.

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