Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is counting on Frenchman Franck Ribery’s anger to power them past Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday despite the winger’s recent slump in form.
Ribery had a sparkling season until Bayern clinched the Bundesliga title with seven games to spare.
The team has since looked like a pale shadow of its former scintillating self that broke record after record en route to the league title with Ribery having lost his spark down the left wing as Bayern notched just two wins in their last five league games.
“Franck Ribery is extremely important for this club, for the team,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday ahead of the second leg following their 1-0 defeat in Madrid last week. “He was playing angry against Bremen (in Bayern’s 5-2 win on Saturday). Franck needs this aggression, he needs to play angry.
“He keeps fighting and that is why fans love him. He is one of the best players in Bayern history, he has always performed at the highest level and we need the best Ribery.”
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Bayern were again unconvincing for much of the game against Bremen before an explosive second half saw them charge past their opponents with Ribery also on target in the 5-2 win.
Bale says he’s fit
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is fit and ready to play in their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday after missing their 4-0 league win over Osasuna at the weekend with flu, he said on Monday. Bale had been rested for the league win but is expected to feature in the starting lineup.
“I feel good. I’ve had a few days training,” Bale said. “I’m hoping to play tomorrow and looking forward to it. We are ready to give it 100 percent, our best shot. I don’t feel like we’ve qualified yet.”