Manuel Neuer: Time to show Messi who's boss
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has ramped up the trash talk ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. The German said in an interview earlier today that it was time to exude authority and show Messi who is the boss.
In what is a very high-profile match-up, Pep Guardiola, the Bayern coach will face Barcelona, his hometown club, where he had great times, both as a player and especially as a manager, when he helped them dominate club football across the world with 2 UEFA Champions League titles in 4 years.
“It worked when I tried to dominate Messi in the World Cup final”
Speaking to L’Equipe, Neuer said, "I have a lot of respect for Messi and for everything that he has achieved. He is very humble. But it's crucial to show authority when we meet on the pitch and show him who's boss. I did the same in the World Cup final and this worked out pretty well.”
"We will be looking to do the same on Wednesday night. It is vital to obtain a position of dominance and instil respect. We have to make good use of our physical presence, our character and show a certain ruthlessness."
When asked about his team’s form and injury issues, he said, "The game against Barcelona is a final before the final. Our goal is to make it to the showpiece in Berlin. We dominated Barcelona in both legs in the semi-finals two years ago, but the situation has changed.”
"This time, they have no injuries and Messi is back to his best, while we are missing several key players. We know that we face a tough task, but I am confident we will get our chances."