Missing key players won't be excuse for Bayern Munich: Diego Simeone
Munich, May 5 Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone believes missing key players in the crucial Champions League semi-final tie will be no excuse for Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola when they visit Barcelona. Bayern are set to miss important playmakers like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and also their talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski.
"This tie itself is evenly balanced. Bayern have important players missing through injury, but that can be no excuse," Simeone wrote in his column for Goal.com on Tuesday.
"I believe Bayern - being such an important and prestigious club - have the obligation and the responsibility to put out a competitive side in which the players replacing the injured footballers will no doubt be of great quality as well," he said.
The 45-year-old Argentine said Guardiola's part of his pre-match planning will be about focussing on Barcelona's ace forward Lionel Messi, but he believes Messi is still capable of producing something extraordinary.
"Part of his (Guardiola's) pre-match planning will focus on Lionel Messi. Guardiola will tell his squad about the qualities, the strengths and the movements of Lionel in the build-up.
"But once the match gets underway and the ball starts rolling, Messi is a special footballer who is capable of producing something new -- however much you explain and tell your players about him," he wrote.
Describing the new formed Barcelona trio of 'MSN' (Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar) as they are lovingly called, Simeone wrote: "Barcelona's forward line is extremely competitive. Each of the three players clearly understands their role in the team.
"Neymar is an individual with a lot of skill and he scores goals; Luis Suarez is a powerful centre-forward who plays in the area, with his back to goal, making runs; and Messi is the best player in the world."