Champions League 'has special meaning' for PSG, says Bayern's Nagelsmann

AFP , Monday 13 Feb 2023

Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann said on Monday he understood Paris Saint-Germain's danger ahead of Tuesday's clash, despite the French champions' stuttering form.

Bayern Munich s German head coach Julian Nagelsmann speaks during a press conference in Paris on the eve of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match Bayern Munich against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on February 13, 2023. AFP


Paris have lost their last two matches including a French Cup exit at the hands of rivals Marseille, but Nagelsmann said domestic form meant little, especially given the importance of the Champions League to PSG.

"We don't have much focus on the situation PSG has in the league -- the Champions League is another competition.

"I think for PSG it has a special meaning and it is very important."

Bayern come into the clash one point clear of Union Berlin in first place, having won three in a row after opening the season with a trifecta of 1-1 draws.

Although their occasionally middling domestic form has been a concern, Bayern has been stellar in Europe, winning six from six in a group including Barcelona and Inter Milan while scoring 18 and conceding just two in the process.

Nagelsmann said he understood the gravity of the tie, explaining "of course a season will be seen differently if you come far in the Champions League than if you exit early."

"The Champions League is important for the club and important for me," Nagelsmann said, adding "I want to win the trophy before I can only walk bent over."

Nagelsmann said his side must not fall into the trap of "focusing only on the huge names in the team", amid uncertainty surrounding the possible return of injured stars Leo Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

"You can only do it as a team, as a collective. We have to prevent the passes before the arrive to Neymar or to Mbappe.

"But we have to also focus on other players, (their) outside players with top offensive quality and speed."

Bayern face PSG in the French capital on Tuesday, with the return leg taking place in Munich on March 8th.

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