About this Paul Breitner is clear: If Barcelona play at 80% of their abilities, God help their opponents.
“No one can beat them when they are at that level. Inter Milan beat them (in the 2010 Champions League semi-finals) when they were at 70%,” said Breitner, who will be in New Delhi to launch the India edition of the U-16 FC Bayern Youth Cup this October.
“In our time, we had Gerd Mueller who we knew could score anytime. They have (Lionel) Messi. They also have (David) Villa, Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta and Dani Alves. Other teams have good players, but they don’t understand each other as well as these do. During the game, one from this group will lead the way, starting to do things the others understand but the opponents don’t. They complicate things for the opponents but make it look so simple all the time.”
And who does he think can run them close without being too defensive? “Well, we are in a good way but not there yet,” he said. Asked whether it was Breitner, the Bayern fan, who was talking, he said: “No, it is Breitner, the football analyst."We have superb players in (Franck) Ribery, Philipp Lahm, (Arjen) Robben and Bastian (Schweinsteiger), we have possibly one of the three best goalkeepers in the world. I think we will be the team to challenge Barcelona in the future."
Getting ready for '14
Breitner attributed Argentina and Brazil’s early exit from the Copa America to a combination of fatigue and rebuilding. “Teams with players who didn’t have a hectic season juggling clubs commitments in the domestic leagues and in Europe did well,” he said.
“Also, I like teams thinking in the four-year cycles of the World Cup. I think that is what is happening to Brazil and Argentina. Brazil are integrating a set of new players who are 18-19; Neymar for instance. It will take them time but by 2014 they and Argentina will be ready. Uruguay on the other hand look on the top of their game now.”
Bayern Youth Cup
New Delhi will host India’s first FC Bayern Youth Cup in October, the club along with tournament sponsors and their shareholders, Adidas and Audi, said on Monday.
The event will be open to U-16 boys in the National Capital Region for now but there are plans to take it to other cities.