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Mandzukic: First the party, then the finals

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Mandzukic: First the party, then the finals

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu May 09, 2013 6:40 pm

Gerd 'Der Bomber' Müller of course, but also Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Roland Wohlfarth, Giovane Elber, Roy Makaay, Luca Toni... many a striker has become a Bayern crowd hero over the decades. But this season, the home faithful at the Allianz Arena have come to know and - judging by the frenetic applause - also to love a different kind of front man, a player who is a striker and the first line of defence: Mario Mandzukic.

It's because he always tracks back to the edge of his own penalty box; the way he robs opponents of possession in midfield; the way he never shirks a challenge; and his tireless, unceasing effort for the team, his harrying of opposing players, and his creating space for team-mates. It is an exceptional combination. "He played as a striker, midfielder and right-back. It was unbelievable!" declared Javi Martínez after the Champions League quarter-final home leg against Juventus. Mandzu is a fighter - "Football is a man's game. You get stuck in. I love it," he says - and he scores goals too, 21 in total this term, level with Thomas Müller at the top of the club's scoring chart.

The Croat was a strong candidate to finish as Bundesliga top scorer for a lengthy period too, but the further Bayern progressed in the Champions League and DFB Cup, the fewer games he played in the league. "I've taken the top scorer trophy off him," acknowledged squad rotation expert Jupp Heynckes, "but he accepts that and I think it's magnificent. I'm impressed by his extremely professional attitude."

Looking forward to Saturday

Speaking at Thursday's lunchtime press conference, Mandzukic said he was unconcerned about missing out on the cannon-shaped trophy awarded to the Bundesliga's top marksman: "I told Jupp Heynckes that winning with the team is more important to me." Heynckes even jokingly offered Mandzu the cannons he himself won as a free-scoring player in 1974 and 1975. "I'm happy for him to keep them," said Mandzukic thanking his coach "for making me a better player."

Besides, Mario intends to lay hands on bigger and more prestigious trophies this term, starting with the championship shield, which he will hoist for the first time on Saturday. "It'll definitely be a bit special," said the Croatia international, a three-time champion in his home country with Dinamo Zagreb (2008-10). He is well prepared for the motorcade and appearance on Munich Town Hall balcony: "I've looked at YouTube to see what happened in the past. I'm well-informed and ready."

"I'll celebrate a bit and be happy," is Mandzukic's plan for Saturday. "That has to be good for us, given what lies ahead," he ventured. As for the Champions League final, "I've yet to think much about it. The time for that is still to come. We have to stay cool! We mustn't start thinking too much about it yet!" However, Mandzukic is well aware that this season provides a potentially one-off opportunity - and together with the team, he intends to take it: "We want to make history."
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Re: Mandzukic: First the party, then the finals

Postby quaazi » Thu May 09, 2013 8:34 pm

First the party, then the finals


Image
The ideal team

--------Müller with gloves--------
-Müller--Müller--Müller--Müller--
-------Müller---------Müller-------
----Müller----Müller----Müller----
---------------Müller---------------
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