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Play-off opponents Zürich profiled

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Play-off opponents Zürich profiled

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:50 pm

The first-ever clash with FC Zürich in Bayern's 111-year history began even before Friday's Champions League qualifying play-off draw. "I swapped texts with Ludovic Magnin a couple of days ago, and we've already discussed the match," grinned Mario Gomez, shortly before the fixture was cast in stone. "I'm really looking forward to seeing him again," the FCB striker said.

Gomez spent the period from 2005 to 2009 playing alongside left-back Magnin at VfB Stuttgart, but they will be on opposing sides in the two legs of the tie on 17 and 23 August. The 32-year-old Magnin, who also featured for Bremen in the Bundesliga from 2001 to 2005, moved back home and joined the blue-collar Zürich outfit in January 2010.

Apart from Magnin, German fans will be most familiar with ex-Kaiserslautern and 1860 Munich centre back Mathieu Beda when surveying the squad coached by Urs Fischer. The 45-year-old boss rates as part of the furniture in Zürich, as he spent 12 years with FCZ as a player, subsequently becoming a youth coach and finally taking charge of the seniors in April 2010. One of Fischer's predecessors rates as an authentic coaching legend at Bayern: Tschik Cajkovski was FCB's first Bundesliga supremo, and took charge of FCZ from 1978 until 1980.

Dream draw for Swiss hopefuls

Zürich were runners-up in Switzerland last season, finishing just a point off champions Basel, but Champions League qualifying is the only reason for cheer in the FCZ camp at the present time. The new league campaign began three weeks ago, but Fischer's men have totally botched their start with three defeats in their first three matches, two of them against promoted clubs. "I'm embarrassed by our performances, and I hope the players are too. They're making a laughing stock of themselves," director of sport Fredy Bickel grimaced after last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Lausanne.

In complete contrast, the Swiss runners-up successfully overcame the first hurdle in qualifying for the Champions League. Drawn to face Standard Liège, FCZ won 1-0 at home, and battled to a 1-1 draw in Belgium. Bayern now stand between them and a place in the group stage. "It's going to be a massive experience for all of us here," club president Ancillo Canepa enthused, "it's the draw we all wanted. On paper, we don't stand a chance, but that's the chance we have to grasp. Bayern will have to play very well to beat us."

Boosted by results against Milan

The men from Zürich have contested the Champions League group stage on one previous occasion. In the 2009/10 campaign, the Swiss side came in last in a section also containing Real Madrid, Olympique Marseille and AC Milan, although they managed two commendable results against the powerful north Italians, with a 1-0 triumph at the San Siro and a 1-1 home draw. However, FCZ's greatest moments on the international stage came a very long time ago, as they reached the European Champions' Cup semi-finals in 1964 and 1977.

In domestic terms, Zürich rate as one of Switzerland's most successful clubs with 12 championships and seven cup triumphs, a total beaten only by Grasshoppers Zürich, Basel and Servette Geneva. FCZ now face bitter rivals Grasshoppers and Basel in their next two league fixtures, before travelling to Munich for the first leg of the play-off. The return takes place a week later at the venerable Letzigrund Stadium, nowadays boasting a 25,000 all-seated capacity following modernisation in the run-up to Euro 2008.
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Re: Play-off opponents Zürich profiled

Postby Fénix » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:56 pm

Excellent draw for us. =D>
Auf geht's ihr Roten!
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Re: Play-off opponents Zürich profiled

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:23 pm

FCBayernNews wrote: The new league campaign began three weeks ago, but Fischer's men have totally botched their start with three defeats in their first three matches, two of them against promoted clubs.


Lol that's great for us! :lol:
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Re: Play-off opponents Zürich profiled

Postby vijay92 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:50 pm

It was the best possible draw available.
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