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Rummenigge exclusive interview, part I

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Rummenigge exclusive interview, part I

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:30 pm


A momentous calendar year is drawing to a close, a twelve-month period featuring highs and lows for Bayern in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League, and also a thrilling World Cup on German soil. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge met <b></b> for a major two-part interview, initially casting an eye over the club's form so far this term, looking forward to Real Madrid in the Champions League, and assessing transfer target Jan Schlaudraff.

<b>Interview: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge</b>

<b></b> Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, welcome to How would you assess the year 2006 from a footballing standpoint?

<b><i>Karl-Heinz Rummenigge:</i></b> "It was definitely an incident-packed year, and the highlight for me was Germany's thrilling performance at the World Cup. From a Bayern point of view, we can be fundamentally satisfied. We won our 20th German championship and our 13th Cup, and we made history as the first German team to win back-to-back doubles. Add to that the fact we're the only German team left in the Champions League, we can be fundamentally satisfied, as I've said. Obviously we're not happy at being knocked out of this season's Cup by Alemannia Aachen."

<b></b> Could the negative experience of a defeat affect the team in 2007?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "I don't believe it will, I think the players will go off on holiday and forget about it. I think what matters for us is an optimal mid-season training programme. We have to feel and act like a team in Dubai, so that when we take on Borussia Dortmund on January the 26th, we're focused, determined, and ready to try our best to win the title."

<b></b> One last observation on the Cup tie: Aachen's Jan Schlaudraff showed just why a number of clubs have been pursuing his signature, Bayern among them. Anything new to report?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "Yes, the goal at the end illustrated his strengths. He's a mazy dribbler, very quick, knows where the goal is, he can provide goals, but as we saw, he can score them too. I'm very optimistic, because at the end of the day, I think Jan Schlaudraff will choose Bayern, as we can provide him with a fantastic chance of claiming a regular starting place."

<b></b> The first half of the Bundesliga campaign rarely featured the kind of champagne football everyone had been hoping for, although the results are perfectly creditable. How would you summarise Bayern's league form?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "It was clear from the start we'd have a turbulent first half of the season. We had eleven players at the World Cup, and that was a handicap. Our players had less than three weeks off, and that's just not enough. Then we had a very short pre-season period incorporating a whirlwind trip to Japan, so we knew we wouldn't play to our full footballing potential before Christmas. I think we had bigger problems halfway through than we did at the end, when we set off on a run. Now we're third and just three points behind, and that's not bad at all, I must say. At one point, I feared we'd be a lot further behind at Christmas, but you can always make up three points."

<b></b> You must be extremely pleased with the club's performance in Europe. You had a tough group but remained undefeated and most importantly finished top.

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "That's right, the team was really fired up for the big games, although we mustn't neglect the bread and butter. After Christmas, we can't be losing to the Bielefelds, Wolfsburgs and Hanovers, or dropping points to Gladbach. Add them up: we dropped eleven points to these teams, and if we'd taken only half of them, we'd be sitting here as league leaders. We have to handle our domestic duties better in the second half of the season."

<b></b> Real Madrid in the next round of the Champions League: a dream come true, or a nightmare?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "I'm warning everyone not to describe getting Real Madrid as a great draw. Real Madrid are certainly the best-known club in the world. In know they have the likes of Roberto Carlos, Raul and Beckham who obviously peaked two or three years ago and are past their best now, but these are exactly the players who concentrate hardest in the Champions League. So I'm certain they'll come out fighting against us, and I believe we'll have to play exceptional football in Madrid in order to set ourselves up for getting through to the quarter-finals. It'll be very, very difficult."

<i>To watch part I of our exclusive interview with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in full, why not <a href="/en/news/news/2006/09756.php?fcb_sid=4aee85c5f95cd323a59fc72fc3856c8c" target="_top" class="content_link">sign up now</a> for our exciting premium channel <b></b>?</i>

<b>Part II of the interview will be broadcast on from Thursday 28 December</b>
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