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Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

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Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:40 pm

Villarreal, Manchester City and SSC Napoli are Bayern's Group A opponents in this season's Champions League. It is a hugely challenging section, but also packed with the potential for excitement and fascinating action. New ground will be broken too, as FCB have played the Italians just once, in the1988/89 UEFA Cup semi-finals, and have never faced Villarreal or City. fcbayern.de profiles the three clubs.

Villarreal
For many centuries, ceramics and oranges were the best-known products associated with Villarreal (or Vila-real in Valencian), a town of 50,000 inhabitants situated 60 kilometres north of Valencia. From the late 1990s onwards, the town's football club began to make waves in Europe, reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2005/06 and quarter-finals in 2008/09. Nicknamed Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) for their striking club colours, Villarreal made the Europa League/UEFA Cup semi-finals twice, most recently last season. The Spaniards beat Jupp Heynckes' Leverkusen 5-3 on aggregate in the last sixteen, but fell to eventual winners Porto in the semis.

The club, whose home ground is the 22,000 capacity El Madrigal, have yet to win the Spanish league or cup, and finished fourth in La Liga last term. In the qualifying play-offs for Europe's elite competition, they lost 1-0 away to Danish underdogs Odense BK but comfortably won the return 3-0.

Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in that match, and the Italy international's partnership with Brazilian Nilmar rates as one of the most dangerous in the Spanish league. The pair amassed 45 goals (Rossi 29, Nilmar 16) in all competitions last season. Centre-back Carlos Marchena and midfielders Marcos Senna and Cani also feature prominently in coach Juan Carlos Garrido's side, with summer reinforcements including Colombia defender Cristiano Zapata from Udine. The Yellow Submarine face a tough start to their domestic campaign with Monday's trip to face mighty Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Manchester City
Manchester City boast a huge 38-strong squad, but the Premier League leaders ooze class at every turn. David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Agüero and former Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko are just a few of the stars turning out for the club nicknamed The Citizens, or more commonly The Blues, although they lost one big name in the summer when Jérôme Boateng quit to join FCB.

The club's emergence from the shadows of glamorous rivals Manchester United is entirely due to the vast riches invested by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, estimated at around a billion UK pounds since 2008. The signings of Agüero and this week's capture of Samir Nasri cost a total in excess of €70m. "Manchester City want honours, regardless of the cost," reflected Frank Ribéry, although it is far from certain whether the likes of unsettled Tevez and Emanuel Adebayor will end up facing FCB.

City finished third in the Premier League last term and qualified automatically for their first Champions League campaign. The club's greatest success was winning the 1970 European Cup Winners' Cup with a 2-1 victory over Gornik Zabrze. FCB youth development officer Michael Tarnat once played for the side now managed by Roberto Mancini; the Italian took the reins in 2009. The Blues play at the 47,700-seat Etihad Stadium, formerly the City of Manchester stadium.

SSC Napoli
The Italians finished third in Serie A behind champions AC Milan and runners-up Inter, and are also Champions League debutants. Also like City, they are nicknamed The Blues, Azzurri in Italian. Much of last term's success was due to 26-goal Uruguay hitman Edinson Cavani, who formed a potent partnership with Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi. The squad also includes former Udinese starlet Gökhan Inler, and skipper Paolo Cannavaro, younger brother of 2006 World Cup winning Italy captain Fabio.

Napoli contested the 2010/11 Europa League but were eliminated in the Round of 32 - by Villarreal, now opponents in the more prestigious of the European competitions. The southern Italians' best years are a fading memory, as they won the league in 1987 and 1990, and the UEFA Cup in 1989, after beating Bayern 2-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals. All three triumphs came in the Diego Armando Maradona era: the Argentine worked his magic for Napoli from 1984 until 1991.

Other former stars include Laurent Blanc, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Gianfranco Zola and former FCB man Massimo Oddo. SSC are coached by Walter Mazzari, who moved south from Sampdoria in 2009. Their home ground is the 60,240 capacity Stadio San Paolo. "The team is developing well and seems to be on the right track," warned Christian Nerlinger.
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:45 pm

I had forgotten that Napoli played against Villareal last year
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby Mazen96 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:49 pm

Man the title sounded like a classic rock compilation album :P
In guten wie in schlechten Zeiten...
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby The Spyware » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:35 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:I had forgotten that Napoli played against Villareal last year


And Villareal Played Jupp's Leverkusen also
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby tflags » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:10 pm

Mazen96 wrote:Man the title sounded like a classic rock compilation album :P


I still have high hopes someone yells, "please smile at the camera!' Seriously, didn't someone feel like candid camera yesterday? The sarcastic edition...
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:12 pm

tflags wrote:I still have high hopes someone yells, "please smile at the camera!' Seriously, didn't someone feel like candid camera yesterday? The sarcastic edition...


I did, because it was the exact same group I posted in the "CL dream run" thread #-o
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby Mazen96 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:15 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:
tflags wrote:I still have high hopes someone yells, "please smile at the camera!' Seriously, didn't someone feel like candid camera yesterday? The sarcastic edition...


I did, because it was the exact same group I posted in the "CL dream run" thread #-o


There's a second half of your prediciton that's still in judgement :wink:
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Re: Yellow Submarine and double dose of Blues

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:20 pm

Mazen96 wrote:
FCBayernMunchen wrote:
tflags wrote:I still have high hopes someone yells, "please smile at the camera!' Seriously, didn't someone feel like candid camera yesterday? The sarcastic edition...


I did, because it was the exact same group I posted in the "CL dream run" thread #-o


There's a second half of your prediciton that's still in judgement :wink:


Keep your fingers crossed that it will come true too. :wink:

Mind you, I did not post it, but when thinking about my dream run, I imagined that we would actually LOSE the first game (which will be against Villareal), but it would spark even more determination in the team. It would make the win at the end seem even better.
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