Bayern Munich rolled into the quarterfinals of the Champions League with a rather ho hum 3-1 win at Besiktas to complete an 8-1 aggregate win. This wasn’t a shock it really wasn’t much to watch. To be honest I was more into Juventus/Atalanta and PSG/Angers as I was with this match. Probably the most exciting part of the match was how impressive the Besiktas crowd was. They were loud and passionate and you must give them credit for that considering they were already down 5-0 coming home and even the most optimistic fans knew that they were playing for nothing more than pride.
The question I have after this is Bayern being given enough respect as a team who can win this competition. It seems like everyone is either picking Barcelona or Manchester City or even Real Madid which I completely understand. Manchester City is my pick to win this, Barcelona is rolling and you can’t count the champs out until they are completely dead and buried. But I’m starting to become a real sucker for this Bayern Munich team. I will admit that I have picked them to win this competition 3 years in a row so I have a soft spot for them, but the more and more I watch them I can’t find a weakness anywhere where I can find weaknesses albeit small weaknesses with Manchester City and Barcelona. They have the best striker on the planet in Robert Lewandowski. Thomas Muller is finally in form again and may be playing his best football in 3 or 4 years. Thiago Alcantara may be the best midfielder on the planet and is finally healthy again. Then you add James Rodriguez who to me is the player of the year this year in the Bundesliga. I haven’t even mentioned Joshua Kimmich who is probably the best right back on the planet, Kingsley Coman who is as good of a winger as there is. Then they have maybe the best center back pair in the world with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels. Oh and then there are the cagey vets like Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal. There are others I didn’t even mention but my point is this team is loaded, hungry, and has no weaknesses.
Jupp Heynckes came on board out of retirement to rescue this team from a horrible start to the season and to reignite the flame to these guys to get the most out of their talent. Heynckes was the manager when they won the treble in 2013 and this team has the look of the team who could repeat that feat. The past few years they had heartbreaking losses and poor performances in the knockout stage. They’ve been riddled with injuries come the spring for the biggest Champions League fixtures. I also feel like their league has hurt them every year the league is basically over by February which has them playing a bunch of meaningless games that finds a team going through the motions and not exactly motivated, which I feel has hurt them when it has come to their big Champions League fixtures. It isn’t easy to turn that switch on when you have to, but this team has a different look. They look motivated in their meaningless league fixtures. Like I said they have that look. It helps getting Besiktas out of the gates to get your legs moving against a team that was never going to beat them under any circumstances really. Sorry Besiktas Bayern is just on a different level than you. I think it’s time that everyone starts mentioning these guys in the same sentence as Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and even Juventus as we get into the quarterfinals, because we all may be caught with their pants down ignoring these guys as they roll to Ukraine and win this trophy in dominant fashion.