Bayern's Raphaël Guerreiro is enjoying the view from the other side of the Klassiker divide. - © Sebastian Widmann
Bayern's Raphaël Guerreiro is enjoying the view from the other side of the Klassiker divide. - © Sebastian Widmann

Raphaël Guerreiro ready to witness Der Klassiker from Bayern Munich perspective


Raphaël Guerreiro was injured when his new side Bayern Munich last met Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker earlier this season, feeding the Portugal international's desire to face his former side this weekend. sat down with the talented 30-year-old to gauge his mood ahead of Saturday's blockbuster at the Allianz Arena... Der Klassiker is just around the corner, your first in Bayern colours. How much are you looking forward to it?

Raphaël Guerreiro: "I'm very excited about the game. I missed the first match against Dortmund with an injury but I hope to be available for this one. I should be. It's a very important match for me personally as Dortmund was a big part of my life. I had some amazing moments there as well as some tough ones. Today, I'm very happy in Munich so I will give my all for Bayern." It won’t be first against second in the table this time around, but does that make the fixture any less important?

Guerreiro: “It’s still a very big game. Everyone wants to watch Der Klassiker. When I was at Dortmund, we used to look forward to this fixture all year, and it was typically a bad experience for us whenever we played at the Allianz Arena. I hope we continue in the same way this time and Bayern get a good result.”

Despite injury problems, Guerreiro (r.) has been enjoying life with his Bayern teammates this season. - Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga You once scored a screamer for Dortmund against Bayern. Do you still have fond memories of that goal?

Guerreiro: “Yes, I remember. It was a great goal. But we ended up losing 4-1 so it wasn’t a great feeling after the game. But I remember the goal fondly. I hope to score again this time but the win is the most important thing.” Speaking of goalscoring, you have played with some excellent strikers in your career. Where does Harry Kane rate?

Guerreiro: "To be honest, I didn’t really know about his style of play before he arrived at the club. I thought perhaps he might just stay up top and wait for chances to score. But he offers a lot more than that. He can link the play, he protects the ball well.

"When I was injured, I watched all the games and I really saw what a great striker he is. He is the type of striker that I really like. He really helps the team out in difficult moments by protecting the ball and by winning fouls. He is not just an important goalscorer for us, he also makes a lot of key passes. He creates a lot of opportunities for his teammates. For example, that pass for Jamal [Musiala] in our last game [against Darmstadt] was exceptional. So he is definitely one of the best strikers."

Watch: When Guerreiro scored a worldie in Der Klassiker What influence does Kane have on the team?“

Guerreiro: “He is a very, very important part of the team. He has shown that this season. When he struggles, we all struggle. He needs to maintain his level until the end of the season so we can achieve our aims as a team.” What are your objectives for the end of the season given the team's good run of results of late?

Guerreiro: "We have shown we are capable of producing good results [but] there have been some difficult games recently too. We have to make sure we continue to build our confidence, as we did [in the 8-1 win] against Mainz. We didn’t let up in that game, we kept pushing forward in order to score more goals. We need to make sure we do that in every match and also ensure we don’t lose hope, even though we are ten points behind [league leaders] Bayer Leverkusen.”

Opposite sides: Guerreiro (l.) gets to grips with ex-Bayern behemoth Robert Lewandowski. - Stuart Franklin Will you get in touch with any of your former BVB teammates ahead of Saturday's encounter?

Guerreiro: "Yes, I will send Marco [Reus] a message before the game, for sure. I am still in touch with a number of the Dortmund players and will catch up with them afterwards in the changing room. But on the pitch, we will remain fully concentrated." How would you describe Dortmund's playing style this season?

Guerreiro: “Dortmund have had a few issues this term with their build-up play. They have been looking to play direct rather than build through the phases. They are not always able to retain possession up front and then recycle the ball. I think things have improved slightly in their last few games though. I watch them a lot so I still have some ideas about how they play. Our style of play is more controlled, we like to keep hold of the ball, though in some games we are happy to sit back and let the other team have more of the ball." But Dortmund are always dangerous, right?

Guerreiro: "Yes, of course. Donyell Malen is in great form at the moment. Dortmund offer a real threat and have lots of explosive players. I think we know some of their players very well as lots of us play together for our national teams. We were able to dominate in the first game against them this season. Now they are coming to Munich so we will show them what we are about here at Bayern.”

Guerreiro (l.) was full of praise for Bayern striker Harry Kane. - IMAGO/Bernd Feil/M.i.S. What can Bayern achieve this season?

Guerreiro: "We have advanced to the next round of the Champions League; that's the trophy we want to get this season. We are ten points behind in the league [but] we will remain focussed on ourselves and ensure we win every single match. And then we’ll see what Leverkusen do. The key thing is to remain focussed on ourselves and our job out on the pitch.

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