Arturo Vidal (l.) says he would love to face former Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola (r.) in this season's Champions League. - © © imago
Arturo Vidal (l.) says he would love to face former Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola (r.) in this season's Champions League. - © © imago

Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal eyes Pep Guardiola reunion in the Champions League


Arturo Vidal has revealed the white-hot competition for places at Bayern Munich means the Bundesliga leaders will still go all out at Besiktas on Wednesday as the Chile midfielder eyes a UEFA Champions League reunion with Manchester City's former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola.

Bayern are all but assured of their place in the quarter-finals after schooling their Turkish opponents 5-0 in the first leg at the Allianz Arena.

But with Bayern having assembled one of the strongest squads in European football, Vidal told kicker there will be no let-up regardless of the players coach Jupp Heynckes picks to play in Istanbul.

"When you only look at the result, it could look like that, but we are Bayern. We want to win every game. Also in Istanbul. We're going there to do our job well and go into the quarter-finals with another win," Vidal explained.

"When you're at a club as big as Bayern, you know everyone in the squad wants to play and is looking for a place in the team, so you must always try to do your job on the pitch as well as possible so that the team wins. That sharpens your senses."

Should Bayern be foolhardy enough to consider dropping their tempo, they could learn the lesson taught to Guardiola's City, who were caught out by Basel last week.

After cantering to a 4-0 first-leg victory in Switzerland, the soaraway English Premier League leaders suffered a first home defeat since December 2016 as they were beaten 2-1 in the return fixture.

It did not prevent City from progressing to the last eight where Vidal would love to come up against the man who led Bayern to three successive titles between 2013 and 2016, and welcomed the combative former Juventus midfielder into his squad in 2015.

Watch: All of Vidal's Bundesliga goals and assists in 2017/18

"That would be something great, something special. The teams resemble each other in their way of playing. We're not afraid of any opponent, that's the most important thing," said Vidal, part of the Juve side beaten by Barcelona in the 2014/15 Champions League final.

"Barcelona and Real Madrid are always among the contenders, and Manchester City are playing well this year. Liverpool have also impressed me. If we reach the quarter-finals, which I think we will, there won't be an easy opponent. But we have a strong team that can stand up to any opponent."

Heynckes' men have done more than that domestically this season, riding roughshod over their Bundesliga rivals to stretch out a massive 20-point lead at the top of the table heading into Matchday 27.

A sixth successive Meisterschale is within touching distance, but Vidal has his sights set higher: match the historic treble Bayern achieved under Heynckes in 2012/13.

- © imago

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