Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner has lavished praise on Cristiano Ronaldo, but says his side – and their Europe-best defence – shouldn’t fear the Real Madrid star when the teams go head-to-head in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
Recently crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern drew Real on Friday, and will welcome the Champions League titleholders to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday 25 April before the return leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday 1 May.
In Ronaldo, Real boast a player who leads this season’s scoring in the competition with 15 goals, seven more than his nearest challengers, and whilst Wagner is full of admiration for the Portuguese star, he’s confident Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng et al can contain him.
“Ronaldo scores so many goals it’s amazing!” he told the mixed zone following his brace in the 5-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. “I don’t even have that many goals in training. I think it’s great. I like people like that. It’s fun. It would be boring if we were all the same.”
“He’s going to be playing in these games [against us]. He’s an incredibly good player and I’m glad that we’ll face him twice. However, our defence is brutally strong. We have the best defence in Europe, so we don’t need to hide.”
Watch: Wagner is quite confident about Bayern's abilities at the other end too, here heaping praise on Robert Lewandowski!
Bayern have come up against Real six times at the semi-final stage of the Champions League, winning on four of those occasions, and Wagner is convinced the Bavarians can lift their record against Zinedine Zidane’s men to five triumphs out of seven.
“Real were the toughest draw of the three [Liverpool and Roma will meet in the other semi-final]. But we don’t have any blind players on our team, so we’re very positive and confident for the games. We’re in a good mood and looking forward to it."