Munich - Having spent well over half his playing career at FC Bayern Munich and Juventus Turin, there are few figures in world football better-equipped to assess the two clubs' upcoming UEFA Champions League quarter-final showdown than Hasan Salihamidzic.

Speaking to, the Bosnian discusses where the game could be won and lost, the Italian art of defending and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Mr Salihamidzic, you've played for Bayern and Juventus. Do you still follow them both?

Salihamidzic: Sure, in fact very intensively - and of course I'll be watching them in the Champions League quarter finals either in the stadium or as a Sky TV expert. Is your heart with Bayern or are you crossing your fingers for Juventus?

Salihamidzic: Of course I'm a Red. Those nine years at Bayern were
the best of my career. I still live in Munich and my kids were born here. I also had a nice time in Turin. That's why the game has come a little early for my liking. I was hoping to see them both in the final. A little part of me is going to be a bit sad whatever the outcome (Hasan Salihamidzic on Facebook). How difficult is the Juventus draw for Bayern?

Salihamidzic: It's a tough one. After FC Barcelona, it's probably the toughest you could have got, but when Bayern perform as they did three weeks ago or like they did in the 9-2 win over HSV, they can beat anyone. If they do that, I think Bayern hold a slight advantage. Where do Juventus' strengths lie?

Salihamidzic: Juventus play great football and above all they're very organised at the back. The team is so strong in all areas of the pitch. Juventus have been playing brilliantly this season - just like Bayern in the Bundesliga. There's so much quality in the squad. In Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, their defence is pretty much that of the national side, and the midfield is made up of international stars like Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal. Mirko Vucinic is technically gifted and a real danger up front. In the semi finals of the 2012 European Championships, the German national side had a really tough time of it against the Italians' back line. What's the secret behind the Italian art of defending?

Salihamidzic: Antonio Conte deserves the credit for the defensive stability in the Juventus team. He's made it so that everyone plays their part defensively. That goes for the strikers, too. Some say the Juve strikers don't score enough goals, but it's down to the system. Mirko Vucinic, Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella have all shown that they can score plenty of goals. Under Conte, the strikers have to do a lot of work at the back, they have to do a lot of running and always play the position of the go-to guy. Have Juventus got any real weaknesses?

Salihamidzic: At the moment, Juve are not showing any major weaknesses. Taking Pirlo and Vidal out of the game is the key to success. If you can do that, that's half the work done. Even so, there are plenty of other top players aside from those two. Juve are really difficult to beat. Is it difficult for Bayern to keep their focus when there's not really anything left to play for in the Bundesliga?

Salihamidzic: That's how it goes. Now it's the moment of truth, especially in the Champions League. It's obvious that Bayern want to win the Champions League this year and be Europe's number one. After losing two finals, the time has come. The players want it, but you can't show any weaknesses in the Champions League. Bayern have to play like they did three or four weeks ago when they were incredibly difficult to beat. However, other things come into play, especially in European competition, like how you play on the day and a bit of luck, too. How do you rate FC Bayern compared to the rest of Europe, especially to FC Barcelona?

Salihamidzic:: When I see games like the one against AC Milan, I have to say that Barca play unbelievably good football. There's no doubt Bayern do aswell, but Barca are on another level. Messi is on another planet - he does the job of half the team. When Bayern play as they did three or four weeks ago, they're almost at the same level and can beat anyone, including FC Barcelona.

Sebastian Dirschl