Rummenigge demands improved form
Bayern will face FC Basel at their St Jakob Stadium and chief executive officer Rummenigge has said the Bavarians must be on their guard to avoid suffering a similar fate to the English Premier League champions.
Sir Alex Ferguson's United were beaten 2-1 at Basel last December in the group stages, which knocked them out of the Champions League. But Rummenigge says his team must learn from United's mistakes. "If we play like Man United did, we will also have problems," he told Kicker.
Bayern produced a below-par performance in Saturday's goalless draw at Freiburg, which left them third in the German league, and Rummenigge says they can ill-afford another poor display. "It's not permitted [in the Champions League]," he was quoted as saying. "The knock-out system does not forgive performances like that, or you're gone."
Rummenigge says Bayern have a "duty" to their fans to reach the Champions League final on 19 May at their own stadium, but it has been 15 years since a team won the title in their own country. Current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund were the last team to pull off the feat when they beat Juventus 3-1 at Munich's Olympiastadion in 1997.
"We have to do everything to make the fans' dreams come true," said Rummenigge. "In the last third of the season, we have to give it all, not like last year when we ended up with nothing. We need to show some stable form, which will pull us through on our not-so-good days and the character trait the team is disposed to is to torture themselves."
Captain Philipp Lahm was far more blunt in his appraisal. "We are obviously not going there with the greatest self-confidence," he said. "If we play like we did in the first half [against Freiburg], we have no chance in Basel."
Bayern will be up against a future player in the shape of Basel's 20-year-old attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who will join Munich in July. "I will try to get one over Bayern," he said. "Even against United, everyone expected us to go down and look what happened?"