Bayern players upbeat ahead of Bhaichung`s farewell match
New Delhi: German giants Bayern Munich players were upbeat about playing against the Indian football team in Bhaichung Bhutia`s farewell exhibition match but played down the expected mismatch between the two sides.
Bayern are among the top sides in Europe having won UEFA Champions League four times and they are expected to beat the Indian team, to be led by Bhaichung, hands down but captain Philipp Lahm refused to predict the margin of victory.
"We have come here to win. Hopefully, we will play attractive football and show the kind of football a top European side plays," he said at a press conference here when told about Bayern mauling a Qatari side 13-0 in a match in Doha where they had a week-long training camp.
Coach Jupp Heynckes was also cautious not to say in so many words that his side would be runaway winners.
"We have come here from Qatar after a week-long training camp there as part of preparation for the second phase of Bundesliga. All the players are fit. We hope to play serious and attractive football and hope that the Indian fans know the entertaining football Bayern plays," he said.
Asked if he knows anything about Indian football, Lahm said, "Honestly, I don`t know much about Indian football. If you think anything about Indian sports it is cricket. If anything we know about Indian football it was Bhaichung Bhutia playing for World XI in some exhibition matches."
He said the players would have wanted some sightseeing in India but will have to return home the next day.
"It`s my first visit in India and we have been given a grand reception. It was very good feeling from the airport to the team hotel. Obviously we would have wanted to go around a bit, but unfortunately we are catching next morning flight," said Lahm, also German national side captain.
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said he was fully fit and recovered from his shoulder injury.
"There is no problem now and I have recovered from my shoulder injury," he should.
"If Bhaichung does not go for my shoulder I should be OK," he joked.
Bhaichung, on his part, said that he was looking forward to play full 90 minutes tomorrow though he is not 100 per cent fit.
"I am not 100 per cent fit in the Indian national team standard as well as Bayern Munich standard but will start tomorrow in the playing eleven and hope to play full 90 minutes. I had suffered from calf muscle tear and I hope it does not occur again," he said.
Asked if he would come out of retirement if he is called upon to do so, Bhaichung said, "I am happy retiring. If there is any need for me to play I would do so. But I am confident that such a situation will not arise for the national side which has some very good players."