Bayern Munich managed to beat Arsenal in the knockout stages of the Champions league on their way to win the competition last season. The German outfit will be hoping for great omen this time around since they once again face Arsenal in the knockout stages. This is one of the high-profile matchups of the last 16 round, which will also see Manchester City taking on Barcelona. Arsenal failed to finish top of the group due to a final day defeat against Napoli. If they had topped the group, then they would have faced clubs significantly less stronger than Bayern Munich.
Podolski, who was part of the team that was defeated by his former club last season, says that it is time that Arsenal get their revenge on the German outfit. The striker recently returned from a long absence due to injury. His presence gives Arsene Wenger options upfront, which is something he has not had the luxury for most of this campaign. The first leg will be at home, which is yet another disappointment for Arsenal. After the arrival of Guardiola, Bayern have become even more stronger than they already were and they will pose a strong opposition.
Arsenal have never won the Champions league in the history.
“We know them well and Bayern are one of the best teams around, but we are also playing a good season and we’ll try all we can to turn around the result from last season this time around. Of course I know them and am friends with them – I know the bosses (president) Uli Hoeness and (chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and everybody who works at the club, but when the game approaches and we get out onto the field, then you are only focused,” said Podolski.
The former Bayern Munich striker has scored five goals this campaign.
Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has come out with an astonishing revelation that he is gay. He recently finished his playing career after representing popular clubs like Aston Villa and West Ham. He has also made numerous appearances for the German national team as well. Hitzlsperger has revealed that he has so far not disclosed his sexual orientation because of the fear of being punished by FIFA. He has received support from several players across the world. He is one of the very few to have come out openly about his homosexuality.
Lukas Podolski, who is his former international colleague, is one of the several to come out in support of Hitzlsperger. He has stated that it is a brave decision by the 31-year-old, who retired in September of last year after his spell with Everton. Injuries of persistent magnitude forced him to announce the decision. He is best known for his five years at Stuttgart where he made more than 125 appearances. Justin Fashanu and Robbie Rogers are some of the players who have come out in the open about their sexuality.
Podolski, who recently returned from a long injury layoff, says that it is a brave decision by his international colleague and one that should be respected.
“Brave and right decision. Respect, Thomas Hitzlsperger. His outing is a important sign in our time,” said Arsenal striker in his tweet.
“Thomas Hitzlsperger has shown a lot of courage today. Sad times when people have to wait till they retire from their chosen profession. Before they feel other people will judge them solely on who the human being is. Shame on all of us as a society,” said QPR midfielder Joey Barton in his tweet. Many other players have come out in support of Hitzlsperger after his revelation in a German daily.
Lukas Podolski is regarded as one of the finest of his generation in German football, but he failed to make the grade at Bayern Munich. He was an extremely good football during his time at FC Cologne, but failed to recreate the magic at Bayern Munich. Former Borussia Dortmund star Marcel Raducanu thinks that the same fate could fall upon new signing Mario Gotze, who moved to the archrivals in a £ 38 million deal in the summer. At Dortmund, Gotze was one of the important players at the club.
This will not be the case at Bayern according to Raducanu, who thinks that the young player could have done well with regular first-team football that is almost guaranteed at Dortmund. Gotze has caused a lot of discontent amongst Dortmund fans especially after having come through the academy. Despite the loss of key players this summer, the team has not lost its edge and are currently fighting with Bayern Munich for the title. There are also doing well in the group stages of the Champions League as well.
He has said that Gotze is undoubtedly a great player, but he will find 24 other such players at Bayern Munich. As with Raducanu’s predictions, the young midfielder has been unable to make a lot of appearances and he has largely been on the sidelines.
“I fear that it will be very difficult for Mario at Bayern. It could be a bit like with Lukas Podolski, who also left Koln way too soon. There’s no doubt about Mario’s qualities, but the competition for places at Bayern is incredible. It would have been better for him had he stayed at Dortmund. He would have been the undisputed star here and had a lot of freedom. At Bayern, there are 24 more great players,” Raducanu told Bild.