Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm has admitted that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be stopped for the duration of an entire 90-minute match and hopes that his teammates can at least limit the damage that the Portuguese winger can cause.
Unlike Barcelona defender Dani Alves’ disrespectful remarks towards Chelsea, there has been a lot of mutual respect exchanged between Real and Bayern players in the last 48 hours.
Both teams enter tonight’s Champions League semifinal with diverging fortunes; while Real are in a pole position to dethrone Barca for the domestic title, Bayern are pretty much out of contention for the Bundesliga title this season.
Nevertheless, the terrific history of both sides in European competitions, as well as the star-studded squads at the disposal of each, makes this fixture a potential classic.
Bayern’s attacking trio of Mario Gomez, Arjen Robben, and Franck Ribery will certainly be looking to attack in the first leg at Allianz Arena but in order to avoid conceding a costly away goal, Lahm has called for an extremely focused team defense against the free-scoring Ronaldo.
“I have lots of respect for Cristiano Ronaldo. He has worked very hard for his success. He has a lot of talent, but also works very hard to become better, to reach his goals and fulfil his dreams. I am looking forward to this duel with one of the best players in the world,” Lahm remarked about the Portugal international’s prowess.
The German captain added: “But we have to all work together to stop him. With Cristiano, you will never be able to control him for 90 minutes. But if we do well and try not to give him many chances, there is a good chance of beating Real Madrid.
“They will try everything to get a goal. They will fight from the first minute, so will we. In a match like this, one single moment can be decisive.”