Bastian Schweinsteiger has urged his Bayern Munich teammates to show complete focus throughout their Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid, which they currently lead 2-1.
Conceding a costly away goal in the first leg at the Allianz arena has put Bayern in a tricky situation where they must either score at least once, or keep a clean sheet if they fail to score.
Schweinsteiger knows that a noisy Santiago Bernabeu awaits the German giants as they battle against a side that is on the verge of being crowned as the Spanish champions.
“We expect them to come at us so we will have to work hard defensively. The home supporters will be full of emotion and screaming their team on, which will play a part,” Schweinsteiger admitted in an interview at UEFA’s official website.
The 27-year old confidently added: “If we’re playing well in the first 20 minutes, though, they will calm down and that has to be our aim. I feel we must score; I think we will.”
Injuries to his collarbone and ankle limited severely limited Schweinsteiger’s participation in a disappointing domestic season that saw Bayern lose the Bundesliga crown to Borussia Dortmund for a second consecutive year.
However, setbacks in big moments are nothing new for Schweinsteiger, who has seen his Germany side fall short in UEFA and FIFA competitions at either the semifinal or final stage in the last six years.
It is also that big game experience, though, that keeps him strong ahead of this evening’s nervy outing in the Spanish capital.
“I knew we would have a lot of important matches towards the end of the season, which brought extra motivation for me to get back to fitness as quickly as possible,” Schweinsteiger stated.
“I have been involved in very important games before and this is up there with the best of them. Of course, you feel a great sense of responsibility but we have many experienced players in our team and they will carry that responsibility too; everyone must contribute to the cause,” he concluded.