Julian Nagelsmann knows: This time he should deliver (more) in Bayern Munich's premium competition. Regardless of the first small slump in results in the last league games, the ambitious coach radiates mia-san-mia confidence before the risky opening program of his star ensemble in the Champions League.
"I think we're very ready," Nagelsmann trumpeted before the first tests on Europe's big soccer stage on September 7 (9 p.m. / DAZN) at Inter Milan and just six days later against FC Barcelona with a highly motivated returnee Robert Lewandowski .
Nagelsmann: "We are challenged immediately"
The Munich team once again have to live up to their reputation as start specialists (18 opening wins in a row) in order not to come under pressure right away. "Normally, Bayern Munich is always put in the lucky draw, now it's the killer group. We're challenged right away," said Nagelsmann about the "demanding" group C. Viktoria Pilsen is the only lightweight. Nagelsmann also knows what has to be different for a top start in the venerable Giuseppe Meazza Stadium than in the sluggish 1-1 draw in the top Bundesliga game against Union Berlin: "The energy level has to be the same as in the games before."
Nagelsmann started the final training before the short charter flight to Italy on the club premises in order to be able to hide his tactical and personal ideas from unwanted Inter observers behind the privacy curtain. "We had time to come up with a plan and adjust our legs," said Thomas Müller. It's no secret that the 32-year-old leader will return to the starting XI. With Müller, the offensive should ignite again like in the first weeks of the season.
Inter goes into the Bayern game with some problems
Inter recovered a classic nine in Romelu Lukaku. But the massive Belgian falls out with a thigh injury. The aging ex-Wolfsburg Edin Dzeko (36) should now become a Bayern terror again. After a 3-1 draw at Lazio Roma and a 3-2 draw in the city derby against AC Milan, Inter go into the Bayern game with a few problems. Like Union Berlin, the hosts operate in a 3-5-2 system. Nevertheless, Nagelsmann said: "Inter play differently. I don't think they just limit themselves to defending."
"We have to deliver, deliver and deliver again!"
Müller knows what is announced and required in the rock-hard autumn schedule: "We have to deliver, deliver and deliver again!" And Nagelsmann knows about his obligation to bring in Bayern's second year after the Munich bosses around Oliver Kahn made advance payments in the summer. The 140 million euro shopping tour by sports director Hasan Salihamidzic with the top purchases from star striker Mané and defense chief Matthijs de Ligt was ultimately not based on ambitions for the eleventh championship title in a row. It's in the trainer's specifications at FC Bayern anyway.
No, the driving force was the disturbing quarter-final knockout. against FC Villarreal in Nagelsmann's debut season. Since one was "fall from all clouds", reminded CEO Kahn. In the summer it was therefore the task of the club management to give the squad new impetus and to massively intensify the competition. "That was important for the team," said Kahn.
The goal was "to create the conditions for us to be able to win the Champions League again," explained Kahn. Now it's Nagelsmann's turn with his luxury squad. "We have to perform," said the fearless Bayern coach: "We're looking forward to that."