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'Mistakes are forbidden'

History on Bayern Munich's side vs. Real Madrid

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday May 08, 2001 4:41 PM
Updated: Tuesday May 08, 2001 5:57 PM
 

MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- Although Bayern Munich has a 1-0 lead and history on its side, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is taking nothing for granted before Wednesday's return leg against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal.

"We must not speculate on a 0-0 draw, that would be deadly," coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said Tuesday.

"We must score one, two goals. And mistakes are forbidden," he said.

Any draw will be enough for Bayern to reach the final for the second time in three seasons.

Bayern has never been eliminated from a European competition after winning the away leg. Under Hitzfeld, Bayern has not lost at its Olympic stadium in 21 Champions League matches.

The two rivals have a formidable record in European soccer's most important prestigious competition, with 11 titles between them.

Real is the defending champion and has a record eight titles, while Bayern has not triumphed since the last of its three straight in 1976.

In addition, both tams were runners-up three times. Real has a record 10 semifinal appearances, Bayern is second best at 12.

Last season, Bayern beat Real on three of four occasions -- only to be eliminated by a goal in the semifinal. Bayern lost the 1999 final to Manchester United 2-1 in injury time -- and took revenge by knocking out United in the previous round this season.

"If we don't make it to the final, that would be the ultimate disappointment," Hitzfeld said. "We must not lose our advantage and we have to use every means to seize our chance for the final. The team knows how important is this title for all of us."

Bayern will be weakened by the suspended midfielder and captain Stefan Effenberg.

Mehmet Scholl, the second playmaker, is recovering from an ankle injury and is uncertain for the match.

"I can imagine that no decision will be made until after the warm-up," Hitzfeld said.

"I am trying everything but I can't promise anything," Scholl said.

Bayern players made no secret of their optimism on the eve of the match.

"We'll do everything to go to Milan,' the venue of the May 23 final, said Brazilian striker Giovane Elber, who scored the winner in Madrid.

"We are always the strongest when the pressure is the greatest,' said goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Kahn made a string of superb saves in Madrid and his outstanding play in recent weeks has helped Bayern keep pace in the Bundesliga, where it is battling neck-to-neck with Schalke for the title.

Hitzfeld said the team would be motivated by the negative press it got in Spain for its defensive game plan in Madrid.

"We've noted some of the insults and we'll give the right answer on the field," Hitzfeld said.

The Spanish soccer giant did not arrive in Munich with a white flag, however.

"I have no doubt that Real is better than Bayern and we'll be in Milan," said team president Florentino Perez.

Top star Luis Figo was equally upbeat.

"We'll make it, we are going to win in Munich," Figo said.

Real's coach Vicente del Bosque said striker Fernando Morientes might play despite a recurring groin injury.

"He can play," del Bosque said after the team arrived in Munich late Monday.

Real Madrid sells training ground to wipe out debt

MADRID, Spain -- Real Madrid has sold its training ground to the local government in order to wipe out its estimated 46,000-million peseta (US$245.4 million) debt.

The value of Monday's sale was not made public but it had been reported in the Spanish media to be worth up to 75,000 million pesetas (US$400 million).

However, the operation has been condemned by politicians from opposition parties who accuse the Madrid Regional Council of utilizing public finances to rectify what they claim to be Real Madrid's financial mismanagement.

Mayor Jose Maria Alvarez del Manzano, president of the Madrid Regional Council Alberto Ruiz Gallardon and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez all signed the agreement.

Perez took charge of the club last July, undertaking to eliminate the club's heavy debt which had steadily increased during the 1990s.

"I have been working for this from the very day I became president. Today is very important for Real Madrid because we have removed a terrible burden and will soon have a new training ground which will be even better than AC Milan's Milanello training complex," Perez said Monday.

"From now on we can live without anxiety or financial difficulties. Real Madrid has not only to be a sporting leader, it must also be a financial leader too."

Under the terms of the agreement, the club is expected to vacate the 110,000 square meter (133,100 square yard) Ciudad Deportiva training ground in 2004 and relocate to a new state-of-the-art complex ten times the size.

Undeveloped land in the northeastern outskirts of the city has been provided by the Council.

The sale still requires ratification from Real Madrid's club members' committee in a vote on May 27th, though it is not expected to present an obstacle.

On the site of the old training ground, situated in the northern stretch of the city's main artery, Paseo de la Castellana, the Council plans to construct four office blocks of up to 45 stories, making them among the tallest buildings on the city skyline.

Two of these will be managed by the club itself, the Regional Council will take over another while the fourth will be shared between the two.

The Council also expects to construct a new 20,000-capacity sports pavilion which will be central to the city's bid for the Olympic Games of 2012. There will also be parking lot for 6,750 cars.


 
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