On the rivalry of Der Klassiker…
“This is a very special game. There are many examples of when the emotional heat has boiled over between players and between officials. The rivalry has written so many different stories.
“When you play Dortmund you know that there are 80,000 fans waiting for you and you have that Yellow Wall there with 28,000 who cannot wait for the game to start. It is the same now in Munich too with the Allianz Arena.
“Unfortunately, when I was there, we played in the old Olympic Stadium with the track around it. Even if there were 75,000 in there it was not the same feeling that you have now in a specialist football stadium.
“Both teams have these fantastic stadiums and that is what you want as a player – you want to experience these games and give it a go. I am sure there will be some kind of drama between players on Saturday, some argument or fight or whatever. It is going to be a special occasion, for sure.
“The rivalry will always fascinate every football fan in Germany. It is the game to watch. Everybody is hoping that Borussia Dortmund can do something in that outsider role because they know they are capable of beating them.
“But there is this huge respect for Bayern Munich whether you like them or don’t like them because they have earned that respect.”
On the pressure of playing for Bayern…
“I think actually it gives you additional adrenaline, it gives you additional energy that those expectations are there.
“Those expectations are built over decades, not only in the mind of the people who lead the club – the board, the president, whoever – but in the whole culture of the city of Munich with all the Bayern fans.
“There is no other club with so many supporters. It is the result of hard work by the club over decades. You just live with that. You actually enjoy it.
“You have to win pretty much every game. These are the expectations you face at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and at the moment at Manchester City and Liverpool.
“These coaches know that the expectation is to win the next game. Even if you won the last 10 then if you lose people will come out of the bushes and criticise you. But it is a feeling of confidence that you carry with you that you are part of this successful history.”
Verdict on Bayern Munich’s season…
“The expectations in Munich are the highest. You know you need to win the championship and then if possible to get the German cup which this year didn’t work out.
“And then the expectations at Bayern Munich are always to go far in the Champions League and hopefully winning the Champions League or at least being in the final four which didn’t work out this season.
“So it’s been a rough, rough season for Julian Nagelsmann.
“But still a season where he probably learned a lot and experienced the environment at Bayern Munich because it’s a very special club, a special environment.
“So the learning curve for him personally is a huge learning curve, and a positive learning curve because, especially then when things don’t work out perfectly as you hoped at the beginning of the season, that’s the moment when you learn the most.
“I think once the season is done he can sit down with the board and the coaching staff and they can shape it up for next season. I think he’s one of the most talented coaches out there, there’s no doubt about it. They are going to go forward and attack the Champions League again and the domestic titles as well.”
Verdict on Borussia Dortmund’s season…
“Dortmund have a very strong team as well but it is about consistency. Sometimes we wondered after they had a good run this season, OK, they are getting closer, they can give Bayern a fight, and then they lost stupidly some points.
“It is something only those on the inside really know, why they have given away points they should never have given away. I think if you look at them player by player, they can definitely compete for the title, can definitely go for the final four also in Europe.
“But then there come these moments when they unexpectedly lose a couple of games and it just does not work out.”
On Robert Lewandowski vs Erling Haaland…
“We are just super proud that both of them are part of the Bundesliga. I look at Erling Haaland as the young Robert Lewandowski because he has everything you need to become a complete player.
“Unfortunately, maybe a bit like Lewandowski, his national team environment maybe does not give him the opportunity to win a World Cup. I am not saying it is not possible – anything is possible – but it is very difficult. But most likely it won’t happen.
But in whatever team they play they are leaders as No 9s in that role they play. Erling has such a bright future ahead of him, he is at a young age but is already so complete in his game.
“Robert has proved it and in the last years he has had the individual recognition with the world footballer of the year. He really deserves that because of what he has done at Bayern in the last few years, catching the record of Gerd Muller and just being so outstanding in his performances, so consistent.
“But that just shows that his team environment at Bayern Munich delivers him that opportunity to stand out, to score so many goals, because he has players just feeding him fantastically. When he goes into a game, he knows that he is going to get three, four or five chances. This is huge for a No 9.
“It is similar with Haaland. He has players like Marco Reus, Gio Reyna, Jude Bellingham or any of the other guys who are constantly looking for him and putting him in the positions to score. We are very proud to have these players in Germany.
“We just hope they stay in the Bundesliga.”
FOLLOW THE TACTICAL FEED ON THE SKY SPORTS APP
Viewers will have the second-screen option of following the tactical feed for the game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, enhanced with dedicated stats and graphics. This feed provides a unique viewing experience for stat-savvy football fans.
It will include:
- Live match captured by a scouting feed camera and enhanced with statistics and data.
- Live graphics, dedicated tactical feed commentary in English, in-match augmented reality, and in-game analytical clips aired before, during and after the match.
Watch Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund live on Sky Sports Football from 5.15pm on Saturday to find out more; kick-off 5.30pm