“It’s not a final, it’s just a quarter-final. There is still a long way to go to win the Champions League.”, specifies Wednesday April 7 Bixente Lizarazu, football consultant of franceinfo, world champion 98 and winner of the Champions League with Bayern in 2001, a few hours before the start of the quarter-final first leg between Paris Saint-Germain at Bayern Munich at 9 p.m. at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Two clubs with opposite functioning, for Bixente Lizarazu, with a Parisian team which “depends a lot on two individuals, Mbappé and Neymar”, while the Bavarian team “is a machine, a group, a collective”.
franceinfo: PSG and Bayern parted last August with a victory for Munich in the final of the Champions League, they meet tonight in the quarter-finals of the same competition. Will there be a bit of revenge in the air later?
Bixente Lizarazu: A little bit, but it’s not a final, it’s just a quarterfinal. There is still a long way to go to win the Champions League. There may be a little thought on this final lost for Paris Saint-Germain, but we are in a different context and with a return match on everything that is completely different compared to the approach of the season.
Can we consider that this meeting boils down to a confrontation between a PSG which doubts at the moment in France, which has just left its place as leader of Ligue1, and a Bayern which crushes everything in Germany?
It is true that there is a lot more control and a lot more consistency. Bayern are the best team in Europe. They won the Champions League last season. They are still on a very good course in the league and are first, they are in control and it is a team which is still extremely solid. So what I will say is that these are mostly two completely different teams. Paris Saint-Germain depends a lot on two individuals, Mbappé and Neymar and in a team sport, it’s a bit of a paradox. With these two individualities, on a big day, they can really be surprising and at the same time, they can have moments of doubts, of weakness, as in the league against Lille, for example, where these two individuals did not respond. present. Bayern is a machine, it’s a group, it’s a collective and even without Lewandowski [l’attaquant et le meilleur buteur du club], even in the absence of Gnabry because of the Covid, it’s still a big collective and a team that is used to big matches in the Champions League.
Neymar is coming back from a long injury. Last weekend, he received a red card for his return after a bad gesture during the Ligue 1 match PSG-Lille. Is there any doubt about his ability to lead Paris Saint-Germain to the top?
Yes, there is a doubt. Not on his pure talent because he’s a great player. He is currently one of the greatest technicians in football, but his attitude is not good. It’s an extremely individualistic attitude: the red card he takes is because he’s frustrated, because he can’t stand Lille simply defending on him and preventing him from expressing his talent. And when things are not going well, Neymar goes wild and that already vis-à-vis the opponents, it is a lack of respect because what does that mean? The opponents must look at him, must tell him that he is beautiful, that he is magnificent? And what does that mean in relation to its partners? He lets go of his team, he lets go of his team.
“Neymar, in important moments he has to be a leader both technically and mentally. And he isn’t.”Bixente Lizarazu, franceinfo football consultant
And so it is true that there, he is really expected because in the big games, we expect the big players. But the image he gave against Lille is catastrophic. You have to respect your partners and also respect your opponent. And that was not the case against Lille.