Robert Lewandowski As Dangerous As Cristiano Ronaldo - Juup Heynckes

Share

Managers Zinedine Zidane and Jupp Heynckes both believe the blockbusting Champions League semi-final between holders Real Madrid and Bayern Munich is wide open.

That calmness was evident in the Allianz Arena as Zidane spoke - even if there was a blunt scatological reference to wrap up proceedings: "We can't, I would say, crap in our trousers before matches like this".

"We are in the semi-finals and we want to play a good game".

"There isn't a favourite".

Yet that was Heynckes' only nod to nostalgia as the man who was sacked by Real eight days after that match, paying the price for their domestic failures that season, said: "I really live in the here and now".

Left out of their squad for the Champions League final previous year, he now has the chance to knock his parent club out of this season's competition.

When his Bayern side beat Real in the 2012 semi-finals, he was adamant there was no sense of personal revenge for him.

"We'll be at 150 percent, I don't have any doubt about that".

Inevitably Zidane was quizzed on how he felt about letting James go past year on a two-season loan move to Bayern whose coach Jupp Heynckes hailed the Colombian's growing influence.

"These are two teams with a great tradition, who play and love attractive football".

"I went through only once against him with Bayern, but twice we have gone out".

"Obviously very tough opposition stand in our way, but I am very optimistic for the two games".

But inconsistency, combined with Madrid's abundance of attacking options, led to James falling out of favour, so much so that he made just 13 league starts last season and was left out of their squad for the Champions League final.

"I think he will be motivated because he is a football player".

Wins apiece for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in their past 24 meetings. "You can say that Real have won the last two titles in a row and maybe they have an advantage but we are in a really good state", Heynckes said.

"Bayern have shown very little of the fluidity and out-of-this-world football we've become accustomed to in this spell but they've nearly become the Bayern of old - they somehow find a way of winning games. Emotions always play a part, especially on Champions League nights at the Bernabeu".

Though, Madrid have only managed to win one of their last four games in all competitions, but Zidane is unfazed by their performances in those games, saying they would have no problem finding motivation in Munich.

"We haven't taken the easiest route this year with PSG (Paris Saint-Germain), Juventus and now Bayern, but we are on the verge of the final".

Share