Van Bommel: “Bayern v Barça should have been the final”

Mark Van Bommel playing against Benfica in 2006 PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
As a former player of both semi-finalists, Van Bommel believes the two sides are “evenly matched” and have “very similar styles”.

He’s convinced they’ll be “two great matches” and that the winner will end up lifting the Champions League trophy.

Mark Van Bommel spent just a single season with Barça (2005/06), but the experience left a deep impression. But he’s also closely linked with Bayern Munich, where he spent four seasons from 2006 to 2011. From his current club, PSV, he’ll be following his two former clubs in their Champions League semi-final. Speaking to he told us: “Bayern v Barça should have been the final. Whoever wins the tie will be champions. I was very happy at both clubs. In Barcelona I won four trophies in a year and in Munich, six in four and a half years. I can’t have any preferences”.

Barça narrow favourites

Although he believes, the tie is “evenly balanced”, Van Bommel thinks that Barça has a slight advantage because the second leg will be in the Camp Nou. “In such an evenly balanced tie, that could be decisive. Barça has a very good team and has appeared in six consecutive semi-finals, which says a lot. We’re going to see two great matches. We’re going to have a real treat”.

Styles, injuries and suspensions

Asked to compare the two sides, Van Bommel emphasised that Bayern and Barça “are very similar teams. They have the same style of play, they like to pass the ball and are strong in attack”. Could injuries and suspensions tip the balance one way or another? “I don’t think so. In Barça’s case, they have a great squad and won’t miss anyone, although the simple presence of Puyol makes a big impression on the opponent. In a year with Barça it was clear to me that he’s a special captain, an example”.

Van Bommel, who was himself captain of Bayern for two and a half years, doesn’t think the final will be between two sides from the same league but he isn’t willing to call the other semi-final: “It’s very open”.