Achtung Baby! Bayern Munich Throw Down Juventus Gauntlet


By Tim Stannard (@StannardSports)

1) Internet in arms in fake outrage at teasing Champions League taunt as Bayern face Juve in titanic tussle

Finally, a sense of humor is creeping into the stodgy world of sport thanks to the troll-verse called the ‘internet’. Bayern Munich have decided to send legions of Juventus fans into pretending to be all upset, with a Twitter post playing with Juve’s motto of ‘until the end’ by suggesting that this particular end will take place this afternoon in terms of the Italian’s participation in the Champions League. Juventus responded with a Tweet asking for its players to “be heroes”. Heady stuff, and miles better than managers and players endlessly claiming games will be a challenge.



Bayern have good reason to be confident, as the Bundesliga outfit is taking a 2-2 into the Allianz Arena where Pep’s side have been imperious in the Champions League. Juve will be without Paolo Dybala and Claudio Marchisio for the clash which will not help matters at either end of the pitch. Catch all the highlights and the best analysis on the XTRA at 10PM.

Whilst Sports Burst is on a sort of Italian bent, Massimo Allegri has backed his Juventus predecessor all the way should Antonio Conte take over at Chelsea. The Juve boss proudly pointed out that “Italian coaches are among the best.” Our Christian Vieri would definitely approve of this message.

2) Arsene Wenger still harbors hopes of Champions League miracle at Camp Nou

Arsene Wenger is certainly setting up Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Barcelona with some fighting talk. Well, as much as the Frenchman is able to get animated when not talking about the merits of cheese and mime. Wenger observes that because Arsenal are going into the Camp Nou on Wednesday with a 2-0 deficit, his team are probably going to have to score more than the Champions League holders. The last team to beat Barcelona by two goals or more in the Camp Nou was Bayern Munich back in May 2013. So perhaps there is some hope for Wenger to drag Arsenal’s season out just that little bit more. Not a lot, though.  

Neymar has spoken. And today Neymar says that he is happy at Barcelona and can’t see himself playing anywhere else. At least for today, anyway. However, Neymar also says that Neymar would like to play for Brazil in the Olympics and the Copa America tournament this summer. Like Chris Christie, Neymar will have his cake and eat it. And then go back for more.

Practice doesn’t need to make perfect for Diego Simeone, after all, who says that his team do not run through taking penalties as there is not a lot of point. It’s a ploy that seems to be working, with Atletico beating PSV 8-7 in a shoot-out in the Vicente Calderon to move through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

3) Lavezzi reveals lack of motivation at PSG with move to all the money in China

“I had a great time. Great league. Great club. Great fans.” Those are the only words a footballer should say when moving on to pastures new. They may be complete poop, but at least the tactic avoids headlines of the sort created by former PSG forward, Ezequiel Lavezzi, who complains that he was so bored by PSG and Ligue Un and had such a drop off in motivation that he had to move to China. For the sporting challenge. And not the cash. At all.

4) FIFA is mad…and FIFA wants to get even as it begins pursuit of perps

“FIFA got robbed…now FIFA wants its money back…anyway it can…” (cue Gianni Infantino walking away from exploding building without looking and lighting up a cigar). This is the stuff of summer blockbusters. The New FIFA is going to be taking legal action that probably won’t involve exploding buildings against former members of the Old FIFA’s executive committee, basically for graft, bribery, corruption…everything listed in FIFA’s style guide of stealing over the past few decades. “Fifa as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes,” says the new FIFA boss, now being played by Liam Neeson and sporting an eye patch.

5) Rugby gains NFL recruit as Sharapova loses more supporters

Although a new US rugby league is set to get underway in April, the 15-man version of the game still has a lot of work to do to gain ground in US of A. However, the 7-man version – considerably faster with more tries – is an area where the US are currently very strong. And they are about to get even stronger with Nate Ebner of the New England Patriots set to take a time out from the NFL to pursue a dream of playing for the US in the Rio Olympics. Remember that beIN SPORTS is the home of rugby with England’s AVIVA Premiership, the PRO 12 and also the Six Nations which has its final weekend coming up. Tune in to XTRA on Thursday night at 10PM to hear more about how rugby is spreading in the US from coast to coast.

More former suitors have rushed away as fast as possible from Maria Sharapova like an episode of Celebrity Bachelor with Donald Trump as the free-and-easy singleton. The Russian tennis player, who admitted failing a drugs test during the Australian Open has now been dropped by the United Nations Development Programme as a goodwill ambassador. Reports suggest that Sharapova’s dog has started to pack a knapsack ahead of a departure to the family next door.