Bayern Munich defender Rafinha optimistic about Barcelona comeback
Defender Rafinha is confident that Bayern Munich can complete a memorable comeback when they face Barcelona in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.
A late Lionel Messi brace and a further goal from Neymar gave Barça a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead in the first leg at Camp Nou last Wednesday.
To reach the final in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Bayern must now score at least three goals.
For Rafinha, the challenge facing Bayern is going to be tough. But the Brazil international – capped twice – believes they have a chance to overturn the deficit and argues that they have had a strong season, regardless of the outcome.
“For 77 minutes last week we played very well, defended very well,” he said, as reported by UEFA’s official website. “After that we made some mistakes and we paid for that. Now we are going to try to score three or four goals – perhaps we will even have to take it to extra time.
“Against players like this you take a risk by playing with just three at the back, but we will do what the coach says. It’s the details which will decide games like these.
“If we are German champions, that means this has been a great season for us. We are still in semi-finals of the Champions League. We had had bad luck with injuries, and of course we wanted to go to the German Cup final too.
“We did not expect to be 3-0 down at this stage, but we have another game, and when we are at out stadium, we have shown that we can score a lot of goals.”
Despite having to cope with numerous injuries, Bayern remained competitive for large spells of the first leg. The difference, ultimately, was the brilliance of Messi.
With the Argentine likely to be key again on Tuesday, Rafinha is wary of his talents. The full-back also accepts however, that focusing on Messi could lead to Bayern being caught out by one of Barcelona’s other excellent attacking players.
“Everyone knows how good Messi is,” he continued. “Of course we wanted to stop him, but a player like that can decide games on his own. But Barcelona is not just Messi. They have a great team, just think about [Luis] Suárez.”