The Bavarians are showing off in the test match against Real Madrid. Their USA trip continues – but without Jerome Boateng. Will he change after all?
Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge gave Toni Kroos a farewell slap on the shoulder on his way out of the stadium just at the moment when the international was talking benevolently about his ex-club. The Munich team’s 3-1 (1-0) win in a prestigious duel with Real Madrid revealed that the squad of the German Serie Champion still has an international football format in the current line-up, despite the continued intensive search for more top players. “I think that Bavaria already has a top first eleven – twelve, 13, 14 top players,” said Kroos. The Real-Star is therefore reckoning with his former employer in the Champions League again in the new season: “I always see Bavaria at the top of the league.
It was just a test game that the long-time rivals played on Saturday evening (local time) in front of 60,413 spectators in the fantastic Houston Texans football stadium. But after the victory with goals from Corentin Tolisso (15th minute), Robert Lewandowski (67th) and Serge Gnabry (69th) on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, the Bavarians had no reason to call “Houston, we have a problem” before visiting the US space agency NASA on Sunday.
Three days after the unfortunate 1:2 against FC Arsenal, the first victory at the International Champions Cup was good for the mood. “We all know it’s preparation. Nevertheless, it makes us proud to win against Real 3-1,” said Gnabry. Rummenigge rated FC Bayern’s advertising tour through the United States as a success even before the final stop in Kansas City with the test against AC Milan. “The team is doing a great job here,” praised the boss.
The game, which was played under the closed roof of the NRG Arena due to the heat, provided Niko Kovac with some insights. “We did really well in the offensive section,” the coach said. The first 45 minutes were a real acid test, when Real played “with the full band”, as Rummenigge remarked: “It was a pretty tough game for us”.
Real’s offensive for the over 100 million Euro access to Eden Hazard caused a stir. But Manuel Neuer could not be defeated. A goal Real succeeded only with the free kick of Rodrygo (84.) against Bavaria’s third goalkeeper Ron-Thorben Hoffmann. Previously, Sven Ulreich had seen the red card because of a controversial emergency brake.
Captain Neuer didn’t want to overstate the good looks of the show. “These games at a different time of the season will be very different.” But the Texas stop delivered messages. The defender Jérôme Boateng, who was chased from the court by President Uli Hoeneß in May, presented himself well again in the 90 minutes before his early return to Munich, which, according to the club, he was supposed to play “for private reasons” in the course of Sunday.
“Great praise, great compliment. From a sporting point of view, I am very satisfied with him,” said Kovac about Boateng. “There is certainly not the last word spoken yet,” Rummenigge said. Will there still be a turnaround in the Boateng personnel?
Renato Sanches already had clear words and Kovac announced that he must stay. The 21-year-old Portuguese played well against Real. The midfielder has advocates in the team. “I see extreme potential for Renato. If you want to get a player with the qualities, you certainly have to pay 60 million euros today,” said international Joshua Kimmich.
Kovac tested the flexibility of the tight squad against Real. He tested Benjamin Pavard for 45 minutes as a right-back, but Kimmich moved to midfield, which he thought was cool. World champion Tolisso made progress after his cruciate ligament rupture, Lewandowski scored again. “We are dependent on Lewis goals,” Kovac explained.
It won’t be enough for the Bundesliga start on 16 August against Hertha BSC probably for 80 million newcomer Lucas Hernández, who is missing in the USA. After all, Rummenigge could also report positive things here: “He is definitely on the way to being completely restored. This was a (knee) operation that was not quite as simple. (dpa)