In Bayern's last meeting with Real Madrid, Roy Makaay fired himself into the record books, as his opener with barely ten seconds on the clock remains the fastest goal in Champions League history. The early strike also laid the foundations for FCB making the quarter-finals that season. Makaay spoke to club journal Bayern Magazin about the game back in March 2007, and looked ahead to Tuesday's showdown.
Interview: Roy Makaay
Bayern Magazin: Roy, do you remember the events of 7 March 2007?
Roy Makaay: Of course. Immediately after Bayern sealed a place in this season's semi-finals, I found myself with lots of happy memories of that match and my record goal. The story of the goal came up again a couple of months ago, when Jonas of Valencia scored against Leverkusen just a couple of tenths of seconds later than I did against Real. Lots of reporters spoke to me about it at the time.
It was the most recent of eight knockout duels between the teams, so it's almost a kind of Clasico of its own, isn't it?
In my four seasons with Munich, we played Real not once but twice in the Round of 16. We were knocked out in 2004, but we made it to the quarter-finals in 2007 by winning 2–1 in the return after losing 3–2 at the Bernabéu. Bayern versus Real, two of the biggest clubs in the world, there's always a real edge to these games. It's definitely a classic.
How would you sum up the state of play ahead of this season's semi-finals?
Barcelona and Real rate as top favourites for the trophy, but I believe Bayern are big rivals for both this season. They have the extra motivating factor of the final at their own stadium. For the players, it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I do see Madrid as slight favourites, but the current Bayern team can really hurt Real. And Bastian Schweinsteiger is back now.
Is Bayern playing the first leg at home a disadvantage?
It's generally better to have the second match in front of your home crowd, because that's usually when these ties are settled. In 2007 it was an advantage for us, but in the quarter-finals against AC Milan it was no help at all. We drew 2–2 in Milan, but we lost 2–0 in the return at the Allianz Arena and were eliminated.
Are José Mourinho’s Real a different Real Madrid compared to a few years ago?
I think so. The so-called Galacticos were at their peak in 2004, with the axis of Beckham, Zidane, Figo and Raul. Real still have plenty of star names, but they look better balanced overall. They're not clearly ahead of Barcelona in the Spanish league for nothing, they've made the Champions League semi-finals relatively easily, and they’re generally playing nice football. The only club that continues to cause them major problems is Barcelona.
Between the two matches against Bayern, Real face Barcelona at Camp Nou. There’s no chance of any of the Real stars taking a rest, is there?
I don't believe Mourinho would gift Barcelona a Clasico, because the game is far too important for the fans. But if he feels he can afford to rest any players carrying minor knocks ahead of the return against Bayern, he'll certainly do so.