Arjen Robben poked fun at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain on the eve of Bayern Munich’s key Champions League away match in the French capital.
With Anderlecht and Celtic also in the pool, the PSG-Bayern clash at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday could go a long way to deciding who wins Group B.
“Paris have certainly given out a few more euros than us, but money doesn’t score goals, quality on the pitch scores goals, good teams score goals,” said veteran winger Robben before the team jetted to Paris.
PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world record 222 million euros ($264m) last month and recruited Kylian Mbappe from Monaco on an initial loan deal which is set to be made into a permanent move for 180 million euros next year.
But when asked about PSG’s star-studded ‘MCN’ attack — Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar — Robben was unfazed: “The important thing is the performance of the team, not just to focus on particular players”.
Meanwhile, when asked about his Dutch team-mate’s comments, Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels was slightly more diplomatic about PSG’s strengths.
“He is absolutely right that money doesn’t score goals but it does allow you to buy players who score goals,” Hummels told reporters at the Parc des Princes.
“PSG are a top-level club. They are very strong going forward and are well covered in all other positions. A bit like us they have two players per position.”
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is convinced the German champions — who beat Anderlecht 3-0 in their first group outing two weeks ago — can get a good result in the French capital.
“I know our team, they are highly motivated and concentrated for games like this,” said the former striker. “I am convinced we can get something out of this game.”
Nevertheless, the biggest test for Bayern’s shaky defence — which threw away a two-goal lead at home to struggling Wolfsburg in a 2-2 draw last Friday — will be to contain the ‘MCN’.
“Of course, that is an attack with world-class players, we have to control that, but we have more experience,” countered Rummenigge.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness launched a thinly-veiled attack on PSG’s spending policy in an interview on Monday, but Rummenigge focused on the football.
“This is a prestige game, but one thing is clear: the Champions League is not decided, we want to create the conditions to become group winners.”