Roy Makaay was in the FC Bayern München side that knocked Real Madrid CF out of the UEFA Champions League in 2007 with the help of the fastest goal in the history of the competition. The former Dutch international reflected on that game and highlighted the strengths of the current Bayern vintage with UEFA.com.
UEFA.com: You were one of the key players the last time Madrid played Bayern, in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League. What can you tell us about the round of 16 first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, a 3-2 loss?
Roy Makaay: It was tough. We'd already played them in my first year at Bayern and we were eliminated, unfortunately, after a 1-1 in Munich and a 1-0 in Madrid. We had a strong feeling about Madrid that [second] year. They had a strong team – [David] Beckham had just returned after being left out – so we were going there to get the best possible result. You always try to win, and if you don't win then you try to get a result that will still give you a good chance at home. And that worked out in the end.
UEFA.com: In the 88th minute there was that goal by Mark van Bommel. How much of a boost was that?
Makaay: It was very important. We were 3-1 behind and we had some problems in that game. I remember Beckham played fantastically well. Then, in the end, we came back. Van Bommel scored and made it 3-2 before the end. The way he celebrated created a bit of a fuss. We may have lost that game, but I remember us coming into the dressing room and feeling quite happy. Scoring right at the end gives you a boost. It felt as though we had drawn that game.
UEFA.com: Then there was the second leg, and in the opening seconds something incredible happened. What do you remember about your early goal?
Makaay: Normally they played a 4-2-3-1 system, but they took out their No10 and replaced him with an extra defensive midfielder. I think Guti was replaced by Emerson, so we knew Madrid would play more defensively than normal. We agreed we would apply full pressure for the first ten minutes, to see if we could score an early goal.
So they kicked off. The ball went to [Fernando] Gago, he passed it to Roberto Carlos and it bounced off his foot. [Hasan] Salihamidžić took the ball and before we knew it, it was in the net. It went really fast. Afterwards they calculated [10.12 seconds], so it happened really quickly. Their tactical plan was immediately destroyed and we had a start you always dream of, especially in an important game like that.
UEFA.com: What is it like to play Madrid?
Makaay: Those are the games that every player wants to play in, be it the last 16, the quarter-final or in the league, like in my team at [RC] Deportivo [La Coruña]. Those are the games you work really hard to be able to play in.
UEFA.com: Which current Bayern players impress you?
Makaay: [Mario] Gomez is having a great season; [Franck] Ribéry is having a great season; [Arjen] Robben has been playing very well in the last few weeks. [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, who is one of the most important Bayern players, is fit again. They have an amazing team; a good goalkeeper, [Manuel] Neuer. Whether they're good enough to beat Madrid, we'll have to see, but they certainly have a chance.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.