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Lahm relishing key Ronaldo duel

Published: Monday 16 April 2012, 14.30CET
Philipp Lahm shrugged off FC Bayern München's latest domestic setback as he identified the key to beating Real Madrid CF: stop Cristiano Ronaldo, the man he must mark on Tuesday.
by Daniel Lerche
from Fußball Arena München
Lahm relishing key Ronaldo duel
Philipp Lahm is looking forward to the visit of Madrid ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BayernReal Madrid

Goals scored26
 
35
Attempts on target98
 
99
Attempts off target83
 
82
Corners83
 
63
Offsides17
 
50
Fouls committed209
 
138
Yellow cards29
 
24
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Monday 16 April 2012, 14.30CET

Lahm relishing key Ronaldo duel

Philipp Lahm shrugged off FC Bayern München's latest domestic setback as he identified the key to beating Real Madrid CF: stop Cristiano Ronaldo, the man he must mark on Tuesday.

There is a gloomy mood afoot in Munich right now, and not just due to the grey skies in the Bavarian capital.

Since FC Bayern Munich effectively conceded the German championship to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday night it has been raining without a break and snow has been forecast. But unlike the weather, there is high pressure on Bayern captain Philipp Lahm and his team-mates to get a result against Real Madrid CF in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final at Fußball Arena München, where they hope to play in the 19 May showpiece.

Madrid's form may be better, but in nine visits to Munich, the Merengues have lost eight and draw one. Lahm is not getting carried away by that statistic, though. "We are expecting to play one of the best teams in the world and we are looking forward to this, even if we are full of respect. They are leading the Liga and having a great season.

"But our team are in good shape too. Everyone is working for the others, we have a good team spirit. Of course we still want to win titles. We are in the semi-finals of the Champions League with teams like Chelsea, Barcelona and Real, I think this shows very clearly the quality of our team. I think our situation is very good."

Lahm has experience of eliminating Madrid from the UEFA Champions League. In the 2006/07 round of 16, Bayern lost 3-2 in Spain but prevailed 2-1 at home to advance on away goals. If that is the past, Bayern can take confidence the present too with six straight home wins in this term's competition; indeed, overall, they have won 13 of their last 14 European outings at Fußball Arena München.

To keep that up, though, Lahm knows they must keep out the man who at the weekend became the first to score 40 in a Liga season, Cristiano Ronaldo. "I have lots of respect for Cristiano Ronaldo," Lahm said. "He has worked very hard for his success. He has a lot of talent, but also works very hard to become better, to reach his goals and fulfil his dreams. I am looking forward to this duel with one of the best players in the world.

"But we have to all work together to stop him. With Cristiano, you will never be able to control him for 90 minutes. But if we do well and try not to give him many chances, there is a good chance of beating Real Madrid. They will try everything to get a goal. They will fight from the first minute, so will we. In a match like this, one single moment can be decisive. I am very positive about tomorrow."

Last updated: 16/04/12 23.18CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000266/match=2007690/prematch/focus/index.html#lahm+ready+ronaldo

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