Bastian Schweinsteiger says playing at Old Trafford is always "special" but, with FC Bayern München's 2010 defeat fresh in the memory, he is focusing on the task at hand.
Article top media content
FC Bayern München will kick off at Old Trafford on Tuesday as overwhelming favourites but, as Bastian Schweinsteiger knows all too well, Manchester United FC can never be written off.
This fixture, of course, always revives memories of the 1999 UEFA Champions League final. Schweinsteiger has been a fixture at Bayern for as long as many can remember, but that predates even his 2002 breakthrough into the first team – it is easy to forget that he is still only 29. Yet he has a more recent United comeback lodged in his memory, even if there was a happy ending.
Bayern were given an almighty scare in 2010 as they arrived in north-west England at the quarter-final stage with a 2-1 first-leg lead. Schweinsteiger says he has "good memories of that visit" but for 41 minutes it was a nightmare as United surged into a 3-0 lead. Ivica Olić's goal just before the break raised hopes but even after Rafael's 50th-minute dismissal, the visitors were heading out of the competition before a stunning Arjen Robben volley 16 minutes from time.
"In the first 25 minutes we were under a barrage from home side, driven on by their fans," Schweinsteiger recalls. "I am looking forward to Old Trafford – it is special for anybody playing there but this time I would actually like to play at Old Trafford and win. Obviously, that atmosphere and experience is in our minds but I think we are ready. It will be a tough game, I'm sure, but I think if we can produce a good performance we will get a decent result.
"Manchester United should really be one of the top four teams in England all the time, and I am sure they will give everything. They are playing the holders and if they beat us they are through to the semi-finals as maybe one of the favourites. They will be going out to win, and obviously they will have the fans behind them. It is up to us to stand up and fight to get a result."
There was a suggestion in Monday's press conference that Bayern's drive may have eased following their recent Bundesliga success, but Schweinsteiger is having none of it. "It is great to win a title but we are still hungry and eager for more," he said. "We want to win every game. It is the same in training, regardless of the time of the season – we always want to win. That is the way we are going to approach tomorrow's game and hopefully we will get a result."