Champions League: Only Bayern Munich can beat Real Madrid, says chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Berlin: Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has thrown down the gauntlet to Real Madrid ahead of next Wednesday's home Champions League semi-final, first leg.

"We have to keep our concentration until next Wednesday, but if anyone can beat Real Madrid at the moment, it's FC Bayern," boasted Rummenigge.

Bayern host the first leg at Munich's Allianz Arena with the return at Madrid's Bernabeu on 1 May.

 Champions League: Only Bayern Munich can beat Real Madrid, says chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

File image of Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Reuters

The German giants warmed up by romping to a 6-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in the German Cup semi-final.

"It was a demonstration of the footballing quality of our team," added Rummenigge.

"To be an FC Bayern fan must be paradise at the moment.

"The team clearly has a tremendous quality for achieving everything it wants to."

Bayern could repeat their 2013 treble. They are in the German Cup final on 19 May and have already secured a sixth straight Bundesliga title.

The Bavarian giants ran riot in Leverkusen as Germany forward Thomas Mueller scored twice and helped set up the opening goal in a man-of-the-match performance.

Star striker Robert Lewandowski was credited with two more goals to add to his 38 in 42 matches this season for Bayern.

Having led 2-1 at the break, Bayern turned on the style in the second-half. Arjen Robben, Thiago Alcantara and Mueller, twice, hit four goals in a devastating 26-minute spell. Leverkusen are third in the Bundesliga, but trail Bayern by a massive 24 points and the gulf in class showed.

"It was a football demonstration for a long period," beamed Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes.

"We put in a top performance against a good opponent. We were incredibly motivated and focused. We're in a really good mood."

Heynckes heaped praise on Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, who made outstanding saves to twice deny Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi.

'Dominant team'

"We were the dominant team, but there were always situations where Sven Ulreich saved us. He was outstanding," said Heynckes.

Mueller agreed. "That was advertising for German football," said the Germany forward.

"We were 2-0 ahead, then it was 2-1 and Ulle (Ulreich) kept us in the game with two saves.

"The team did a great job, of course we want more — we feel it's possible."

Real Madrid knocked Bayern out of the Champions League last season at the quarter-final stage.

The Spaniards won 2-1 in Munich as superstar Cristiano Ronaldo netted two second-half goals before Bayern lost 4-2 in the second leg in Madrid.

Nevertheless, Bayern are in the mood to deny Ronaldo and his Real team a third straight Champions League title this season.

"If we play like we did (against Leverkusen), it'll be hard for Real too," said Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich.

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 17:55:34 IST