heinnews’ David Hein attended the Champions League semi-final showdown between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyon. And he had a chance to exchange words with Bayern Munich chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge. They discussed Bayern’s performance in their 1-0 victory in the first home leg; the red card shown to Bayern playmaker Franck Ribery; the goals of the team; what kind of impact Arjen Robben has had on the team; and contract negotiations with Ribery.

heinnews: Mr. Rummenigge, what are your thoughts on Bayern’s showing in the first leg?

Rummenigge: It was an emotional game. And with a strong collective and a strong second half, it was one of our best defensive showings in Europe this season. And you really have to give the team a big compliment for playing with such a good morale and such passion. They had a strong will and deserved to win. And now we have a real chance of reaching the final. It will be tough. But our goal was a victory and if possible without allowing a goal.

heinnews: What did you think of the red card shown to Franck Ribery in the later stages of the first half?

Rummenigge: It’s a moot point. The referee unfortunately pulled the red card. But it’s a moot point to complain about it now. You can’t change it. I thought it was a bit too harsh. But it doesn’t matter. We have to accept it. I hope that UEFA do not punish him too hard. I hope they see as well that the action was not that drastic and that the red card was extremely harsh. And hopefully they hand down a penalty that – should we achieve our big goal – that Franck is available to us.

heinnews: Talk about Bayern not giving up after the red card?

Rummenigge: It was a tremendous Bayern unit – starting with the spectators, who pushed the team forward. It was a big help from them when we went a man down and they kept pushing the team and made this victory possible. You must praise the fans.

heinnews: Do you think the big goal of the Champions League final is possible with this team?

Rummenigge: Regarding our first big goal, we have to think that about again on Saturday.  We cannot concentrate on Tuesday (the return leg in Lyon). We have to keep going on Saturday in Moenchengladbach. It will also be difficult enough. But I think you could see that we are in a good condition and that the team is very well prepared by the coach. I have always said that our first priority and our first goal is to win the (German) championship and make things easier in the other two competitions.

heinnews: What do you think you have in a player like Arjen Robben?

Rummenigge: We were convinced that he is a top class player. But we could not expect him to score goals in this rhythm because he had not done so previously. But we are very happy that we have him and he should keep going like he is.

heinnews: What was your reaction of Lyon’s performance?

Rummenigge: I think Lyon played very good in the first half. They were very well organised. But you could tell in the second half when we started really pushing against them that they were having difficulties.

heinnews: What is the goal now?

Rummenigge: Our goal is score a goal in Lyon because then they would have to score three. And that will not be easy.

heinnews: What do you have to say about the scandal regarding Franck Ribery?

Rummenigge: Bayern Munich is a big family and in a big family you stick together.

heinnews: Franck Ribery said in an interview that he would like to decide in 7-10 days if he will stay. Has a decision been made?

Rummenigge: There are no talks at the moment. We are concentrating on the games which are coming up. And then we will hold these talks calmly and at the right moment. I don’t think this is the right time to be holding contract negotiations. We need to take our time and be calm, and we will do so.

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