Football

Robben takes a dig at PSG: Money can't buy goals

Bayern veteran Robben unfazed by PSG's much-vaunted 'MCN' attack

GROUP B
PARIS ST GERMAIN BAYERN MUNICH

Arjen Robben has poked fun at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain ahead of Bayern Munich's key Champions League match in Paris tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

With Anderlecht and Celtic also in the pool, the PSG-Bayern clash at the Parc de Princes could well decide the winners of Group B.

"Paris have certainly given out a few more euros than us, but money doesn't score goals, quality on the pitch scores goals, good teams score goals," said the veteran Dutch winger Robben before the team flew to Paris yesterday.

PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record fee of 222 million euros (S$356m) and recruited Kylian Mbappe from Monaco last month on an initial loan deal which is set to be made into a permanent move for 180m euros next year.

But, when asked about PSG's star-studded "MCN" attack - Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar - Robben said: "The important thing is the performance of the team, not just to focus on particular players".

Bayern president Uli Hoeness also launched a thinly veiled attack on PSG on Monday by slamming the "unacceptable" nature of recent inflated transfer fees".

"I have made it clear that a player costing 100m euros is unacceptable for Bayern", Hoeness told German magazine Kicker.

"The time will come when all those who are currently bouncing so much money around will lower their sights, because the sporting success they imagined won't match what they have spent."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is convinced that his team can get a good result in the French capital.

"I know our team, they are highly motivated and concentrated for games like this," said the former West Germany striker.

"I am convinced we can get something out of this game."

Nevertheless, the biggest test for Bayern's shaky defence - which threw away a two-goal lead at home to struggling Wolfsburg in a 2-2 draw last Friday - will be to contain the "MCN" trio.

"Of course, that is an attack with world-class players, we have to control that, but we have more experience," added Rummenigge.

The game sees Ancelotti return to face PSG for the first time since he left the French capital in 2013 after an 18-month stint that saw him oversee their first Ligue 1 title triumph in almost 20 years.

The Italian is under pressure for an indifferent start to the season, but his problems pale in comparison to the hysteria at PSG.

Cavani and Neymar squabbled over a penalty during PSG's 2-0 win over Lyon on Sept 18, which Cavani took and missed, and Neymar is since reported to have apologised for his behaviour.

Since the public spat between the pair, which also involved Dani Alves despite his protestations to the contrary, talk of the incident has not died down.

It is something that coach Unai Emery has failed to bring under control after a series of limp responses when publicly questioned over his stance on what has quickly been dubbed "Penaltygate" by the French press.

If Neymar and Cavani do not resolve their differences, Robben and Co. could make them pay in Paris. - WIRE SERVICES

OTHER FIXTURE

  • Anderlecht v Celtic
Champions LeagueParis Saint-Germainbayern munich