Poor Mehdi Benatia. Prior to last Wednesday's match with FC Barcelona, the Moroccan central defender suggested that he wasn't about to adjust his playing style as he faced the prospect of defending Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. In case it wasn't evident from the final 3-0 scoreline, it didn't work out too well for Mehdi or indeed his colleagues, as Messi, Neymar and to a lesser extent, Suarez all ran riot for the Blaugrana.
The obvious problem with Bayern's gameplan was that they treated Barcelona like any other opponent, which for a manager of Pep Guardiola's calibre and first-hand experience, was an inherently stupid idea. Afforded the kind of space and time he can usually only dream about, Messi in particular wreaked havoc and by the end of the night, Bayern could count themselves lucky that Barça "only" managed to score three. While Benatia didn't suffer as much as his partner, Jerome Boateng, he still had a pretty dismal night.
An early challenge from behind on Neymar really should have been rewarded with a yellow card, although Benatia did find himself in the book eventually courtesy of a bad foul on Andres Iniesta. The whole ordeal probably should have taught him a lesson, but hey, it appears as though Mehdi isn't done making himself look silly.
"We also have great players and the ability to play better. If we get our shots away quicker, we will score. We can win 4-0. We have shown that we can score goals at home, even though we have not played against Barca yet."
After last time out, I'd like to point out that this interview was conducted in Benatia's native tongue, French with L'Equipe, so there's no chance this was lost in translation -- Mehdi genuinely believes that Bayern can beat FC Barcelona 4-0 at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. Of course, a player like isn't going to admit defeat, but come on, aren't footballers practically taught to give general, almost robotic responses to questions like this?
I mean, I probably would have led with something like "Barcelona are a good team, and it will be very difficult to overturn this deficit but we will try our best and leave it all on the pitch on Tuesday", but hey, if you want to set yourself up for another fall Mehdi, well, be my guest.
Just don't say I didn't warn you, OK?