Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman says he is looking for “revenge” against his former side when the German champions take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Coman, 21, joined the PSG academy at the age of nine and broke into the first team under Carlo Ancelotti in 2013. The France international left the club for Juventus in the summer of 2014 having made just four senior appearances at PSG.
But Coman said he is more interested in avenging Bayern’s 3-0 defeat in Paris in September which prompted the sacking of Bayern boss Ancelotti than revisiting his own personal history.
“It is nothing personal but it is about revenge for me,” he said. “We want to send a message to the whole of Europe. We still remember the first match and want to show the rest of Europe that we belong to the top teams capable of winning the Champions League.”
But Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes played down any notions of a grudge match against the Ligue 1 leaders.
“I don’t think the players are thinking about revenge tomorrow. I do not like that term in football,” he said. “For me it is just two very big teams meeting at the highest level. On the one side, there’s Bayern’s history and tradition up against a new, emerging power.”
With top spot in their Champions League group still up for grabs, Heynckes said Bayern will aim to counter PSG’s “superstars” with a strong “collective” performance on Tuesday.
“When an opponent has brilliant individuals, then you have to compete as a unit,” Heynckes said at the prematch news conference. “I know all about Neymar from watching Barcelona. He’s a world-class player, a great dribbler and dangerous in front of goal.
“Kylian Mbappe is only 18 and it is simply staggering and extraordinary how he is playing. However, at the end of the day they are only human and our strikers aren’t so bad either and will strike fear into the opponents defence too.”
Heynckes, 72, has reached the Champions League final in each of his three attempts in the competition. He won in 1998 in his one and only campaign with Real Madrid and again with Bayern in their 2013 Treble-winning season losing a penalty shootout to Chelsea on home soil the previous year.
He was keen to stress PSG’s massive investment in elite individual talent was no guarantee of success in the competition.
“A Champions League-winning team must not only have exceptional players but also be a good unit, respectful and not be jealous of each other,” he said.
“The atmosphere must be good within the team.
“Their investment does not mean that they will necessary win the Champions League. My experience shows me team spirit and teamwork will win you a Champions League not just superstars.”
Heynckes said he would keep faith with the same squad that featured in the 3-1 Bundesliga win over Hanover on
Saturday, meaning Arjen Robben, Thiago Alcantara, Juan Bernat and captain Manuel Neuer will all miss the game.
However, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, David Alaba and Kingsley Coman all made their comebacks from injury at the weekend, while Heynckes also confirmed that Colombia international James Rodriguez would definitely start the game.
Because of the 3-0 defeat in Paris, Bayern must win by a four-goal margin to top the group. Heynckes took over in October for his fourth term and has led the Bavarians to 10 wins in 11 games in all competitions, but he is not focused on obtaining an improbable scoreline.
“We have to be realistic though,” Heynckes warned. “We are not going to get carried away and talk about winning the group, this is about prestige.
“We want to banish the memories of the first game and show we can compete on the same level with a team that has invested €500 million in recent years. It is becoming more difficult for the top clubs in Germany to keep up economically.
“At the moment, the weather is bitterly cold so we want to put on a show for our home crowd and warm them up.
“It is not a decisive game. Of course, it is sometimes better to top the group, but past results have shown that it doesn’t necessarily hand you an advantage when it comes to going deep in the competition.
“It is more decisive that your key players are fit in February, March, April and May and the team is a fully functioning unit.”