Rumminegge 'surprised' by Bayern Munich reaction to historic Barcelona win

Bayern Barcelona 2020Getty

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted that he was surprised by the side's muted celebrations in the wake of their Champions League demolition of Barcelona, but the former forward hailed their collective focus as they hunt European glory.

The Bundesliga champions dismantled their opponents from La Liga in brilliant and brutal fashion on Friday, inflicting an 8-2 defeat upon Lionel Messi and co to secure their semi-final berth in emphatic fashion.

The result set a new record for the most goals in a singular Champions League quarter-final tie, exceeding that of Manchester United's seven-goal haul against Roma in 2007, but post-match, Rummenigge has revealed that Hansi Flick's squad were not getting ahead of themselves.

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"I went to the locker room after the game and I was expecting the guys to be celebrating this great victory," the former West Germany star told Sky Sports Italia. "But I saw them there, very calm and focused instead, [and] ready for the next game."

Bayern's evisceration of an aging Barca side was just the latest demonstration of their talents, with the club having won every match across all competitions they have played in since they resumed action in May amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rummenigge feels that the enforced lay-off only served to fire up the squad's desire more than ever, saying: "They continued training at home when that was not possible on the pitch. When the Bundesliga and the Champions League restarted, they showed that they want to play football."

The 64-year-old also took his time to praise a number of key figures at the club in helping to mastermind their pursuit of a potential treble, following Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success, citing Flick - who succeeded Niko Kovac on a then-interim basis in November - as well as players Alphonso Davies and Ivan Perisic for their contributions.

"Hansi Flick changed our season," Rummenigge noted. "I have to admit that even we are surprised at how well he did it.

"Alphonso Davies has an incredible pace and a great will to learn. He was bought as a left winger and is now a left-back - and as that, he is indispensable for the team today."

Perisic represents a curious case for Bayern, with the Inter loanee having extended his stay - and taken a pay cut in the process - in order to help the team complete their European quest, for which Rummenigge has professed his gratitude, while suggesting that the Croatian may yet have a future beyond his short-term stay.

He said: "As for Perisic, he may not do spectacular things, but he scores goals and gets assists. We really appreciate the fact that he's stayed until the end of the Champions League season even though we had to cut their salaries. He hasn't made a final decision yet [regarding his future] but both I and Flick like him a lot."

Bayern will next be in action on Wednesday as they look to secure a place in the final in Lisbon, when they face Ligue 1 outfit Lyon following their shock victory over Manchester City on Saturday.