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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 7 hours ago
Read
Apr 18, 2013

Shaqiri's no Ribery yet, says Hoeness

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said it will "take a long time" for Xherdan Shaqiri to have the influence of Franck Ribery, despite the midfielder staking a claim for a place against Barcelona in the Champions League.

• Bayern admit Barca distraction
• Blog: Wolfsburg suffer demolition

Switzerland international Shaqiri, deputising for the suspended Ribery, scored a goal and made three others as Bayern demolished Wolfsburg 6-1 in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals.

After the game, Munich general manager Matthias Sammer hailed the 21-year-old as "world class" - but Hoeness said: "Shaqiri is Shaqiri and Ribery is Ribery. It will take him a long time until he can be Ribery."

With Toni Kroos out injured, four players are competing for three places in Bayern's attacking midfield.

Against Wolfsburg, Thomas Muller took a central midfield role but is likely to return to the wing against Barcelona. France international Ribery, a contender for the Bundesliga Footballer of the Year award, will return, while Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has hit form again.

"Looking at our squad it is not easy for [coach] Jupp Heynckes to choose," Shaqiri said. "You could see I have found my rhythm. This has done me good. It was a great game by us, and also by me."

Shaqiri is again likely to start when Bayern take on Hannover at the weekend, and Heynckes praised his contributions, saying: "He has established himself more and more" and adding that he felt he would become "an exceptional player".

Meanwhile, Bayern centre-back Daniel van Buyten confirmed that he has begun talks about extending his contract.

"The club knows me, knows how I act and that I give it my all all the time," he told kicker.

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