Money doesn't score goals: Robben

BERLIN • Arjen Robben has poked fun at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain on the eve of Bayern Munich's key Champions League away match in the French capital.

With Anderlecht and Celtic also in the pool, the PSG-Bayern clash at the Parc des Princes tonight could well decide the winner 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 veteran Dutch winger Robben.

PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world record €222 million (S$355 million) and recruited Kylian Mbappe from Monaco last month on an initial loan deal, which is set to be made into a permanent move for €180 million next year.

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

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is convinced Bayern can get a good result against PSG.

  • 26

    PSG goals this season, with 21 in six French Ligue 1 matches and five in one Champions League game.

    17

    Bayern goals this season, with 14 in six Bundesliga matches and three in one Champions League game.

"I know our team, they are highly motivated and concentrated for games like this," he said. "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 PSG's attacking trident.

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

Bayern president Uli Hoeness launched a thinly-veiled attack on PSG's spending policy in an interview on Monday, but Rummenigge preferred to focus on the football.

"This is a prestige game, but one thing is clear: the Champions League is not decided, we want to create the conditions to become group winners."

PSG will have Neymar, who missed Saturday's 0-0 away draw with Montpellier in Ligue 1 due to a foot injury, back for today's game. It was the first game Unai Emery's men have failed to win this season.

Winger Angel di Maria has not played for PSG since August after suffering a thigh injury on international duty, but is set for a return.

"Di Maria and Neymar will be there," Emery said at his pre-match press conference.

The PSG coach also admitted that the French league leaders now have a bull's eye on their backs after their unprecedented close-season spending spree.

"The team has taken big steps towards competing with the best sides. Today, in sporting terms, we have more enemies," Emery said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'Money doesn't score goals: Robben'. Print Edition | Subscribe