German legend, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has reminisced past encounters with ‘arch-rivals’  Real Madrid during his time with ​Bayern Munich, reserving special praise for former Madrid winger Angel Di Maria. 

Schweinsteiger’s side clashed with Madrid a total of eight times during his with the Bundesliga champions, with two two-legged encounters coming in Champions League semifinals. 

Bayern and Madrid split the four meetings, with the Germans getting the better of the Spanish outfit in the 2007 round-of-16 and the 2012 semi-finals, while the Los Blancos managed impressive wins in the 2004 last-16 and the iconic 2014 semifinals. 

“Yes, we were their arch-rivals,” Schweinsteiger told Marca

“People liked to see that rivalry between two greats and we respected each other a lot. We won and lost but I enjoyed playing in Madrid.”

Real outclassed Bayern in the 2014 semi-finals, registering a 5-0 aggregate win, with Schweinsteiger revealing that Di Maria was unstoppable on the night.

“I always appreciated the game of Angel Di Maria,” he added.

“I remember the semi-final we lost 4-0 at home. He was the best, so difficult to stop.” 

He also talked about Zinedine Zidane’s performance in one of the two team’s early clashes. 

“I remember perfectly the first time, in 2003, at the Bernabeu. I came on in the second half and played against Zidane, who scored a good goal five minutes later. They won 1-0,” he recalled.

“Playing against Zizou helped me a lot later because I watched how he moved and protected the ball. It was impossible to replicate it though, yet I did learn a lot from those things.”

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