Al Jazira's Matias Delgado backing Basel to cause an upset in Champions League
Al Jazira playmaker Matias Delgado believes his former side, Basel, have a real chance of causing a huge upset in their Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich.
Basel welcome the German giants to the St. Jakob-Park in the first leg tonight, with Delgado, who became a firm fans favourite durin three years at the club, tipping the Swiss champions to cause Bayern plenty of problems.
“In football you never know,” he told Sport360°. “They [Basel] beat Manchester United, so if they can do that for sure they can beat Bayern Munich. I think they have a chance.
“I have been watching them closely recently and they play different in the league than they do in the Champions League. Four or five years ago I would have said 70% Bayern Munich, 30% Basel, but now it is more 50-50.”
Delgado won back-to-back league titles with Basel in 2004 and 2005, before departing a year later for Turkish giants Beskitas.
While he is now enjoying his football in the UAE with Al Jazira, Delgado concedes he will watch on enviously tonight. “I miss Champions League nights very much. The atmosphere is very special,” he said.
All eyes will be on Basel’s talented midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri tonight, with the 20-year-old recently putting pen to paper on a deal to join Bayern at the end of the season.
Delgado is a big fan of the left-footer and is backing him to take the Bundesliga by storm. “I like him because he changes the dynamics of the game,” said the Argentine, who scored 58 goals in 113 games for Basel.
“Munich is a good choice for him. I think he has the opportunity to be an exceptional player and for sure he will be one of the best players in Germany.”
Shaqiri meanwhile, has revealed he recently spoke with Bayern boss, Jupp Heynches, and admits he is gunning for his future employers tonight.
“I asked Mr. Heynckes: ‘Will you not be mad at me if I score a goal against Bayern in the round of 16?’ He laughed and then made a joke about it. It was a very nice conversation.”