Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich star Jerome Boateng has lifted the lid on Carlo Ancelotti’s team selection for what turned out to be the manager’s last match in charge, a Champions League thrashing in Paris.
Bayern were hammered 3-0 at the end of September as Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar netted for Paris Saint-Germain after Ancelotti dropped five stars from his starting line-up, including Boateng.
Boateng revealed how he, Arjen Robben, Mat Hummels, Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman discovered they would not start against PSG.
“That was very strange,” Boateng told Munich newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“We sat in the meeting room and five of us were told an hour and a half before the game that we would not play – suddenly and without explanation.
“The players in question were shocked, you can say that much.”
Ancelotti was fired the day after the defeat.
Boateng also indirectly confirmed reports that training under Ancelotti was not demanding enough.
Robben has reportedly complained to reporters that his young son had harder sessions with his youth team.
“The training was certainly different to what we already knew,” said Boateng.
“And as a player, you can already tell yourself if you are at 100 percent or not.”
In five weeks since veteran coach Jupp Heynckes, who steered Bayern to the 2013 treble, replaced Ancelotti, Bayern have made up a five-point deficit on Dortmund to now lead the German league table by four points.
– Dark time –
Boateng has had a tough year after shoulder surgery in December 2016 was followed by a thigh injury in May which kept him out until early September.
“That was really a dark time, especially since I had almost nothing (injuries) for so many years and then suddenly everything came full throttle,” he said about his double injuries.
“It was particularly hard after the shoulder injury.
“I could play again after three months, but I wasn’t the same Boateng. I felt like I had a different body.”
The 29-year-old centre-back was still working his way back to fitness when Ancelotti left him out of the clash with PSG.
“I’ve learnt to take breaks, I have learnt to no longer say ‘ok, I am officially fit now, let’s go’, but rather ‘I am now fit and will build up over the next two weeks before I can play again’,” added Boateng.
“I don’t ever want to return too fast again.”
Boateng is ruled out of Friday’s Germany international against England at Wembley with a leg knock, but hopes to be fit to face France next Tuesday in Cologne in their next friendly.