Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic insists the club will bounce back after disappointment in the Champions League last season.

The Bundesliga giants were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Villarreal, with Samuel Chukwueze's late goal at the Allianz Arena stunning Bayern as they fell to a 2-1 aggregate defeat.

That marked the second season in a row where Bayern have fallen at the last-eight hurdle and that disappointment raised questions about their direction, which Olic believes are part and parcel of being a big club.

"It's always like that with big clubs. When the result is right, everything is great, everyone is great, and the dirty laundry doesn't come out," he told Stats Perform.

"But this season the disappointment in Bayern is certainly great, because they have "only" won the [league] championship. 

"They were kicked out of the Champions League pretty early on by a not-so-'attractive' opponent. When I say attractive, I mean it at the highest level.

"No one thought they could be eliminated over two games against Villarreal. But if we now look at the two games, Villarreal deservedly progressed. Bayern weren't good and you have to admit that."

Bayern face a rebuild of their attacking ranks ahead of the next season with Robert Lewandowski pushing for an exit and Sadio Mane poised to arrive from Liverpool, with Olic confident Bayern can be successful in the market.

 

"Certainly, when the problems then become public and interesting topics come up, in terms of players who want to leave the club, like Lewandowski, then it shakes the building blocks of a club, not just those of Bayern," he added.

"It's certainly not a pleasant situation, neither for the sporting director nor the president, so neither for [Hasan] Salihamidzic, nor Oliver Kahn. But they have a lot of experience at Bayern. 

"Sure, managing the club and playing at the club are not the same. But I think they embody FC Bayern's DNA, and they are aware of that.

"You will certainly get a lot of support from [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge and [Uli] Hoeness. The two are no longer in the club, but they are certainly informed. I am sure that they will advise you.

"You will be involved in larger and more interesting transfers. I am sure that FC Bayern will recover quickly from last season.

"If it comes to it that Lewandowski leaves, they will certainly find a suitable replacement and will continue to be at the forefront of European football."

Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic has admitted he is "surprised" with wantaway forward Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international is pushing for an exit from Bavaria in the current transfer window, with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly among those vying for his signature.

Lewandowski has enjoyed eight trophy-laden years with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga in every season and winning the Champions League in 2019-20.

Given the 33-year-old scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions in 2021-22, the most in Europe's top five leagues, Olic believes the club will face a tough task landing a replacement.

"Lewandowski has played at a high level for years, has been one of Bayern Munich's main brands for years and has raised the bar with his goals over several seasons," he told Stats Perform.

"It's about a striker that I was hoping would stay longer and it really surprised me how it all turned out and that he really wants to leave.

"Just as I was a bit surprised at the moment, I think the people at the club were just as surprised.

"Because at the moment there isn't really a player like Lewa that you could get for a normal price.

"It's really not easy to get a real striker these days. There aren't many at the top level like Lewa or anything like that.

"So, I think it's the main concern for Bayern right now and I'm sure that if there is a transfer they will do everything they can to find an adequate replacement for Lewa. 

"[Erling] Haaland, who was in Dortmund, was often associated with Bayern, but he has now gone to England."

Sadio Mane is poised to arrive from Liverpool, but Olic believes he does not quite fit the profile of the player Bayern will need to replace their talismanic striker.

"I don't know who else is there. Mane has been mentioned a lot, but for me he's not a classic number nine and he's not a classic striker. But he's certainly one of the more attractive players," Olic added.

Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic has labelled Luka Modric as "one of a kind" and believes he still has a few more years left at the top level.

The Real Madrid midfielder has spent 16 years within Croatia's international fold, accumulating over 150 caps for the 2018 World Cup runners-up.

Modric, 36, is in the twilight years of an illustrious career but shows no signs of stopping – and the recent Champions League victory with Madrid was his fifth time lifting the trophy.

While there might soon be a changing of the guard in Madrid's midfield, with the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco and Eduardo Camavinga already excelling in the squad, the picture is different in the national side.

Croatia's all-time most capped player will remain a key part of the squad heading into the 2022 World Cup and, while it may prove to be his last international tournament, Croatia assistant coach Olic believes Modric will not hang up his boots completely.

"I think Luka still only thinks about games and about playing football. He just still has that will," he told Stats Perform.

"When I look at his philosophy, how much he's working on himself, I think he's going to play for a few more years. 

"After that, if he wants to stay in football, wants to be a coach, then he will definitely devote himself to it and be successful at it."

 

Modric recently stated he remembers every one of his international appearances, and Olic feels he still has plenty to teach the younger players within the squad.

"He recently played his 150th game for the national team. After that game he said he remembered every single one of those 150 games, both the first one, which he played a long time ago, and the most recent one, a few days ago," he added.

"He's still full of vigour, full of will and he couldn't wait to join the national team after a long and difficult season.

"He showed what a captain, what a great player and what a great person he is. He arrived on the first day and is training and playing. He's one of a kind, definitely, regardless of his age.

"He trains and works as if he were 25 years old. I would be happy if he could play more games for us and stay healthy because he means a lot to the team. 

"The younger players still have a lot to learn from him and he's just a phenomenon."

Olic also believes Modric is still "irreplaceable" at Madrid, highlighted by a stunning assist against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

"The whole world still admires him. He still amazes us with some moves, like recently when they played in the Champions League. Then he played a pass of over 20 or 25 meters with the outside of his foot," he said.

"Everyone has talked about it. No matter where I was, people only talked about it. So, he's still playing at the best level and he's still majestic and unique.

"He's irreplaceable for us and for Real Madrid. The fact that they offered him a new contract shows how much they value him."

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