Bayern versus Dortmund UEFA League final takes place at Wembley Saturday evening
Where ever the pendulum swings after Saturday’s UEFA Cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, history will definitely be made. as for the two coaches, who will be bidding their side goodbye, nothing but a victory will be a parting gift
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will look to finish off their dominant seasons with the ultimate win when they do battle in the final of the UEFA Champions League Saturday at the Wembley Stadium, London. Both teams have been simply superb throughout the domestic and European seasons and should provide a great matchup in Saturday’s final.
With a roster of skilled players averaging just 23 years of age, Die Borussen have virtually cruised through the toughest tournaments and certainly deserve this shining moment in the yellow-and-black spotlight.
Striker extraordinaire Robert Lewandowski’s 24 goals is the straw that stirs BVB’s drink, but with rumours he may join teammate Mario Gotze in a summer move to rival Bayern, who knows exactly how focused this possibly soon-to-be-dismantled club will be in the English capital.
Besides Lewandowski and playmaker Gotze, Dortmund also has its own talented cast, with Marco Reus, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gundogan, Sven Bender, Marcel Schmelzer, Lukasz Piszczek, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller comprising a tight-fit unit that has proved it can beat anyone, anywhere at any time.
Both teams are absolutely loaded, but Bayern have the edge with Mario, Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez , Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben, among others, giving manager Jupp Heynckes a number of options to work with.
The last meeting between these two powerhouses could be deemed a pretty meaningless game with Bayern having already locked up the league title and both sides knowing they would be facing each other in Europe’s biggest football game of the year and not wanting to reveal too much nor risk any serious injuries.
Jupp Heynckes can emulate the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guerdiola by winning a title treble with Bayern Munich in what will be most probably his farewell season. And if the veteran coach guides Munich to the Champions League trophy, he will also be among the select few who have lifted Europe’s top trophy with two different clubs, having also coached the successful Real Madrid team from 1998.
“I would be lying if I didn’t consider it special,” he said, looking ahead at the big Wembley final.
Munich captain Philipp Lahm said that Heynckes has developed just as the team has and that “he works very thorough with us, as if he were, lets say 40 years old. He has stayed young.”
Heynckes has the chance to achieve what Ferguson did with Manchester United in 1999, Guardiola with Barcelona in 2009 and Mourinho with Inter Milan in 2010.He shed a few tears last Saturday after his Bundesliga farewell with Munich’s win in his home town of Moenchengladbach “where I started out as a player and as a coach.”
Juergen Klopp certainly likes all the attention that comes with being a high-profile football coach. The 45-year-old came to Dortmund in 2008 after almost two decades as player and is hailed as one of Germany’s new innovative helmsmen.
Money was tight three years after Dortmund almost went bankrupt, so he had to rely on local youngsters such as Mario Goetze and Kevin Grosskreutz.
General manager Hans-Joachim Watzke describes Klopp as “the best possible coach you can get,” sports director Michael Zorc “the front man ... in our way of playing football,” and veteran captain Sebastian Kehl “a fantastic coach.
“He has done a lot here but his philosophy was clear from day one. It is about passion, running hard and the desire to win,” Kehl said.
Victory today would only further raise his status, and Klopp believes that nothing is impossible against Munich after a “fairytale” run to the final following two poor European campaigns.
“In order to achieve something you have to dream and think big. The final is a milestone but it is not the end of the journey” as Dortmund aim to establish themselves as a long-time rival for Munich,” he says.
Klopp draws inspiration from the 1997 Dortmund team which won the Champions League against the odds over Juventus Turin, and Germany’s 1954 World Cup winning team against Hungary.
“The 1954 final, without ever seeing it, has shaped me the most. If we win at Wembley we will not be the best team in the world, but we will have beaten the world’s best team,” he said.
• This final will be the first all-German clash in a European Cup final. 2000 (Spain), 2003 (Italy) and 2008 (England) are the three previous occasions of teams from the country meeting in the Champions League final.
• A German team is guaranteed to win the Champions League for a third time. Dortmund in 1997 and Bayern in 2001 were the previous winners.
• Bayern Munich have lost three of the four finals they have played in. Borussia Dortmund were victorious in the only final they have played.
• Only once before have two German teams met in the final of a European competition. In 1980, Eintracht Frankfurt won the UEFA Cup beating Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final (losing 2-3 away in the first leg before winning the second 1-0 at home). Gladbach coach back then was Jupp Heynckes, the current Bayern boss.
• Dortmund are undefeated against Bayern in their last six league games (four wins, two draws). However, Munich are undefeated in four competitive games this season (two wins in the Super Cup and DFB-Pokal and two draws in the Bundesliga).
• The last duel on neutral ground between Bayern and Dortmund was the 2012 DFB-Pokal final. Dortmund won 5-2.
• Bayern won all four games in the Quarter Final and Semi Finals without conceding a goal (11-0 on aggregate). They are only the fifth team in Champions League history to not concede a goal in any of their four matches in these two rounds.
• This is Jupp Heynckes’ third Champions League campaign as a coach. In all three seasons he has reached the final. In 1998 he won the trophy with Real Madrid and last year, he lost the final with Bayern Munich.
• Bayern could become the first German team to win the Treble (league championship, domestic cup, and the Champions League or European Cup). Six clubs have managed it previously; with the last being Inter Milan in 2010.
• Mario Götze will transfer to Bayern Munich this summer for a fee of 37 million euros. Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic had more assists in this Champions League campaign (7) than Götze (5).
• Only Cristiano Ronaldo (12) has scored more goals in the Champions League this season than Robert Lewandowski (10). Bayern’s top scorer is Thomas Müller with eight.
• Neven Subotic (133) and Mats Hummels (106) have been forced into making more clearances than any other players in the Champions League this season.
• Javi Martinez has made 39 interceptions; more than any other player in the Champions League this season. Only Arturo Vidal (44) has made more tackles than Martinez’s midfield partner Bastian Schweinsteiger (43).
• Six of the 10 goals Bayern have conceded in the competition this season have been scored in the final 15 minutes of their matches.
• Bayern have scored more headed goals in the Champions League than any other side this season.
• BVB have kept just three clean sheets in their last 12 European matches.
• Just one of the last five Champions League finals has gone over 2.5 goals, that final was also played at Wembley (Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United in 2011).
04/05/13 Dortmund 1-1 Bayern
01/12/12 Bayern 1-1 Dortmund
11/04/12 Dortmund 1-0 Bayern
19/11/11 Bayern 0-1 Dortmund
26/02/11 Bayern 1-3 Dortmund
03/10/10 Dortmund 2-0 Bayern
13/02/10 Bayern 3-1 Dortmund
12/09/09 Dortmund 1-5 Bayern
08/02/09 Bayern 3-1 Dortmund
23/08/08 Dortmund 1-1 Bayern
13/04/08 Bayern 5-0 Dortmund
28/10/07 Dortmund 0-0 Bayern
26/01/07 Dortmund 3-2 Bayern
11/08/06 Bayern 2-0 Dortmund
13/05/06 Bayern 3-3 Dortmund