Thanks to Bayern Munich’s overwhelming success in Barcelona, winning 3–0 last Wednesday, following the shock 4–0 win in Munich and the strength of Borussia Dortmund, defeated 2–0 in Madrid but going through on aggregate, two German clubs will meet up in Wembley for the first time in the history of the Champions League.
It’s a rare but deserved matchup that confirms the solidity and potential of German football.
With the 7–0 aggregate score by which Bayern Munich sank Barcelona, often referred to as the best team in football club of this era, we witnessed a neat, unprecedented domination by Jupp Heynckes’s team that left Barcelona’s football machine dried up and unproductive.
An excuse might be Lionel Messi’s absence in the return match; maybe with “The Flea” something could change. But this does not diminish Bayern’s long haul. And also note that Bayern did handle Messi in the first match quite comfortably.
Bayern are the favorites for the May 25 final at Wembley, for their strength and perhaps also for the law of large numbers, arriving at the last round of the competition in three of the last four years.
On the opposite side will be the other superpower in German football, Borussia Dortmund whose manager Jurgen Klopp is regarded as was Jose Mourinho after Inter’s treble in 2010.
He is the man who led the Rhine club to the top of European football, winning the last two Bundesliga titles and now taking Borussia back to their first Champions League final since 1997.
Back then it was Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team, made of Kalle Riedle (two goals against Juventus in the final), Lars Ricken, and Matthias Sammer, soon to win the Golden Boot—great footballers, but surely not “galacticos.”
Borussia’s squad today are not so famous, but potentially more successful: Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze (on the way to Bayern Munich), Jakub Blaszczykowski, and Robert Lewandowski all managed by the young but talented Klopp.
They will not be favorites, because they are “too young” to be such.
Preview at Westfalenstadion
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund faced off in Bundesliga action on Saturday in a game that ended 1–1 with goals from two players who probably won’t start the final inLondon—Kevin Großkreutz and Mario Gomez. (Any team would be overjoyed to have a reserve of such luxury.)
The two coaches saved their best weapons for the final, but the tension was still high. Lewandowski missed a penalty, Rafinha was sent off after two yellow in three minutes all serving to animate a contest at Wembley that will be even greater.
We’ve already had an all-Spanish final in the past (Real Madrid–Valencia in 2000), an all-Italian final (AC Milan–Juventus in 2003) and an all-English one (Manchester United–Chelsea in 2008). It’s about time we had an all-German Champions League final.
Marco Barzizza is a football writer based in Italy.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.