(Photo : Reuters)
A year ago, Bayern Munich made a run to the Champions League final. The team was minutes away from winning the title but wound up losing in the shootout against Chelsea.
A year later, the team is back in the same position as they were a year ago. More importantly, Munich will face off against hated rival Borussia Dortmund. A victory in the Champions League would not only accentuate their superiority in Europe, but further accentuate their German prowess.
"For me personally, the loss last year only served to give me more motivation for this season," forward Thomas Müller said. "It would have been great to have won last year at home, for our fans, but for us it's important to win the title, not where we win it. This season we seem to play better abroad anyway."
"We have a better squad this season, the new signings integrated well and we have not had many injuries," added midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
"It's nice to play finals, but you also need to win," added Dutchman Arjen Robben. "Last year was very disappointing."
The team knows that playing against Dortmund will test them greatly. Both teams know one another very well from league play and other German tournaments.
"Both teams know each other well, there are no secrets. The coaches know each other. But a final is always an open affair with equal chances," Bayern Coach Jupp Heynckes said. "But every coach has some ideas and it's up to the players to execute them. So far this season, my players have done this very well."
He added, "We are mentally very strong and we have this clear target to win every match. In all my years as coach, I have never seen players so focused, not influenced by outside things. After such a disappointment last year we bounced back and are playing such a great season."
The Champions League final takes place on May 25, 2013 at the Wembley Stadium.