at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Munich – Bayern Munich held a final public training session on Monday before trying behind closed doors to overcome a weekend cup trauma for the Champions League final on home ground against Chelsea.
Bayern must forget the 5-2 hammering by Borussia Dortmund quickly if they don't want to up empty-handed on Saturday in the Allianz Arena.
“I don't want to imagine Bayern without a trophy in the end,” club icon and honourary president Franz Beckenbauer told Monday's Bild daily. “But we can't beat Chelsea if we play like against Dortmund.”
Dortmund beat Bayern for a second straight Bundesliga title and again in the cup as Munich are in danger of getting no trophy two years in a row.
Oliver Kahn, whose saves in a shoot-out against Valencia gave Bayern the last Champions League title in 2001, urged coach Jupp Heynckes and the players to “press the delete buttom” and look only ahead at Chelsea.
“Bayern can become national champion and cup winner every year, but Champions League winner - you don't get that chance very often,” Kahn said.
Heynckes' main task must be stabilising the defence against Didier Drogba and company, a difficult task given the horrendous mistakes in the cup final on Saturday.
It doesn't help Heynckes' cause that defenders Holger Badstuber and David Alaba are suspended on Saturday along with defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo. None of them looked good on Saturday but the expected replacements Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Diego Contento are also not experienced men at the back in big games.
“We must carefully analyse what we did wrong. Chelsea play similar to Dortmund with long balls,” said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urged a collective effort to correct a below par season by club standards in the final official match.
“I ask the team, no, I demand that the team plays against Chelsea with passion, willpower and aggressiveness,” said Rummenigge.
French winger Franck Ribery told Monday's edition of Kicker sports magazine he is upbeat about the outcome.
“We were always alert in the Champions League. We always knew what was at stake,” Ribery said. “Of course we would have preferred to beat Dortmund and prepared for Chelsea with the cup title. But we must put that aside and fully concentrate on Chelsea.”
Munich will have plenty of support in the big game, ranging from Germany coach Joachim Loew (“Being the best in Europe would be a super finale”) to Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl (“I will keep my fingers crossed for Munich”).
There is even support for Munich from the Premier League in the form of Tottenham, who as fourth-placed team will lose their Champions League to Chelsea if the Blues win.
Spurs fans were singing “there is only one Bayern Munich” at the season-ender and manager Harry Redknapp will be in Munich for the game, forgetting for its duration that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is his nephew.
“I will be with Bayern all the way,” the Daily Mail quoted Redknapp as saying. – Sapa-dpa