at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Munich – German World Cup winner Paul Breitner Monday criticised Bayern Munich players who did not come forward to take penalties in the Champions League final shoot-out against Chelsea.
Coach Jupp Heynckes had admitted that several players did not have the confidence to take penalties in the shoot-out which Chelsea won 4-3 in Saturday's final.
Breitner, who scored from the penalty spot in West Germany's 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup final, said it was wrong that keeper Manuel Neuer and substitute Ivica Olic had to take penalties in the shoot-out.
“Some players apparently didn't want, or were not ready or did not feel capable of putting the ball in the net from the spot,” he told the radio station Bayrische Rundfunk.
Breitner, who is Bayern's chief adviser and won the European Cup with Bayern in 1974, said: “I am deeply saddened and incredibly disappointed with some players who allowed Ivica Olic, who had only been on the pitch 20 minutes and wasn't even warmed up or in the game, to take a penalty.”
Keeper Neuer should also not have been forced to take a penalty “in a phase when he should have been concentrating on saving penalties.”
Although Neuer scored from the spot, Olic saw his penalty saved by keeper Petr Cech, while Bastian Schweinsteiger struck the post.
“Every professional should be man enough, no matter how tired they are or how much cramp they have suffered in their calf muscles to get up, walk 20 metres to the penalty area and take the ball because everyone of them is capable of scoring a goal from 11
metres,” Breitner said.
Breitner said the shoot-out miss would never be forgotten by Schweinsteiger or the other Bayern players.
“My penalty in 1974 at the World Cup, it's now 38 years ago, follows me around daily. I am spoken to about this penalty every day,” he said.
“This penalty shoot-out, this final, will occupy Bastian Schweinsteiger and all the players for the rest of their lives.”
Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who had a penalty saved in extra-time, was just one of the players who did not want to be involved in the shoot-out, Heynckes had said.
“I asked some of the players three times if they wanted to shoot but they said they did not feel confident enough,” he said.
Bayern lost on penalties after taking an 83rd-minute lead through Thomas Mueller, only for Didier Drogba to equalise two minutes from time and then score the decisive penalty in the shoot-out. – Sapa-dpa