Schweinsteiger upbeat despite near misses

Schweinsteiger upbeat despite near misses

Bayern Munich are the envy of many clubs in Europe even if they risk ending the season empty-handed, according to their midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

For the first time in almost two decades, Bayern could end a season without getting their hands on a single piece of silverware for two years running.

Since winning the UEFA Cup in 1994, the Bavarians have never gone two consecutive campaigns without winning a at least one title and although that record could end tonight, Schweinsteiger insists he would not swap either the Bundesliga or the German Cup crown for a place in the Champions League final.

“If you win no titles, then of course you are disappointed, but there are many teams who would love to swap places with us,” he said.

“Sadly, we threw away a big cushion in the league against Dortmund and that is the reason why we did not win that.

“In the cup, we got to the final, but then we played the German champions and obviously it is not good when you lose, but that happened.

“But in the Champions League, we have been very strong, particularly at home, and that gives us self-confidence.

“We have always played well in the Champions League.

“We know what we can do, just think of Manchester City or Napoli, or at home to Real Madrid, all games against top teams and, mostly, we dominated them.”

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm agrees that the disappointment of missing out on both the league and the cup to Dortmund does not alter their frame of mind for tonight.

“We have put that behind us,” he said. “Since Tuesday, our focus has been on the Champions League final.

“We are very confident and have a good chance to win, but Chelsea also have a big chance.

“It is just one game and in one game, anything is possible, the pressure is high on both teams, it’s the biggest title in club football.”

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes knows what it is like to win the Champions League having clinched the title with Real Madrid back in 1998.

Real’s 1-0 win over Juventus in Amsterdam was a tight affair and the 67-year-old hopes to be spared similar drama tonight, while he says preparing for a penalty shoot-out is more of a mental challenge than a technical one.

“At my age, I don’t know if my heart would survive penalties so I hope that the game will be decided before that,” he said.

“But penalties are nothing to do with talent, but rather mental strength of the players and the absolute will to score and I think German teams always had this strength of will.

“I don’t think there is much sense in training penalties.”

Penalties or no penalties and whichever team prevails, tonight’s game is guaranteed to be a classic according to Lahm.

“They are two important footballing nations,” he said. “Germany v England or England v Germany have always been good stories.”

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