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Fired-up FCB vow to seize 'historic chance'

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Fired-up FCB vow to seize 'historic chance'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri May 18, 2012 5:30 pm

Friday's training session at the Säbener Strasse was closed to the public, but several hundred fans still flocked to the club's headquarters - and this was hours before the first star player arrived. The press conference at the Allianz Arena was a standing-room-only affair. The city is abuzz with feverish excitement and euphoric anticipation. And to cap it all, the sun beat down from Bavarian blue skies. The scene could not be better set for the 2012 Champions League final between Bayern and Chelsea on Saturday evening (Live in English from 8.45 pm CET on FCB.de Web Radio).

"It's a historic chance for us," FCB head coach Jupp Heynckes told a throng of around 200 reporters. Bayern have already made history by becoming the first team to reach the final at their home ground, "but now we're aiming for the crowning glory," Heynckes said. Victory over the Blues would be Bayern's fifth triumph in Europe's elite club competition, making them the joint third most successful club in its history alongside Liverpool and after Real Madrid and AC Milan.

However, there is a certain football match to be contested first, and Chelsea represent a huge obstacle. "The teams are evenly matched," observed FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Heynckes issued a stern warning: "I don't share this euphoria about us being described as favourites. There are no favourites in a Champions League final. We'd be well advised to stay very humble."

The club captain and vice-captain agreed with the boss. "The team that's knocked out Barcelona in the course of two matches are basically favourites," said Bastian Schweinsteiger. Philipp Lahm expects the match to be decided by "the small things". However, the boss and his two senior players did agree it was "a tiny advantage" to be playing at the Allianz Arena.

Boss expects Chelsea to come at FCB

"We know every blade of grass here," Heynckes remarked, "we must try and maintain our Champions League tradition." FCB have won all seven of their home games in the competition this season. "I'm very, very confident," declared Lahm, "home advantage will make the players more settled." Schweinsteiger contemplated matters from a reverse point of view: "If it was at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea would also say they have a slight edge, because they know the ground and the environment."

It is fair to say that the London team are away from home on this occasion, although their last match on the road ended in a sensational 2-2 draw with ten men against Barcelona. Roberto di Matteo's men simply set out their stall and defended on that occasion, but will they try the same in Munich? Heynckes does not think so: "Both teams will go for the win. Of course, they'll try and keep it tight, but they'll definitely attack and won't just shut up shop."

Robben declared fit

The experienced Munich coach said he was expecting "a dramatic match". The first priority was "to seal off our own goal," but the question is who will play in defence? Centre-back Holger Badstuber, left-back David Alaba and holding midfielder Luiz Gustavo are all suspended, but the Munich camp remains relaxed about the situation. "We've known about it for a long time and we've adapted," explained keeper Manuel Neuer.

Arjen Robben came down with a cold earlier in the week but has made a full recovery and is fit to face his former club. "I'm assuming he'll play from the start," said Heynckes, who shares the yearning of millions of Bayern fans all over the world for the most prestigious trophy in club football. Captain Lahm had a message for the club's friends and followers everywhere: "I sense we're totally raring to go."
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