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Rummenigge's reunion with former club Inter

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Rummenigge's reunion with former club Inter

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue May 18, 2010 5:15 pm

Even 23 years on, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has not forgotten Italian. "Allora," he began, "Sentenza"... "squadra"... "ricordo"..., he continued, as fluently as he used to score goals - 162 in 310 games for FCB, and 24 in 64 matches for Inter, Bayern's Champions League final opponents. At Tuesday's news conference, the 54-year-old took and answered questions in both Italian and Germany, more than two decades after leaving Milan.

Rummenigge's three-year stint with the Nerazzurri from 1984 to 1987 has patently left its mark. "I didn't just learn a new language, I learned another perspective on life," he recalled, "I became more patient, and more relaxed. I have very fond memories of an extremely happy time in Milan, although in footballing terms, it wasn't particularly successful. We failed to win a trophy."

If the European Footballer of the Year for 1980 and 1981 has his way, Inter will miss out again on Saturday. "Treble winners Bayern," is the headline Rummenigge would like to see after the Champions League final, although he is well aware of the severity of the task facing FCB. "Inter represent the highest quality in Europe. It's a very good, very well-run club, with an exceptional coach. But despite all that, we have a decent chance."

Evenly matched pair

Rummenigge spoke of a "Fifty-fifty game," and an "evenly-matched encounter," where form on the day would be decisive. He is unmoved by the Italian press installing Inter as favourites: "I don't have a problem with that. I have the feeling it'll inspire our team even more." The chairman repeated his compliments and congratulations to Louis van Gaal and his men, again praising their "desire, passion, fighting spirit and footballing quality."

Reaching the final of Europe's elite club competition was much harder now than in the days of the old European Cup, he said. "The introduction of the Champions League brought a dramatic increase in quality," Rummenigge argued, "you need to be very focused, even at the group stage, if you're to avoid a nasty surprise - which very nearly happened to us this season."

The cherry on the cake

But Bayern have secured a berth in the final, which Rummenigge himself had not foreseen: "When we discussed the favourites at the start of the season, neither Inter nor Bayern came up in conversation. But both clubs deserve it, because both have been fantastic this season." However, Bayern are confident of adding the cherry on the top of the cake, as the idiom used by Rummenigge has it.
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