Philipp Lahm: Franck Ribery can be the difference against Chelsea
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm believes Franck Ribery could be the key to victory in the Champions League final
Philipp Lahm believes Franck Ribery can be Bayern Munich’s match winner against Chelsea as the French winger prepares to play in his first Champions League final at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Ribery missed Bayern’s 2-0 defeat by Internazionale in the final at the Bernabeu in 2010 after the 29-year-old was sent off for clashing with Lyon striker Lisandro in the second leg of the semi-final.
“He’s an outstanding football player who can decide matches, we’ve seen that and we know it,” said Lahm.
“He was not there at the Champions League final two years ago. It’s going to be important to have him [Ribery] but it’s important all players live up to their performance level,
“We have the hunger and the desire but all players need to chip in and I’m sure Franck will play his part.”
Bayern suffered a humiliating 5-2 defeat by Jurgen Klopp’s impressive Borussia Dortmund outfit in last weekend’s German Cup final.
Dortmund were also crowned Bundesliga champions after seeing off Bayern’s challenge, as Klopp’s side won the title by eight points.
Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger admits that ending the season trophy-less would be difficult to accept – but insisted that winning the Champions League would make up for their lack of domestic success.
“I would be disappointed if we win nothing this season but a number of teams would like to swap positions with us,” said Schweinsteiger.
“We’ve delivered great performances in the Champions League, especially at home, and that gives us confidence. We’re focused on that, we’ll try to play well – and to win this.”
Pre-match facts: Bayern Munich v Chelsea
• The Premier League club won the 1998 Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup against VfB Stuttgart in a final in which their interim manager Roberto Di Matteo and his assistant Eddie Newton both played, the latter as a substitute.
• A Bayern victory would make Jupp Heynckes the 19th coach to have won the European Cup twice, following his 1998 success with Real Madrid.
• This is the sixth European Cup final between German and English teams – only once previously did the Bundesliga side prevail when Bayern Munich beat Leeds United in 1975.
• There have been three previous European Cup finals played at the home ground of one of the competing teams with Real Madrid and Internazionale winning in 1957 and 1965 respectively, but Liverpool beat Roma in the Italian capital in 1984.