Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 25th 2013 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 25, 2013
LONDON---Bayern Munich is try-
ing to playing things down as the
title favorite, while outsider Borus-
sia Dortmund is eager to play up
Even before a ball is kicked in
today s Champions League final, the
German rivals are at odds in their
approach to the biggest game in club
Bayern is approaching its third
final in four years with the self-
assured calm of a team fully in con-
trol after a season of dominance,
while Dortmund is enjoying the role
of underdog with everything to gain
and nothing to lose.
Bayern winger Thomas Mueller
summed up his side s mood on Fri-
day, saying that the showdown is
just "a normal Champion League
"Of course you get goose bumps
when you re on the pitch and we
know what s at stake. We won t let
it drive us crazy though," the 23-
There was a similar sense of focus
from Bayern captain Philipp Lahm,
who sees victory for his side as a
matter of progression ahead.
"The players are the right age now,
the right character. There s nothing
against us winning tomorrow," said
Lahm, who added that he wouldn t
be surprised if Bayern was to play
a fourth final in five years next sea-
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp
is happy with one.
"If this is the only final in my life,
this is the perfect place for it, and
this is the perfect opponent," said
Klopp, who spoke of the honor of
playing at Wembley Stadium.
Klopp said it was clear his side
was the rank outsider, but he added
that his players were determined to
make the most of their opportunity.
"We will approach the game with
unbridled enthusiasm, with huge
motivation for the task, and with
the knowledge it can all go to pieces,"
"But people have climbed Mt.
Everest knowing that they could fall
three meters from the top and yet
they still tried it. And that s why
we re going to try too, and hope for
While Klopp was speaking
metaphorically, London greeted both
teams with traditional British weath-
er, and the unrelenting drizzle helped
contribute to traffic problems that
delayed both sides arrival for their
run outs on the pitch.
Klopp said the team received a
police escort from the airport and
"if we re to make it on time for the
game tomorrow we ll need another.
So if someone knows a policeman,
The build-up to the 101st com-
petitive meeting between the two
rivals has been overshadowed by
Mario Goetze s decision to leave
Dortmund for Bayern and reports
that Polish striker Robert
Lewandowski is planning to follow
For Dortmund defender Mats
Hummels, the prospect of the club
winning a second Champions League
title---after its triumph in 1997---was
"It would be great to show the
players who may be going that our
team can achieve great things too,"
Goetze is out of what would have
been his last Dortmund game with
a hamstring injury, sustained after
just 12 minutes of the second leg of
his team s semifinal at Real Madrid.
Otherwise, Klopp has no injury con-
Hummels, who failed to establish
himself at Bayern after coming
through its youth teams, declared
himself fit after recovering from an
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes
declared all his players were fit, too,
after completing what he called "the
best season in 50 years of the Bun-
Bayern wrapped up the title with
six weeks to spare and finished 25
points ahead of Dortmund---both
records in a season of many.
Heynckes said that the final would
probably be his last chance to lift
the trophy he won in 1998 as coach
of Real Madrid.
The 68-year-old is making way
for former Barcelona coach Pep
Guardiola and has hinted strongly
that he s retiring.
"This is special for Bayern and for
the team," Heynckes said. "You have
players who are a little bit older and
for them it would be the crowning
achievement of their careers. For me
too, but I m a little more relaxed
about it. There s a little more distance
because I won it before."
Bayern is driven by the pain of
losing last year s final to Chelsea on
"We hope of course that Wembley
is better and that the stadium brings
us luck," Heynckes said. "Last year
we were the better team. Perhaps
tomorrow the football gods are with
us."For now, Heynckes has as many
titles as Dortmund does. But that
will all change on Saturday night.
LONDON---UEFA President Michel Platini
wants to establish a European sports police
force to tackle betting, corruption, match-
fixing, doping and hooliganism.
Addressing the UEFA Congress in London
yesterday, Platini said that his previous calls
have been ignored by governments for six
"Given the absence of any reaction and the
lack of awareness on the part of politicians,
I renew that call today," Platini said.
"And if, by misfortune, this call again falls
on deaf ears, I ask that each country, at the
very least, adopts specific provisions of national
legislation addressing the issue of match-
fixing, in order to finally have the legal tools
necessary to rigorously punish these cheats."
Only ten nations have such provisions, Pla-
Europol, the European Union police liaison
agency, said in February that it reviewed 680
suspicious recent cases of match-fixing.
Platini said that manipulating matches
"strikes at the soul of our sport, the very
essence of the game."
"We are not dealing with petty criminals
who are looking to make ends meet," he added.
"It would seem that we are, in some
instances, dealing with mafia-type organisa-
tions that are using certain matches to launder
money, tarnishing our sport in the process."
European football leaders are gathering in
London ahead of the Champions League final
on Saturday between Bayern Munich and
Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.
The congress was opened by Prince William,
the second in line to the British throne who
is president of the English Football Association.
"My money is on Bayern Munich 2-0," the
Duke of Cambridge quipped.
During Platini s speech, the "worrying finan-
cial situation at certain clubs in Europe" was
also addressed as the UEFA president under-
lined the need for them to abide by Financial
Fair Play regulations.
Platini highlighted the failure of clubs to
pay their tax debts, which is a condition of
getting a license from their national association
to play in UEFA competitions.
UEFA has barred Malaga from European
competition next season for failing to pay
player wages and taxes on time.
The Spanish government last month said
that clubs in the country collectively owed
670 million euros ($866 million) in taxes.
Urging European clubs to operate in a more
"responsible manner," Platini said it s "about
making clubs pay the money they owe to tax
authorities, other clubs and all of their employ-
ees, both players and coaches."
"In order to prevent the current system
from collapsing and stop the bubble from
bursting, UEFA had a duty to step in, and it
will be up to independent bodies to punish
the few clubs that have not realised that football
can no longer live above the rules," Platini
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infanti also
confirmed plans to enhance the status of the
Europa League. Starting in 2015, the winner
of the Europa League will earn a place in the
next season s Champions League. (AP)
Bayern calm, Dortmund excited
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Platini wants a European sports police force
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, right, of
France in action during their training
session at Wembley Stadium in London,
yesterday. Dortmund will face fellow
German football team Bayern Munich in
the final of the Champions League at
Wembley Stadium today. AP PHOTO
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