Bayern on verge of history
31 May 2013, 16:05
Munich - Champions League winners Bayern Munich are aiming to complete a historic
treble in Saturday's German Cup final against VfB Stuttgart but the
Bavarians are smarting at the enforced absence of centre-back Dante for
the Berlin showdown.
Bayern have been told by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) that
Dante, as well as defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, must report for
international duty before Saturday's deadline as Brazil prepare to host
the Confederations Cup from June 15-30.
Both players are upset at missing the final, and Bayern chairman
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has branded CBF's standpoint as "inhuman,
ruthless, unfair and unacceptable", but only Dante would have started in
No German team has won the treble of European Cup, domestic league and
cup titles before, and Bayern are bidding to become only the seventh
side in Europe to achieve the feat.
Only Celtic in 1967, Ajax in 1972, PSV Eindhoven in 1988, Manchester
United in 1999, Barcelona in 2009 and Inter Milan in 2010 have
previously achieved the feat.
Should they write their names into the history books, it will be a
fitting tribute to the Bayern team which won this season's Bundesliga
title by breaking or equalling 25 league records.
Having won the league title at the start of April, then beaten Borussia
Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley last Saturday to claim the European crown,
vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has said it is "very, very
important" to complete the set.
"The team is very eager to win the cup," said Schweinsteiger.
"Of course, it was something special to win at Wembley, but the concentration on Berlin is raising day by day."
Schweinsteiger can equal Oliver Kahn's record of six cup triumphs if Bayern lift the trophy for the 16th time.
Belgium centre-back Daniel van Buyten will come in for Dante at
centre-back alongside Jerome Boateng in the only change from the team
which started the Wembley final.
France winger Franck Ribery will play after serving a cup suspension in
the wake of his sending-off in the 2-0 last-16 win over Augsburg in
It will be the Frenchman's fourth appearance in the final at Berlin's
Olympic Stadium in six years, with a crowd of just over 74 000 expected
for the game.
"We've worked so hard and invested so much. We have to take our chance of the treble," said the 30-year-old.
Stuttgart, who finished 12th in the Bundesliga and are looking to get
their hands on a trophy for the first time since winning the league in
2007, are expected to be at full strength with captain Serdar Tasci
playing with a special insole in his boot to counter Achilles tendon
Christian Gentner and Ivory Coast veteran Arthur Boka will be charged with stopping Bayern's star-studded midfield.
While Bayern are overwhelming favourites, Stuttgart are hoping to catch
them on a bad day and the Bavarians will need no reminding of their 5-2
Cup final rout at the hands of Borussia Dortmund last season.
"We have nothing to fear. We have the chance to achieve something very
special and take a title. It's positive pressure for us," said Gentner,
with Stuttgart having last won the cup in 1997.
"Bayern could well underestimate us, but they have proven they are
hungry and are eager to finish the season with a treble success."
The Bavarians have extra motivation as they look to send off coach Jupp
Heynckes with the treble before the 68-year-old steps down after two
seasons in charge to be replaced by ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.