Lisbon (dpa) – A sun-tanned Hansi Flick, who also appears relaxed shortly before the grand finale, wants the coronation with FC Bayern – and thus also his own.
Less than ten months after rising from assistant to head coach, the 55-year-old wants to win his first Champions League final on Sunday (9 p.m. / ZDF, Sky, DAZN) against Paris Saint-Germain and the second triple in the glorious history of the cheering German football champions.
“Tomorrow is a special game. You can put the crown on,” said Flick on Saturday at the virtual press conference, which he held with an amazing resting heart rate – in any case, his heart was not racing. National player Joshua Kimmich (25) looked a little more excited before his first premier class final, but no less determined: “Now we want to get that thing too!”
Before his fourth final for Europe’s football club crown, final expert Thomas Müller gave his less experienced teammates a piece of advice: “You have to take advantage of the opportunity you have now. That’s why we have to be there. We mustn’t hesitate and understand the importance of this Don’t let the game get too much into our heads. “
Experts, fans and also the Bayern professionals are preparing for an offensive spectacle in the stadium of Benfica Lisbon, in which Bayern won the quarter-finals against FC Barcelona 8-2. “In the offensive rows, both have great players, well-known players. In the games that both teams have played, there have always been a lot of goals,” said captain and national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
At the Final 8 tournament in Portugal he has so far presented himself in world class form. And the 34-year-old is one of the key figures, the last stop sign, so to speak, against the extremely dangerous and extremely fast PSG attack involving Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. In the semi-final against Olympique Lyon, he thwarted the connecting goal in his biggest scene to date in Portugal against Toko Ekambi. “That is what makes the world-class goalkeeper so that he is there, that he is calm in such one-on-one situations”, praised Oliver Kahn.
The former goalkeeping titan believes that even exceptional talent like Neymar or Mbappé could ponder in a final face to face with Neuer. “It is of course something different for a striker if you have a one-on-one situation in front of Manuel Neuer. As a striker you know that you are dealing with one, if not the best goalkeeper in the world,” said Kahn: “Manuel is unique!”
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is also aware of the special importance of a reliable number 1, especially in a final. Keylor Navas wants to play again after his injury-related absence in the semi-final against RB Leipzig. The mostly well-informed sports newspaper “L’Equipe” reported that he was fit. The 33-year-old from Costa Rica has won the premier class three times in a row with Real Madrid. He is more experienced and better than his representative Sergio Rico.
A constellation poker has broken out between Flick and his German opponent Tuchel, who can probably call up the recovered midfield worker Marco Verratti. And what does Flick do? Does he play Benjamin Pavard as a full-back after a recently recovered foot injury against Neymar? “I’m not sure he’s one hundred percent fit,” said Flick.
Was it a verbal smoke candle? Otherwise Joshua Kimmich could switch back to defensive midfield to ensure more stability there. Thiago would then be the one who would have to give way.
In addition to the seeded Lewandowski, Müller and Gnabry, an exchange could also be offered up front. Flick could replace the robust Ivan Perisic with the dribbling Kingsley Coman, who was trained as a professional at PSG. “We have the third game in a week and of course we have to pay attention to the strength,” said Flick. The central defender Jérôme Boateng, who was replaced against Lyon with muscular problems, should face an endurance test in the final training session on Saturday evening. Both coaches are faced with tricky personnel decisions before kick-off.
The 28th Champions League final will definitely be extraordinary, because for the first time the season highlight will take place as a ghost game without fans. The Bayern professionals have not forgotten their fans. “We miss you,” said Neuer and Co. from Portugal to their supporters all over the world, who cannot be in the stadium due to Corona. “We will give everything to make your and our dream come true,” said a letter to the followers.