Lisbon (dpa) – All of Europe is looking at this final. Bayern Munich against Paris Saint-Germain could be a spectacle because of the crowd of soccer stars and two teams in great form.
Even if the outer frame without fans in the Estádio da Luz on Sunday (9 p.m. / ZDF, Sky, DAZN) will be a dreary corona: The main actors on the field in Lisbon will still burn with passion, as Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said: “Now we’re looking forward to the final against PSG. We’ve fought and worked for so long and want to win this final.” A comparison of the parts of the team and the two final coaches.
PSG: The number 1 is Keylor Navas and won the premier class three times in a row with Real Madrid. However, the 33-year-old from Costa Rica injured himself in the quarter-finals against Bergamo and is now in danger of falling out against Bayern. After all, his representative Sergio Rico, who was already at zero in the semi-finals against RB Leipzig, has final game experience: The 26-year-old Spaniard was in goal when Sevilla FC won the Europa League in 2015.
BAVARIA: Manuel Neuer (34) is one of Bavaria’s great trump cards. Champions League winner in 2013, world champion in 2014, tried and tested in final matches and a huge amount of support. “Manuel is unique,” said Oliver Kahn after the 3-0 win in the semi-final against Lyon, in which Neuer prevented the connecting goal against Toko Ekambi alone with a world-class action. The former goalkeeper titan Kahn knows only too well what the man in the Münchner Tor has to do: “He is not permanently employed, but when he is needed, he has to be there.” It was newer in Lisbon so far.
PSG: Both full-backs played longer in the Bundesliga. Thilo Kehrer (right), like Leroy Sané or Mesut Özil, was trained at Schalke 04. After four years at FC Bayern, Juan Bernat (left) was verbally thrown by Uli Hoeneß that he had played “shit” in the Champions League. Captain Thiago Silva (35) is going into his last game as Paris defender. Next to him, the sturdy but also flawed Presnel defends Kimpembe.
BAVARIA: Out of necessity, Hansi Flick created a line of defense that did amazing things. David Alaba no longer defends on the left, but as the boss in the center. In addition, Jérôme Boateng has become strong and important again. When the muscles go on strike like against Lyon, Niklas Süle, who has recovered from a cruciate ligament tear, has to go in. At the back left is “Roadrunner” Alphonso Davies, the discovery of the season: world class solo against Barcelona, defensive shaky against Lyon. Joshua Kimmich had to help out in the back right. But Benjamin Pavard, Flick’s “Mr. Reliable”, came back shortly after injury against Lyon.
PSG: The weak point of the French champions? Coach Thomas Tuchel always prefers the trained defender Marquinhos in important games to stabilize his team. His most important neighbor, Marco Verratti, is also not really fit. Of all the other candidates such as the Spaniard Herrera, the Argentine Paredes or the Senegalese Gueye, none of the PSG players embodies an upscale international class. National player Julian Draxler is still not an option in Tuchel’s 4-3-3 system.
BAVARIA: In the engine room between defense and attack, the people of Munich are well equipped. Because Kimmich had to move to the back to the right, Thiago, who is now straddling too, and the dynamic Leon Goretzka form the double six. For Thiago (29), the final is likely to be the farewell game in the Bayern jersey, he will probably move to Liverpool. For the Spaniard it is loosely based on Pep Guardiola, who lured him to Munich in 2013: title or nothing!
PSG: Paris has the most expensive storm in the world. The two superstars Neymar and Mbappé together cost the club an estimated 400 million euros in transfer fees. Although world champion Mbappé arrived injured in Portugal, both attackers turned up at the final tournament. Kahn warns of counterattacks after losing the ball: “Then things go through Mbappé, through Neymar, then it usually bangs.” The “third man” up front is the Argentine di Maria, who under Tuchel found the form with which he won the premier class at Real Madrid.
BAYERN: The Munich offensive department cost less money, but it produces goals on the assembly line: 42 in ten premier class games. Robert Lewandowski scored 15 times, Lyon conqueror Serge Gnabry scored nine times. Thomas Müller is important again under Flick, the original Bavarian is facing his fourth Champions League final after 2010, 2012 and 2013. The robust Ivan Perisic lost the World Cup final with Croatia in 2018 against France. Kingsley Coman and Philippe Coutinho were Flicks noble jokers so far.
PSG: Should you envy Thomas Tuchel (46) because he’s allowed to work with a lot of superstars in Paris? Or rather pity you because nothing counts at this club except winning the Champions League? Neither Carlo Ancelotti nor Laurent Blanc nor the Spaniard Unai Emery got as far as Tuchel with PSG. Under his leadership, even the big names like Neymar and Mbappé subordinate themselves to the team tactics. “Thomas is doing a sensational job,” said final opponent Flick.
BAYERN: Sensational would be an understatement to assess the work of Flick (55) in the first nine months as head coach. He surprised everyone, maybe even himself. Flick came in the summer of 2019 as an assistant, then was only head coach for two games and later until the end of the year. Joachim Löw’s assistant world champion is now a double winner and his team is unbeaten in 2020. His contract was extended to 2023 during the Corona break. The ex-professional is characterized by prudence, empathy and a clear strategy. On Sunday evening, Flick could become the second Munich triple trainer after the legendary Jupp Heynckes (2013).