On May 25th at Wembley Stadium, the European Champions League final 2013 will be an all German affair for the first time in its history. The irony of two German clubs competing for Europe’s top prize at England’s national stadium only serves to crystallise Germany’s emergence as a footballing superpower.
The Champions League Final 2013 will be contested by Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, the two heavyweights of German football. Having run away with the Bundesliga title this season by 25 points, Bayern Munich will go into the game as favourites. They will also be driven by the agony of last seasons Champions League final defeat to Chelsea in their own backyard.
Bayern and Dortmund have both played some wonderful football to reach this point and both teams take their strengths and weaknesses into this seasons final.
Bayern Munich’s strengths are almost immeasurable; they boast possibly the best attacking line-up of any club in Europe at the moment. Devastating going forward and solid at the back, they are a force to be reckoned with and on their day have the beating of any side in the world. They also have the mental edge over their rivals, having beaten them to the league title by a ridiculous margin.
Their key players including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribéry and captain Philipp Lahm are the fulcrum of the sides successes and would walk into almost any team in Europe.
For all of their strengths, Bayern Munich still have weaknesses that can be exploited. For one thing they sometimes suffer from over-confidence, as they did last year in the final against Chelsea. They are also not great at protecting leads and particularly at preventing their opponents from creating chances.
Borussia Dortmund strengths lie in their breath-taking ability to counter attack at speed and with prolific results. They tore Manchester City to ribbons in the Champions League group stages this season through their perfection of counter attacking football. Their strong attacking players such as Marco Reus, Mario Götze and want-away striker Robert Lewandowski make them one of the most dangerous opponents in modern football.
Dortmund’s main weakness is predominantly engrained in their youth structure. There is a discernible lack of players at the club who are long in the tooth. This often leads to lack of experience and error-prone performances and the team certainly lacks a natural leader.
Comparing and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of both teams it seems that Bayern’s vast experience and mental strength will most likely see them emerge victorious on the day. However, as cup finals continue to remind us it all boils down to who wants it more on the day.