Clash of the titans in domestic cup final

Bayern Munich is hoping to break its losing streak against champions Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's German cup final. The domestic prize comes before the club's Champions League showdown with Chelsea.

Clash of the titans in domestic cup final
Photo: DPA

“All we’re thinking about is this final. We’ve forgotten the other matches,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The Bavarians will host the Champions League final against Chelsea at their own Allianz Arena stadium on Saturday May 19, but Neuer insists all eyes are on Berlin for this weekend’s match against their bitter rivals.

“Obviously, there are a lot of reports about the Champions League final, but everyone saw how overjoyed we were in Mönchengladbach when we made it to the cup final,” he added.

Bayern have been defeated by Dortmund both home and away in the last two seasons as their rivals soared on their way towards claiming back-to-back league titles. Unbeaten Dortmund is bidding for the cup double for the first time in their 103-year history after an impressive season.

Meanwhile, Bayern are ready to fight for their 16th cup title.

“We’re fired up for the match and want to win the trophy,” said Neuer, whose crucial save in the penalty shoot-out played a key role in the cup semi-final victory at Gladbach in March.

Lifting the German cup would also be a perfect foundation for the Champions League final the week after, said Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper.

“We’ve had a good season as a team, but it’ll only be a superb season if we win trophies,” said Neuer. “The result in the cup final will definitely influence the mood, that much is clear, so we’ll do everything we can to win the cup.”

Bayern last beat Dortmund in February 2010 and the Bavarian giants are not used to losing regularly to a rival from within Germany.

“When you lose four times, there is a certain anger,” said Germany midfielder Thomas Müller. “We want to show them that this isn’t how it’s going to be for the next five years.”

Müller is not the only Bayern star itching to break the losing streak.

“We all have a burning desire, we want to win,” said Munich’s Dutch winger Arjen Robben. Unbeaten in their last 22 games in all competitions since losing to Marseille in the Champions League last December, Dortmund have yet to lose in 2012.

“It’s one of the biggest matches in Germany of recent years. We’re totally looking forward to it,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has said the showdown is too close to call.

“It’s a clash between evenly-matched sides, both teams have already achieved great things,” he said. “Bayern have the Champions League final against Chelsea and we’ve won the league, so it’s already a successful season for both clubs.”

Both teams will be at full strength for the showcase final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, although Bayern vice-captain and Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger has admitted he is still carrying an ankle injury.


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Bayern Munich sack youth coach at centre of racism row

Bayern Munich, who face Lyon in a Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, have fired a coach from their youth academy amid a police investigation into allegations of racism.

Bayern Munich sack youth coach at centre of racism row
Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman wearing a T-shirt that says: 'Red against racism' on June 10th. Photo: DPA.

The coach, who was not named, has had his contract terminated “by mutual agreement”, the German league and cup champions said in a statement late Monday.

The sacking is “the first result of an internal survey currently under way” at the youth training academy, it added.

Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said last week he was “furious” after hearing of the allegations, first reported by the ARD broadcaster.

The coach is accused of making racist and other discriminatory comments in a series of messages, which he initially denied but later admitted, according to German media.

He had been a youth coach at the club since 2003 and had been in charge of children's and youth teams since 2006, according to the weekly Der Spiegel.

He made discriminatory comments based on skin colour, nationality, religion and sexual orientation, Spiegel reported.

These comments “do not correspond at all with the values that Bayern Munich represents”, Rummenigge said after police in Munich opened an investigation into the allegations.

READ ALSO: Bayern Munich Academy employee investigated over racism allegations

Bayern Munich was founded by German Jews in 1900, but all Jewish managers and players were excluded after Hitler came to power in 1933.

In June, not long after the death in the US of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, the entire team were pictured wearing t-shirts bearing the slogans “Black lives matter” and “Red card to racism”.

The club also launched a major anti-racism campaign in March, following incidents in German stadiums.