The last time a high-profile German player faced Bayern Munich in a final before joining the club was in 1984. Back then, Lothar Matthaus was 23 and playing for Borussia Moenchengladbach, but he had already agreed to join Bayern the next season. Who should Moenchengladbach face in the German Cup final at the end of the season? Bayern Munich.
The game finished 1-1 and it went to penalties. Matthaus stepped up first and smashed his shot over the bar. Moenchengladbach pulled it back when Klaus Augenthaler’s shot was saved, but Bayern went on to win 7-6 after the shoot-out. The memory of the game had been doing the rounds in Germany this week, at least until Bayern-bound Mario Goetze was ruled out on Wednesday through injury. If the game went to penalties, how would he feel, and would he take one?
Goetze may not be the only Dortmund star heading to Munich after the game, even if, as a German player who has spent his whole career at the club, his departure hurts the most. The reason the two clubs fell out earlier in the season was over the future of Robert Lewandowski, the Polish forward whose four goals in the semi-final first leg against Real Madrid marked one of the most complete individual performances in the competition’s history.
Lewandowski has always denied that any deal has been struck but it has been reported that he told Dortmund this week that Bayern will be his next club either this summer, when he has one year left to run on his contract, or next summer, when he is a free agent. “My future will be solved after the season,” is all he would say to Polish paper Przegląd Sportowy this week. “I will decide then and speak out. It’s not the time to discuss this, I’m fully focused on the final,” he said. “I’m a professional. Who I’m playing against makes no difference, the most important thing for me is the team I play for.”
Read the rest of this entry »