Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has played down recent comments from Michael Ballack and Petr Cech that the Bundesliga side will have an emotional advantage as the host of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final.
Schweinsteiger could help Bayern win a maiden historic home Champions League final against Chelsea, with former Bayern and Blues midfielder Michael Ballack recently insisting that playing at the Allianz Arena would fuel up the Bavarians.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech also admitted that an emotional crowd in Munich can make it difficult for his side to claim European glory for the first time in club history.
As far as Schweinsteiger is concerned, it is Chelsea who will have the emotional edge as the London outfit’s veteran core aims to look past the painful memories of 2008.
Skipper John Terry hit his decisive penalty kick against Manchester United against the post in a slipping motion, which ultimately allowed the Red Devils to be crowned champions in Moscow four years ago.
Terry is suspended for the trip to Munich after picking up a red card in the semifinal second leg against Barcelona last month but Schweinsteiger is fully aware of the motivation this Chelsea team has with their backs against the wall.
“Those players like (Frank) Lampard, (Didier) Drogba, (Ashley) Cole and (Michael) Essien, who were in Moscow for the final [in 2008, when they lost to Manchester United], will have extra motivation,” Schweini told reporters.
The Germany international added: “They will be the most dangerous, they know maybe it is their last chance to try and win it.”
Chelsea’s interim manager Roberto DiMatteo used the same logic to provide any extra motivation, as if it were needed on this massive occasion.
“We’ve got a fantastic group with quality and experience and that has shown in games. That’s shown by them carrying us to this final. To reach a Champions League final is very, very difficult,” the Blues’ caretaker boss asserted.
“Even for younger players, they do not know when they’ll have the chance again to be in a final like this. For some of our older players, it might be more difficult to be in another final, or win it,” he concluded.