Bayern ready for Chelsea
Munich skipper Philip Lahm says home advantage will fire Germans in tonight's Champions League final.
The Bavarians host Chelsea at the Allianz Arena as they seek to become the first side since Inter at San Siro in 1965 to win the European Cup in their own backyard. The pressure is very much on Jupp Heynckes’ men to deliver in front of their adoring Munich public and Lahm is confident that they will rise to the occasion. “It’s definitely a positive thing to play in our own stadium,” the full-back told reporters on the eve of Bayern’s date with destiny. “We know everything here so it has a positive effect on us. Being in your own stadium gives you a feeling of safety and security.
“It was our dream to make it to the final and here we are. We haven’t quite finished yet, we want to win this cup and we have a tough job ahead of us but it’s great to be here on home turf. “I was born in Munich, I grew up in Munich and I joined Bayern at the age of 11, so this is definitely my home and when you look around the city everybody is happy; there’s great anticipation.” Furthermore, Lahm backed France’s Franck Ribery to make up for his misery in Madrid two years ago by helping the Bavarians beat Chelsea tonight.
Ribery missed the Champions League final for Bayern two years ago in Madrid after a red card in the semi-final against Lyon meant he was a spectator when Munich lost 2-0 to Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan. Lahm said: “He’s an outstanding football player who can decide matches, we’ve seen that and we know it. He was not there at the Champions League final two years ago therefore it’s important to have him back. Franck will chip in what he can.”
Ribery scored the opening goal in Bayern’s 2-1 home win in the semi-final against Real Madrid before Munich won the return at the Bernabeu and the Frenchman is relishing his chance for redemption. “It wasn’t a good situation for me two years ago and I felt bad about it. I can make up for the missed final because I have a second chance. The final in Munich means I can finally banish the memory of Madrid.”