Champions League: Bayern Munich need win - Hitzlsperger

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Saturday 25 May
19:45 BST
Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website, mobiles & app

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger says the Bavarians "need" to win the Champions League after losing two of the last three finals.

Everton's Hitzlsperger, 31, spent 11 years in Bayern's youth ranks and knows the importance of Saturday's Wembley final against Borussia Dortmund.

"It is massive. It is a huge game for them," he told BBC World Service.

"They are due a title, they need to win. Dortmund are going there with less pressure."

Bayern lost last season's Champions League final in their own Allianz Arena to Chelsea on penalties, having been beaten at the same stage by Inter Milan at the Bernabeu in 2010, and have not been European champions since 2001.

Victory in London would complete part two of a possible treble, with the Bundesliga already won and the German cup final against Stuttgart to come on 1 June.

"Having lost two finals in the last three years it means they really need to win this time, their team is under pressure," Hitzlsperger, who was born in Munich, said.

Thomas Hitzlsperger
Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger says Bayern Munich "need" to win on Saturday

"I was there against Chelsea watching and it was hugely disappointing. It was set up for them playing at home.

"In the run-up there was a great atmosphere in Munich. Then the game changed and people stood there in despair, people couldn't believe what they were seeing.

"That is why I am thinking they know it does matter and will do the job. They have the confidence to go there and win."

German football has attracted considerable praise this season, which culminates in a first all-Bundesliga Champions League final.

But Hitzlsperger, who is hoping to stay at Everton after his contract expires this summer, believes there is still a lot to prove before Germany - and more specifically Bayern - can claim to be at the top of the European game.

"We have to be careful," said the former Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder. "They have played great football but they have not won the Champions League yet. Barcelona have proved they can play attractive football and win trophies.

"It is looking good for German football and for Bayern but we have to wait and see. The last time a German team won the Champions League, Bayern Munich, was 10 years ago. Hopefully this is the beginning of a great era for German football but it is only the beginning. Let's see what happens in the next five or 10 years.

"Ten to 15 years ago, German football was right at the bottom. We have learned from our mistakes and this is what we get now - good young players coming through and an education."

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