International Champions Cup Singapore

Football: Bayern aim to be Europe's best again

Thomas Muller signs autgraphs for Bayern Munich fans at Clifford Square during the Adidas Football Freestyle Battle on July 24, 2017.
Thomas Muller signs autgraphs for Bayern Munich fans at Clifford Square during the Adidas Football Freestyle Battle on July 24, 2017.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

They are one of only five teams to have won the European Cup at least five times, yet Bayern Munich have now gone four years without lifting the prestigious trophy.

The German giants won the Cup from 1974 to 1976, in 2002 and most recently in 2013. Since their last triumph, they have reached the Champions League semi-finals thrice, but could not make the last steps to the ultimate victory.

And centre-back Mats Hummels believes his club have to "do a little better" to be kings of Europe again.

"It's not like we've played a bad Champions League season last year," he said. "It was unlucky for us in the game in Munich against Real (Madrid) that we had three important players out, and you just need this kind of luck sometimes.

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"We have a good team, but in a competition where there are six or seven world-class teams, there's no guarantee for any side to make it to the final. You need to beat at least two world-class teams to make it there, so it's pretty tough."

The 28-year-old German World Cup winner is in town with his club for the International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore, and was at a meet-and-greet session at The Arena hosted by T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom - Bayern's primary sponsor.

Re-signed from Bundesliga rivals Dortmund in 2016 for €35 million (S$55.5 million), the former Bayern youth product also said that, with new additions, it is possible that Bayern can finally end their European drought and win the title.

Hummels has not tasted Champions League glory yet. Ironically, he was on the opposite side in Bayern's 2013 triumph, marshalling the defence for Dortmund as they lost 1-2 in the final, courtesy of an 89th-minute Arjen Robben strike.

He said: "So many things can happen and I always think winning the Champions League is possible, but it's very tough to do."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Bayern aim to be Europe's best again'. Print Edition | Subscribe