Bayern eye historic 6th trophy within a year

German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer warming up before Bayern's win over Egypt's Al-Ahly in Monday's Club World Cup semi-finals. They meet Mexican team Tigres in today's final.
German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer warming up before Bayern's win over Egypt's Al-Ahly in Monday's Club World Cup semi-finals. They meet Mexican team Tigres in today's final.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DOHA • European champions Bayern Munich are eager to make history by beating Mexico's Tigres in the Club World Cup final in Qatar today to complete the rare clean sweep of six titles inside 12 months.

The Bavarian giants are bidding to become only the second football club after Barcelona, who managed it in 2009, to win all six domestic and international titles available in a single season.

Having already claimed the Champions League, Uefa Super Cup, German Super Cup, Bundesliga and German Cup titles last year, Bayern want to complete the set.

Captain and veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has made it clear that the German league leaders are "up for it, we can make history". The sentiments were echoed by his coach Hansi Flick.

"We came here to win the title. That would be the icing on the cake and also a special success in Bayern Munich's successful club history," said Flick.

Only Tigres now block Bayern's path and the Concacaf champions are also hoping to make history of their own.

In former France striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, they also have a player who has played at the highest stage - he has three goals in two matches here - and his quality can hurt the favourites.

"No other Mexican team has gone this far, but now we want more," said forward Carlos Gonzalez. "We came here hoping to lift the trophy and now that we're close, we're encouraged and motivated that we can achieve our goal."

Flick gave his stars Tuesday off to prepare for the final, in which he expects a much tougher test against Tigres.

"They are a very dynamic team, very athletic with a lot of power. We have to counter that well," he warned.

Top scorer Robert Lewandowski continues to send goal records tumbling, having netted 29 times in 27 club games this season but he wants more.

"I hope we play even better football - it will be a big game, we are ready for it," the reigning Best Fifa Men's Player said.

Bayern will be missing Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez - both were not part of the initial travelling squad to Qatar - with Flick confirming the pair will stay in Munich to prepare for Monday's Bundesliga home game with Arminia Bielefeld.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2021, with the headline 'Bayern eye historic 6th trophy within a year'. Subscribe