Another Champions League final
another defeat, time is running out for Bayern Munich's
home-grown talent to claim the top prize in European club
football and cement their status as a golden generation.
Bayern had set their sights on the Champions League in
December 2010 when club president Uli Hoeness mapped out their
target of lifting the trophy in their own stadium in 2012.
But 18 months later, that dream turned into an "absolute
Bayern started with five youth academy products in the side
and despite dominanting much of Saturday's game could manage
only a 1-1 draw with Chelsea before they were beaten in a
The German side have now lost two Champions League finals in
the last three seasons.
"What happened to us is an absolute nightmare," said Bayern
sports director Christian Nerlinger. "The disappointment has
gone very deep. It is like a bad movie and it will be very
difficult to digest this defeat."
Local boy Thomas Muller had given the Bavarians an 83rd
minute lead but Didier Drogba levelled for Chelsea two minutes
from time. Dutchman Arjen Robben's penalty miss in extra time
gave Chelsea the chance to snatch the title in the shootout.
Bayern had hoped to ease the pain of a second successive
season without a domestic trophy by winning the Champions
League, a title that would lift captain Philipp Lahm and Bastian
Schweinsteiger on a par with other club greats like Franz
Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller.
Germany captain Lahm had said before the game that without a
major title they would never be remembered as a "golden
Lahm and Schweinsteiger, who along with younger Toni Kroos,
Muller, Diego Contento and suspended Holger Badstuber, came
through the club's youth ranks, have also got runners-up medals
from Euro 2008 and two third place finishes at the 2006 and 2010
World Cups behind them.
Bayern have also played second fiddle to Borussia Dortmund
in the Bundesliga in the past two seasons, and lost to them in
the German Cup final last week.
Lahm and Schweinsteiger, who missed his penalty in the
shootout, hung their heads as they left the stadium and did not
utter a word to waiting reporters.
They know that at 28 and 27 respectively time is gradually
running out for that elusive major trophy.
While club success will have to wait, they will get another
shot at silverware next month when they lead Germany into battle
at Euro 2012 with fellow internationals Badstuber, Muller and
"We will build the boys up. With us they can still win a
title," said Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff.
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