One is easy to admire, the other easier to embrace. One has grandeur and self-importance, the other the common touch and a sense of humour. One calls itself, with no false modesty, ”a Club Less Ordinary”, the other just invites you to embrace its motto ”Real Love”.
So, which of these two clubs, who grow less enamoured with each other by the day, do we wish to see lift the Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (Sunday morning, Sydney time)? The strutting FC Hollywood burghers of Bayern Munich? Or Borussia Dortmund and their young, working-class heroes, who just believe in fairytales? Germany, it seems, has made up its mind.
Most seem to be plumping for Dortmund, because there is something universally appealing about the resurrection from near-bankruptcy of the people’s club under a manager, Jurgen Klopp, who adds greatly to the gaiety of the footballing nation.
So when Klopp, following up his touchline fracas with Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer in the Bundesliga, likened his fellow finalists to Bond villains this week, it was proper refreshment of an old enmity.
As the rest of football laughed, Bayern just got shirty. Sammer sniffed: ”When Jurgen Klopp thinks they have to send out pictures to the world, then he has to answer for that. But we do not always feel the need to address that.”
As for Klopp’s other joke, before Bayern’s semi-final against Barcelona that ”I would bet my backside” the Bavarians contacted next season’s manager, former Barca manager Pep Guardiola, for advice, Sammer countered: ”He bet his rump, but where is it? We have not spoken to Pep about Barcelona, even indirectly. Where is it then?”
Another source of friction between the two clubs is an injured 20-year-old who now will not even be playing on Saturday, Mario Gotze, a diamond polished in Dortmund who will from next season glitter in Munich red.
You cannot overstate how betrayed Dortmund fans felt when the revelation of Bayern’s ”theft” of Germany’s best young player came in April, less than 36 hours before Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid. He has not been forgiven. ”The pursuit of money shows how much heart one has. F— you Gotze,” read the giant Dortmund banner during the recent Bundesliga game with Bayern.
Although this Champion’s League final is being painted as a glittering demonstration of German football’s muscle and blooming health, actually it is just a glamorous cover for a good, old-fashioned, spiteful, bad-tempered domestic dust-up.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.