February 11 – European champions Bayern Munich have the opportunity to become only the second club after Barcelona to win all six domestic and international titles in a season when they take on Tigres UANL from Mexico in the Club World Cup final.
The German champions hold the Champions League, Super Cup, German Super Cup, Bundesliga and German Cup titles. On Thursday, they can win the global crown to complete an outstanding nine-month victory parade. Hansi Flick’s team will be without both Leon Goretkza and Javi Martinez, who had been due to fly to Qatar for the final, but remain in Munich under quarantine after testing positive for Covid.
“The Club World Cup would be the cherry on top,” said Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski at a news conference. “The next final for us means that we can win the sixth title. That means a lot for football history. We can write history but it is also a big challenge. When you are that close to a title then you want to win it.”
In the semi-final, the Polish striker struck twice against Egypt’s Al Ahly to ensure a routine victory for Bayern and passage to the final where they will meet Tigres, the first club from the Concacaf region to reach the final. The Mexicans, who eliminated Brazil’s Palmeiras 1-0, could become the first club outside of both Europe and South America to win the competition.
Tigres will be counting on their in-form striker Andre-Pierre Gignac to upset the Germans. The French forward has scored all of the club’s three goals in the competition. He was also the match winner in the Concacaf Champions League final that secured their passage to Qatar.
“No other Mexican team have gone this far, but now we want more,” said Tigres 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.”
Qatar had been due to stage the Club World Cup in December, but the tournament was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The competition serves as another test event ahead of the 2022 World Cup in the Gulf state. A second Club World Cup will be held in December this year in Japan.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1614386509labto1614386509ofdlr1614386509owedi1614386509sni@o1614386509fni1614386509