The official website for European football

Matchnight blog

Published: Saturday 22 May 2010, 16.00CET
FC Internazionale Milano have clinched the UEFA Champions League title by beating FC Bayern München and you can read the latest from UEFA.com's bloggers at the Santiago Bernabéu.

rate galleryrate photo
1/0
counter
  • loading...
 
 
 
Published: Saturday 22 May 2010, 16.00CET

Matchnight blog

FC Internazionale Milano have clinched the UEFA Champions League title by beating FC Bayern München and you can read the latest from UEFA.com's bloggers at the Santiago Bernabéu.

FC Internazionale Milano clinched the UEFA Champions League title for the third time with a 2-0 win over FC Bayern München. Here we look back over the week's blogs from Madrid.

Sunday, 1.55
Michael Harrold,
Santiago Bernabéu
So, 45 years after Helenio Herrero last won the European Champion Clubs' Cup for Angelo Moratti, the latter's son Massimo was finally able to lift the trophy himself thanks to the goals of Diego Milito and the guile of coach José Mourinho. In the press conference after the match, the Portuguese reflected on the terrific partnership he formed with the club's owner. "I will always remember this season with Inter," Mourinho said. "More than the words, it was an incredible marriage between us. [Moratti] wanted me a few years ago when I was at Chelsea. When I came maybe he had a feeling I was the one to give him his dream. For so many years he has dreamed of this, to have the same photo his father had with the European Cup and I am very, very happy to give him that."

Saturday, 23.36
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu

What a tough night for Bayern fans. They did not play poorly, but in the decisive situations Inter were a bit more mature and clever. Bayern's extraordinary season may have ended on a low, but there were still plenty of reasons to celebrate, as Louis van Gaal pointed out in his press conference: "José Mourinho told German television we won the championship and the cup and that that is a masterpiece. Winning the Champions League is a bonus." So Bayern did not get their bonus this year, but there is always next season, and even one after that. In 1999 Bayern lost the final and returned two years later to win it. Should they repeat that feat they will end up celebrating their fifth European crown in front of their own fans with the 2012 final to take place in Munich. Now that is something to look forward to.

Saturday, 22.53
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
A special cheer goes up as Diego Milito collects his medal. Then the trophy is handed to Inter captain Javier Zanetti who, at the end of his 700th match for the club, raises it high above his head in celebration.

Saturday, 22.39
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
The final whistle blows and Inter are crowned European champions for the first time since 1965 thanks to Diego Milito's double in a 2-0 win. Thus the Nerazzurri clinch the title for a third time and complete a historic treble. Cue scenes of joy as the Inter players salute their fans. "Inter, Inter, Inter" cry out the 'tifosi' as the reality of their triumph, their first since Helenio Herrero's Grande Inter of 45 years ago, sinks in. Bayern's supporters refuse to be silenced, saluting their vanquished heroes after a valiant display.

Saturday, 22.31
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
The Inter fans are sensing, rightly, that this is their night. With five minutes to play the Italian champions are looking comfortable, although a great run and cross from Robben shows Bayern still believe.

Saturday, 22.25
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
No player has scored a hat-trick in a modern-era UEFA Champions League final. Daniele Massaro (AC Milan, 1994), Karl-Heinz Riedle (BV Borussia Dortmund, 1997), Hernán Crespo (AC Milan, 2005) and Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan, 2007) all struck twice. Diego Milito has ten minutes to create that piece of history.

Saturday, 22.20
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
Milito does it again, this time collecting Samuel Eto'o's pass on the break and beating last defender Daniel Van Buyten on the edge of the area before shooting into the far corner beyond Butt's reach.

Saturday, 22.07
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
Bayern are the UEFA Champions League's leading scorers this season with 21 goals and have hit 25 in their 27 games away from Munich in all competitions. With 25 minutes to play, have they got one in them here? Striker Miroslav Klose comes on for Hamit Altintop and a Robben shot is expertly tipped away by Júlio César as Bayern turn the screw.

Saturday, 21.55
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
We are under way again and almost immediately Júlio César is called on to save from Thomas Müller from close range. At the other end Butt saves brilliantly from Pandev, tipping the striker's shot over the bar. Bayern's fans now in better voice than their counterparts but still 1-0 Inter.

Saturday, 21.33
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu
Inter may be 1-0 up at half-time, but Bayern have turned important matches around on several big occasions this season. In the UEFA Champions League knockout phase alone, they hit back from two goals down against Manchester United FC at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals and in the round before that ACF Fiorentina also had them on the brink of elimination before a late Robben strike. Nothing is decided yet.

Saturday, 21.32
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu
After displaying a big banner with the club's logo and the words "And now let's make the dream come true together", Inter's fans seemed to lose their collective voice during an opening half-hour in which Bayern had over 60% of the ball. But when Diego Milito struck his 29th goal of the campaign, the Nerazzurri faithful suddenly refound that voice, singing out his name three times. José Mourinho's tactics are working and even though the Bavarians are enjoying more possesion, Inter are the ones leading at the halfway stage at the Bernabéu. Indeed they might have added to their advantage before half-time only for Wesley Sneijder to send a good chance too close to Jörg Butt.

Saturday, 21.19
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu

It's interesting to see how Arjen Robben spends most of his time in the first half at arms-length of his former coach José Mourinho, who unlike the sitting Louis van Gaal is pacing up and down his coaching zone. Bayern are waiting for the right moment to send Robben on his way but so far Inter's well organised defence are living up to their reputation.

Saturday, 21.15
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
Inter have come closest so far with Jörg Butt palming away Wesley Sneijder's 18th-minute free-kick after it had been deflected by Hamit Altintop. Still 0-0.

Saturday, 20.45
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu

Join the discussion on the match in the UEFA.com chat room for the chance to win an adidas Madrid Finale match ball and follow the action live in the MatchCentre.

Saturday, 20.40
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
Two sets of Spanish dancers squared off from opposite sides of the pitch in a colourful opening ceremony. Now the UEFA Champions League anthem rings out as the two teams come on to the pitch. The displays from the two sets of fans is incredible. Bayern's end is turned into red-and-white stripes while Inter fans have draped a giant flag from the third tier down.

Saturday, 20.19
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu
Bayern are wearing new warm-up shirts made especially for this final as they are put through their paces on the pitch below us. Former Bayern greats Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthäus and Giovane Elber are all watching on from the sidelines. Steffan Effenberg, the last Bayern captain to lift the trophy in 2001, and Franck Ribéry, who flew in this evening, are also here as lucky charms. There are no surprises in the Bayern side. Hamit Altıntop replaces the suspended Franck Ribéry, but the 4-4-2 formation with Thomas Müller deployed as a supporting striker for Ivica Olić remains the same. Louis van Gaal has plenty of attacking options on the bench with Mario Gómez and Miroslav Klose standing by.

Saturday, 20.16
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu
Inter's players are warming up under the loving eye of their supporters who can't stop singing and jumping up and down. The sun is slowly setting but the temperature among the fans is rising as kick-off approaches. There are no surprises in José Mourinho's starting XI: captain Javier Zanetti will move to midfield to replace the suspended Thiago Motta leaving the left-back role to Christian Chivu, who has the tough task of stopping Arjen Robben. Up front Diego Milito will try to find the net for the 29th time this season, with Samuel Eto'o on the left, Goran Pandev on the right and Wesley Sneijder behind him.

Saturday, 19.18
Julien Debove, Santiago Bernabéu
Bayern coach Louis van Gaal was the first to step foot inside the stadium from the German team. Midfielder Danijel Pranjić seemed to be filming his way to the changing room with his mobile phone. Arjen Robben was a picture of calm. All the players are now inside the stadium.

Saturday, 19.05
Julien Debove, Santiago Bernabéu
It was Inter's veteran defender Marco Materazzi who led his side upon their arrival at the stadium. The entire squad were sporting Inter jumpers and looking very focused. Any award for elegance would have gone to playmaker Wesley Sneijder for his fashionable leather bag or striker Mario Balotelli for his smart sunglasses.

Saturday, 19.00
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu
Thirty-eight years since their last European Cup final, the Inter supporters could not wait any longer and had almost entirely filled the south stands a couple of hours before kick-off. The Nerazzurri fans started singing "I campioni dell'Italia siamo noi" (we are the champions of Italy) before jumping up and down shouting "Chi non salta Rossonero è" (the people not bouncing support AC Milan). The fans also applauded loudly when the big screens showed José Mourinho winning the competition with FC Porto in 2004, though the biggest cheer was reserved for Liverpool FC's three goals against Milan in the 2005 final. That, however, was before the Inter players took to the field as they are now on the pitch.

Saturday, 18.30
Paolo Menicucci, Milan
The final frenzy has started in Milan where 20,000 Internazionale fans are already gathered in the Piazza Duomo to get the best positions to watch the game on the two giant screens placed in the city's central square. Following the rumours linking coach José Mourinho to Real Madrid CF, supporters have unfurled a huge banner saying, 'Mou, we will pay for your return flight'. More fans are expected to swell the crowd as kick-off approaches.

Saturday, 18.02
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter, Santiago Bernabéu

The Santiago Bernabéu has opened its gates to fans and a huge contingent of Inter supporters have made their way into the stadium to our right, draping banners over the front of each of the three tiers they occupy behind the goal. It is 38 years since they last reached a European Champion Clubs' Cup final and they clearly want to make the most of it. The majority of supporters, however, remain outside, soaking up the atmosphere. Earlier a Louis van Gaal impersonator kept Bayern fans amused, using the coach's famous quote: "It's death or gladiolas, and only FC Bayern will survive." Bayern's travelling army have decked out their end in red-and-white banners. I have had a chance to see the choreography prepared for their end of the stadium and fair to say the highlight of the fan activity is still to come.

Saturday, 17.42
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu
There is a fantastic atmosphere building outside the Santiago Bernabéu with fans of both teams mingling in the streets and having their photos taken in front of the ground. Hundreds of Bayern fans on the Avenida de Concha Espina on the south side of the stadium raise the volume with a chant of "FC Bayern". One, 51-year-old, Norbert Scholz has been following the club since he was six and and has been to all seven European Cup finals the club has contested.

"The best final was 74, the first," he says. "Georg Schwarzenbeck scored in the last second to force a replay. I also went to that game too two days later. 2001 against Valencia was also brilliant when we won on penalties. Barcelona in 99 was the worst when we lost in the last two minutes against Manchester United. We were the better team."

Norbert has three Bayern scarves tied around each wrist and another round his neck. He has brought them to swap with Inter fans and has been collecting scarves since he was seven, swapping one with opposing fans at each game he attends, and now has 798 in his collection. He is wearing a signed Jörg Butt goalkeeper's jersey, but his favourite player is Oliver Kahn, with the keeper's face emblazoned on the scarf round his neck. "I won't swap that," says, Norbert, who has 17 signed Kahn jersey's mounted on the wall of his home in Garmisch, Bavaria. "Kahn is the best in the world."

Norbert travelled for 27 hours on a coach to get here and fully expects to be celebrating on the ride home. "Bayern will win 2-0; Robben and Olić will score," he says with the confidence of a man fresh from seeing his side pick up the German title and cup on the past two Saturdays. "Bayern are the better team, we play beautiful football. We will win. I'm 100 per cent sure of that ... I hope!"

Saturday, 17.16
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter

Some Inter fans gathered in the Parque del Retiro in the afternoon and ran through the chants they sang during the Nerazzurri's run to the final. One they forgot to update was "Anche se domani andiamo a lavorare, questa sera tifiamo l'Internazionale" (Even if tomorrow we have to work, tonight it's Inter we support). For the first time the final is being played on a Saturday so perhaps they are just not used to the switch, unless of course they foresee a night of sleepless celebration, waking up next on Monday morning. Meanwhile 67-year-old Sandro Mazzola, one of the former Inter players who won the European Cup in 1965, invited to Madrid by Nerazzurri president Massimo Moratti, admitted he was "a bit nervous" ahead of the game. "I expect to see a boring game for the first 30 minutes, then Inter must prevail because of their higher qualities than Bayern."

Saturday, 16.22
Adrian Harte, Santiago Bernabéu
Fans are thronging the immediate environs of the stadium. Inter tifosi predominate, some seeking shade under trees while others chant and display a huge José Mourinho banner in the style of a religious icon.

Saturday, 15.34
Adrian Harte, Barajas airport

The last of the Bayern and Inter fans are arriving at what is now a quiet Barajas airport in Madrid. The largest group I saw was of Bayern fans in various vintages of replica kit but all uniformly adorned with the name Schweinsteiger and paired with lederhosen. The latter may not prove the wisest choice of attire with temperatures in the Spanish capital having now reached 28C.

Saturday, 15.05
Kevin Ashby, Parque del Retiro

An Ultimate Champions match between a team of European legends and their Spanish counterparts is bringing the curtain down on the UEFA Champions Festival as it prepares to shut its doors ahead of tonight's final. Despite final ambassador Emilio Butragueño opening the scoring, the European team were well on top at half-time with the likes of Bebeto, Steve McManaman and Michael Laudrup all shining for the 'away' team. The Englishman, a UEFA Champions League winner with Real Madrid in 2000 and 2002, told UEFA.com: "It's great to pull the boots on, the only problem is it's a hundred degrees!" And his prediction for tonight? "2-1 to Inter. It's a wonderful stadium, a wonderful city, the weather's beautiful and there are lots of fans about. It should be a cracking game."

Saturday, 13.36
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
The big day is finally here and – as Bayern fans like to say – "it is a good day to write history". The team was able to lie in and had breakfast until 10.30am, before they gathered for another team meeting and receiving a fine-tuned set of instructions from coach Louis van Gaal.

The coach – a self confessed admirer of Rioja – would be spoilt for choice to celebrate with a glass of his favourite wine here in the Spanish capital should Bayern win. However, that is not how it works with Van Gaal. He is extraordinarily picky when it comes down to choosing the right players for his tactical system and it is the same when faced with the choice of what beverage will accompany his dinner. That is why the Dutchman took a few bottles of his favourite wine to Manchester and Lyon in the last two rounds, offering Bayern's management a glass amidst the subsequent celebrations.

Not surprisingly, it is perhaps more than a rumour that a box of exquisite Rioja wine was also seen being loaded aboard the plane that took the team to Madrid on Thursday.

Saturday, 12.38
Paul Bryan, Madrid reporter
Their faces paint a picture of peace and serenity yet what exactly is going through the minds of Bayern and Inter's stars ahead of one of the most important games in their lives?

Former Real Madrid CF midfielder Christian Karembeu and FC Barcelona legend Michael Laudrup – both European Champion Clubs' Cup winners - have been here before and offered UEFA.com an insight into how the mind of a footballer works as kick-off to a match of this magnitude draws ever-closer.

"The day before is not so bad but when you get to within two or three hours prior to the game you start to understand that this is not just any match; that in fact it's something quite special," Laudrup explained.

"You think about a lot of things as the hours pass," Karembeu added. "You've been told about possible weaknesses in the opposition side so that goes through your mind. You also go over your coach's instructions and you build a determination inside that you are going to reach your full potential out there."

Saturday, 12.23
Michael Harrold, Santiago Bernabéu

Tonight's match may be over eight hours away but here at the stadium there is plenty going on. Our offices are just behind the changing rooms and behind us television cameras have already been set up in the flash zone. From here players' comments after the match will be beamed around the world with the final to be shown in 236 countries. Last year 280 million people saw FC Barcelona's triumph in Rome and an even larger audience is expected this time with the final having been switched to the Saturday. Over 1,500 television staff will be on site for the game with room for 1,000 reporters in the commentary positions and media tribune and 180 photographers pitchside. The scale of the game is incredible, but most important of all is what happens out on the pitch and referee Howard Webb has been out to inspect it this morning. After a long season it is a credit to Madrid groundsman Paul Burgess that is in such terrific condition. Fans are already gathering outside the ground with Bayern supporters here particularly early to soak up the atmosphere for what should be a memorable final. Doors open to the public at 17.45.

Want a souvenir of the final? Then be sure to take part in UEFA.com's MatchCentre tonight for a chance to win a signed adidas Finale Madrid ball.

Saturday, 11.18
The German and Italian papers are tub-thumping furiously while Spanish reporters are looking ahead to an "unexpected clash of the titans" as UEFA.com digests the morning editions.

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport leads with a mock-up picture of Inter's José Mourinho removing a mask featuring the face of Helenio Herrera, the last coach to win Europe's top club title with the Nerazzurri back in 1965. The paper exhorts Mourinho's side to win "a cup that has been missing for 45 years", while Corriere dello Sport is revving up Inter to "make history" as they bid for a treble. Meanwhile Tuttosport barks: "Take it, Inter!", adding that Mourinho has told club president Massimo Moratti: "I will have you in tears."

Some German papers are a little more reserved as Bayern look to deny Inter. Süddeutsche Zeitung is looking forward to see how the contest between "Van Gaal's craftwork and Mourinho's toxic cocktails" plays out, while the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: "Bayern are looking to become an object of domestic footballing pride and international high esteem." However, such detachment is unusual as most papers take a firmly partisan line. Flensburger Tageblatt wrote: "We are all with Bayern now; Germany unites to support Van Gaal's quest for greatness."

With no local sides involved, the Spanish press are concentrating on enjoying the spectacle at the Santiago Bernabéu. El Mundo Deportivo noted: "The stadium holds happy memories for Italian football as it was there that the national team lifted the 1982 FIFA World Cup and at the expense of their German opponents." El País called the final an "unexpected clash of the titans", with sports daily AS echoing: "Nobody would have believed after Bayern's group-stage defeat to Bordeaux or Inter's draws with Rubin Kazan and Dynamo Kyiv that these two sides would reach the final, but thanks in large part to Arjen Robben and Diego Milito – two players well known to Spanish football fans – they have been catapulted into the showpiece."

Saturday, 9.45
Paul Bryan, Madrid reporter

Shades of blue and black along with sprinklings of red and white interspersed among the early-rising Madrileños on a picture-perfect morning in the Spanish capital. One of the most anticipated occasions in world sport has finally arrived: it's UEFA Champions League final day. So with the match between FC Bayern München and FC Internazionale Milano taking place at Real Madrid CF's Santiago Bernabéu stadium, who are fans of Los Merengues likely to be siding with? The story of one Pilar Galeote – a Madrid season ticket holder and die-hard supporter – tells its own tale. On 28 April Pilar ordered husband Julio to join her in their family-run bar where she had uncorked an expensive bottle of champagne. The celebration? Inter had just ousted Madrid's rivals FC Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League, meaning Pilar was saved the sight of seeing Josep Guardiola's side competing for a European title in her home city.

Friday, 21.45
Referee Howard Webb said taking charge of Saturday's UEFA Champions League final would be the highlight of his career when UEFA.com caught up with him after his training session at the Santiago Bernabéu. You can see all the latest photos of the day's events in our UEFA Champions League gallery.

Read UEFA.com's preview of the match as well as articles on the two player press conferences, with Javier Zanetti, Wesley Sneijder and Esteban Cambiasso giving their views on the final for Inter and Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger looking ahead to the showpiece for Bayern.

Friday, 21.00
Paul Bryan, Madrid reporter
There's a common refrain to be heard in the Spanish capital that says "Desde Madrid al cielo" [from Madrid to the heavens] and it is one used by Madrileños to celebrate the spectacular summer skies above the city. Against such a backdrop inside the Parque del Retiro emerged Franco Siciliano and his 12-year-old son Michele, both Inter supporters and both in town for the final. Having just witnessed footballing legends Christian Karembeu, Bebeto, Steve McManaman and Michael Laudrup mixing it with supporters on the UEFA Champions Festival pitch, the Sicilianos were in the mood to assess Saturday's showpiece. "We have the best team but I remember that Juventus had a wonderful team in Athens [in the 1983 final] and they lost to Hamburg so you never know," Franco said.

With a photograph taken with the trophy stored safely in their camera, friends and fellow Bayern fans Michael Reuter and Oliver Krüger were all smiles as the sun blazed down on their bright red shirts. Oliver's last trip to Spain was 11 years ago when he was in Barcelona to witness his team's agonising final defeat by Manchester United FC. This time he believes Bayern will be victorious with something to spare. "We will win 3-1 with our goals coming from Thomas Müller, Hamit Altıntop and Arjen Robben," he predicted.

Friday, 20.00
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter

If strength is best illustrated in numbers then Inter have already won their first encounter with Bayern. Three players spoke to the media on the eve of the game – captain Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Wesley Sneijder – and they all agreed with coach José Mourinho. "We don't feel the pressure of the 45-year wait; this is a dream, not an obsession," said the Inter trainer. The Portuguese, who lifted the trophy with FC Porto in 2003/04, seems to have Saturday all worked out apart from one vital thing – the result. "Tomorrow morning I will wake up and think 'God, I'm playing a Champions League final in a few hours!' My heart will beat a little bit faster and my temperature will rise. Then we will work for another day and when we arrive at the stadium a couple of hours before kick-off, well then I will stop feeling the pressure because this is my natural habitat." If the coach knows himself well, his players know Bayern in just as much detail. "We know every small detail about them; I've played many finals but never one like this," said Zanetti. Towards the end of the press conference, Mourinho received a crown from a journalist. He thanked the donor and gave his sweatshirt in exchange but, perhaps significantly, did not don the headwear – maybe he wants to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, 18.00
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
Louis van Gaal is a renowned stickler for order, organisation and discipline. So no surprise that Bayern's coach refused to change his training routine on the eve of the UEFA Champions League final. Passing excercises, shots at goal and the occasional group instruction – Bayern's last training session before the big match was nothing special, although the setting certainly was. Every now and then you would see a player drift off and gaze around the imposing stands of the Santiago Bernabéu. These, however, were minutes they could spare getting used to the surroundings – in just over 24 hours they will need all their focus to outsmart José Mourinho.

Friday, 16.00
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter
For the second day running Inter trained away from the Santiago Bernabéu at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium. While waiting for coach Jose Mourinho – who has decided to travel alone in Madrid and not on the team bus – Inter's players laughed and joked among themselves. Club president Massimo Moratti was also present at Real Madrid CF's training complex.

Training in front of the press, Mourinho gave no indication of his possible starting XI – mixing reserves with first-teamers. However, the coach is likely to respond to the threat of Arjen Robben on Bayern's right by fielding Cristian Chivu at left-back and pushing the more attacking Javier Zanetti into midfield alongside Esteban Cambiasso.

Moreover, Mourinho may well choose Goran Pandev on the left of his attacking trident, deploying Samuel Eto'o on the right and leaving Mario Balotelli on the bench. After 28 goals this season – and having proved decisive in both the Coppa Italia final and the title-winning Serie A game against AC Siena – Diego Milito is a certain starter.  Davide Santon, still trying to shake off a right-knee injury, did not train with his team-mates. Wesley Snejider and Maicon, however, are fit to play and expected to start.

Friday, 15.45
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
Bayern have celebrated silverware twice this season. Yet if the German double winners go on to lift the UEFA Champions League Trophy, the city of Munich can expect the ultimate party. Coach Louis van Gaal has already thrilled thousands of his club's supporters in a victory speech given last Sunday from the Munich mayor's balcony. He not only reminded fans that Bayern were "not just champions of Munich, but also of Gelsenkirchen [FC Schalke 04], Hamburg and maybe Europe", but proceeded to grab the mayor, a TSV 1860 München supporter, and make him dance in front of the Bayern crowd. That sequence is now a YouTube hit. Van Gaal's next intention is to delight an even bigger gathering of Bayern fans – the 70,000 who will congregate at the Fußball Arena München to watch the final on a giant screen.

Friday, 14.30
Kevin Ashby, Santiago Bernabéu
Bayern captain Mark van Bommel and fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger were put before the world's media at their official pre-match conference. The only UEFA Champions League winner in the Bayern ranks, Van Bommel said of his triumph with FC Barcelona in 2006: "It was such an exciting moment, and that will obviously help me in my second final – having that bit of experience." Schweinsteiger revealed that the Bayern players had watched 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam win the equivalent women's tournament last night – "maybe a good omen for us" – and that he had sent former team-mate Lucio an SMS yesterday which so far has gone unanswered. Perhaps the Inter defender prefers to do his talking on the pitch.

Friday, 11.32
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter

José Mourinho and his Internazionale players kept themselves to themselves on Thursday, but today they will receive a visit from some of the veterans who last won the European Champion Clubs' Cup for the Nerazzurri in 1965. Inter president Massimo Moratti invited the old players and their sons along to watch the Madrid final hoping it would bring the current crop good luck. They arrived on Thursday night, and Luis Suárez was among them. "Bayern have done well, but Inter have done better and have everything it takes to win," said the 75-year-old, a European champion in 1964 and 1965 with the 'Grande Inter'. "Diego Milito can be decisive because he always finds himself in the right place at the right time."

Friday, 07.28
Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter

Now that the dream of reaching a European Champion Clubs' Cup final has finally become reality after 38 years, Internazionale fans will do anything to get a ticket for the game. An 89-year-old grandmother called Gisella queued for two days with her two grandsons to buy one. "I couldn't miss this chance – I've been watching Inter for 20 years and am happy my grandsons will be with me on this trip," she said. Gisella asked journalists not to reveal her surname as she did not want a long line of begging fans forming in front of her house. Meanwhile, supporter Paolo Sacco was given his ticket for free by José Mourinho after impressing the coach by starting to queue 72 hours before ticket sales began. Mourinho asked Sacco to give the money he would have spent to charity, something the 22-year-old – moved to tears by the coach's generosity – was happy to do.
The Nerazzurri trained for the first time at the Ciudad Deportiva on Thursday evening with the full squad available with the exception of Davide Santon, who is still struggling with his right-knee injury.
Bayern will hold their pre-match press conference at the Santiago Bernabéu at 13.00 today with Inter to follow at 18.30. UEFA.com will be on hand to bring you all the latest news, as well a match preview for Saturday's final. In the meantime, we talk tactics with the staff of a German restaurant here in Madrid, a tiny corner of Bavaria just a stone's throw from the stadium. 

Thursday, 23.23
Michael Harrold, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
Potsdam lift the trophy after winning the inaugural UEFA Women's Champions League 7-6 on penalties after a thrilling shoot-out ended with Élodie Thomis striking the bar. Both goalkeepers saved two spot kicks and scored one each on a dramatic night in Getafe as Potsdam recovered from a seemingly forlorn situation to claim the continental title for a second time, Bianca Schmidt ultimately striking the decisive blow. We round up all the reaction, hearing from the coaches of both sides as well as Potsdam striker Fatmire Bajramaj, Lyon defender Laura Georges and both goalkeepers Anna Felicitas Sarholz and Sarah Bouhaddi.

Thursday, 23.00
Michael Harrold, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez:
Lyon and Potsdam have drawn 0-0 after extra time so the first UEFA Women's Champions League final will be decided by penalties.

Thursday, 22.20
Michael Harrold, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez

We are heading to extra time in Getafe after a tense second half finished goalless. Potsdam, though, will be ruing a number of missed opportunities. Tabea Kemme blasted over with the goal at her mercy after Bouhaddi had brilliantly blocked her initial effort from close range. Then, with six minutes remaining Anja Mittag curled a shot on to the post after a fine run into the area. It is the first time a final match has finished 0-0 after 90 minutes since the 2007 second leg when a goalless draw was enough for Arsenal LFC to claim the title at Umeå IK's expense.

Thursday, 21.20
Michael Harrold, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez

Honours even at half-time with the score 0-0 after a compelling opening 45 minutes. Having found their feet Lyon took the game to Potsdam and Louisa Nécib came closest when she hit the bar with a long-range free-kick on 16 minutes. Potsdam began to establish themselves as the half progressed and their best chance fell to Fatmire Bajramaj, a livewire in attack, who burst clear of the Lyon defence 11 minutes later only to be thwarted by Sarah Bouhaddi as she attempted to round the goalkeeper. See the latest images in the match photo gallery.
Speaking of photo galleries, you can also visit the dressing room and players' tunnel in our access-all-areas tour of the Santiago Bernabéu.

Thursday, 20.45
We are under way here at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez and you can follow the action live in UEFA.com's MatchCentre.

Thursday, 18.00
The sun is baking and it is still over 30C in Getafe as the inaugural final of the UEFA Women's Champions League approaches. Potsdam coach Bernd Schröder has insisted the heat will not affect his side, who have endured some wintery weather in the build-up to the match back in Germany. Potsdam have won the European title before, in 2005, but it is the first time a French team has got this far and Lyon are looking to do what their men's side have never done before, clinch the continental crown. Further details of the match can be found on UEFA.com in the preview, as well as features on Lyon striker Katia and Potsdam midfielder Nadine Kessler.

Thursday, 17.00
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
Bayern have landed in Madrid and wasted no time in meeting their media demands. About 150 journalists attended a news conference in Bayern's rather swish-looking hotel just north of the Santiago Bernabéu. Local reporters wanted to know how Arjen Robben, formerly of Real Madrid CF, felt being back in the Spanish capital. "I don't feel like it is revenge to be here – I am just happy to see old friends and we're here to win the trophy," batted the winger. The talk then turned to FC Barcelona as Bayern legend Paul Breitner expounded the view that only the stylish Catalans could compare with the imposing and dominant Bayern we are seeing right now. "We've taken a huge step forward in recent months – we are always attacking and trying to score. There is just one team similar to us and that's Barcelona," he said, less diplomatically.

Thursday, 15.00
UEFA.com's video team has gone behind the scenes in Madrid as the finishing touches are put in place before Saturday's final. In a series of video features, Real Madrid CF head groundsman Paul Burgess gives a unique insight into the work required to get the pitch in perfect condition for the big game; adidas explains the design and technology that helped create the official match ball, the Finale Madrid; and Tony Britten, composer of the world-famous UEFA Champions League anthem, tells all.

Thursday, 11.00
Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
Inter arrived in Madrid late last night and Bayern are set to follow this afternoon, with their flight from Munich scheduled to touch down at 14.00CET. The German champions set off in good spirits, issuing an open letter to supporters asking them to live the dream with them in the Spanish capital. "We feel and know that millions of football fans in Germany are accompanying us in their thoughts as we go to Madrid. Bayern fans, but also many neutrals, will be behind us on Saturday, we hope. We'll do everything for FC Bayern. We have a dream – dream it with us!"

Roberta Radaelli, Inter team reporter
Inter coach José Mourinho, never one for hyperbole, has outlined the size of the task ahead. "This game is the most important in the world," he said. "It is even bigger than the World Cup because the teams in it are at a higher level than national teams, who can't buy the best players." The Italian double winners will train at the Ciudad Real Madrid in a closed session from 17.00 today. Gossip in the Italian papers suggests a starting role for Goran Pandev on Saturday ahead of Mario Balotelli. One player certain to start is Samuel Eto'o, who has been talking exclusively to UEFA.com.
Bayern boss Louis van Gaal, meanwhile, speaking in the official final programme, explains why he and Bayern are such a good fit: "As I said during my very first press conference, we're a good match: Bayern and Louis van Gaal. The Bavarian motto is 'mia san mia' (we are we). Dominant, confident, intent on success, and yet also like a family – warm-hearted. That suits me. Everything fits."

Wednesday 23.50
Inter drew first blood against Bayern as Denis Alibec scored a goal in each half to secure victory in the Under-18 Challenge match at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano – a key part of UEFA Grassroots Day. However, while the Italian side had reason to celebrate, the Spanish capital otherwise fell silent as Club Atlético de Madrid lost to Sevilla FC in the Copa del Rey final.

Wednesday 21.00, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
Prussians and Bavarians might be old rivals, but Potsdam coach Bernd Schröder was prepared to bury the hatchet as he looked forward to celebrating a successful week for German football alongside Bayern. Potsdam meet Lyon in the UEFA Women's Champions League on Thursday before Bayern take on Inter two days later and Schröder joked that he was willing to put historical local differences to one side to rally round for Germany. "If you look at German history, there has been a dispute between Prussia and Bavaria for over a hundred years. I sent [Bayern president Uli] Hoeness an email and told him it is time to put this dispute aside. We want to share a platform and he agreed. We will be in the stadium to support Bayern."

Philip Röber, Bayern team reporter
When José Mourinho left the pitch after FC Internazionale Milano's semi-final second-leg triumph over FC Barcelona he went straight to the chapel in Camp Nou to offer his thanks to "La Moreneta". It seems he is not the only man hopeful of a bit of divine intervention en route to the final. In 2001 then Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness had a team scarf blessed in the chapel in the pilgrimage town Birkenstein in the heart of Bavaria. His prayers were answered as Bayern went on to beat Valencia CF in the UEFA Champions League final a few days later. Hoeness, now the club's president, made the trip again prior to Bayern's German Cup final victory over Werder Bremen and will be hoping the good fortune gained from his 90-minute hike carries all the way to Madrid.

Wednesday 18.00, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
It is a glorious evening in Getafe as Olympique Lyonnais are put through their paces in their final training session ahead of Thursday night's UEFA Women's Champions League final against 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam. They are the first French side through to the final and will hope to make their mark on the competition as Potsdam bid to become the sixth German side in nine seasons to lift the title. Hosts Getafe enjoyed another successful season in the Spanish Liga, finishing sixth to earn a UEFA Europa League qualifying berth.

Wednesday 16.00, Santiago Bernabéu
It is a beautiful day here in Madrid and we have already had a brush with stardom with Real Madrid CF legends Raúl González, Fernando Hierro and Luís Figo recalling their first steps in the game in a press conference at the Santiago Bernabéu to mark UEFA Grassroots Day.

Former Spain striker Alfonso Pérez, meanwhile, is the ambassador to the UEFA Women's Champions League final and he spoke of his pride that the showpiece between 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam and Olympique Lyonnais will be played at the stadium that bears his name in Getafe on Thursday. The press conferences for the two women's teams takes place later this evening and we'll keep you up to date with features on the players and a match preview later tonight.

The UEFA Champions Festival has opened at the Parque del Retiro where Zinédine Zidane will be hosting a coaching class this afternoon as part of the UEFA Grassroots Day. You can get a taste of the atmosphere at the UEFA Champions Festival by viewing video footage sent in by mobile phones from our fan reporters in the city.

And be sure to check out the latest news and features including exclusive interviews with Arjen Robben and José Mourinho.

Last updated: 08/12/13 6.22CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=1489954.html#matchnight+blog

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.