Captain Philipp Lahm knows FC Bayern München can never fully avenge their UEFA Champions League final defeat by FC Internazionale Milano – and is adamant that last season's Madrid meeting should not overshadow Wednesday's San Siro rematch.
Given the 2-0 loss at the Santiago Bernabéu that robbed Louis van Gaal's men of a famous treble, much of the talk ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League round of 16 sequel has been of revenge. Lahm, however, is having none of it. "That final was last season," the full-back said. "There's nothing we can do. We cannot get that title back."
Although coach Van Gaal said Bayern had "a score to settle" when the draw was made, Lahm is keeping emotion out of the equation. "We have to play to our strengths, keep up the pace and cause Inter problems," the 27-year-old said. "We must try to avoid conceding as easily as we did in the final. We have to control the game knowing our biggest strength is in attack."
Bayern may have hoped for a more favourable draw after topping Group E with 15 points, yet the Inter tie still brings plenty of excitement, with Bastian Schweinsteiger for one eager for another crack at the Italian champions. "It's over two games this time and I think we have a better chance," the midfielder said. "They have changed their coach and their way of playing. Some players left, others joined. It will be different."
Sure enough, following the departure of Van Gaal's one-time protege José Mourinho for Real Madrid CF, Inter had an ill-fated spell under Rafael Benítez and are now acclimatising to another new coach, Leonardo. Schweinsteiger has seen them play and fancies his side's chances.
"Under Leonardo, Inter are more attacking. They can change their style at the last minute so we have to see who is going to play," the 26-year-old explained. "Leonardo said some of Inter's big names might scare us, but I don't think so. I looked at their squad and I think AC Milan are more unnerving. Actually, since the draw everybody has been looking forward to facing Inter again."
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