FC Bayern München are well-equipped to become the first team since AC Milan to retain the European Cup because they possess the same insatiable appetite for success that underpinned the Rossoneri's victory in 1990, says Ruud Gullit.
After two goals from the former Dutch international had inspired Arrigo Sacchi's men to a memorable 4-0 win against FC Steaua Bucureşti at Camp Nou in the 1989 final, the Italian outfit followed it up by narrowly defeating SL Benfica in Vienna 12 months later.
That no side has matched that feat in the near two and a half decades since is one of the great quirks of Europe's top club competition, with Manchester United FC – Bayern's UEFA Champions League quarter-final opponents – the last to threaten the record books when reaching successive showpieces in 2008 and 2009.
Gullit, however, sees something of Sacchi's great Milan squad – featuring such luminaries as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten – in the current Bayern team which convinces him they could yet rewrite history in Lisbon on 24 May.
The Heineken ambassador for the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour told UEFA.com: "Bayern have the same hunger [we had], I can see this year that they are still very eager to win every game. Of course it's becoming more difficult, but the hunger is there so you can compare the teams in that regard."
It is easy to understand Gullit's viewpoint. Among the slew of records that Bayern, 52 top-flight games unbeaten, have set this term are a UEFA Champions League best of ten straight wins and wrapping up the Bundesliga with seven fixtures to spare.
Just why, though, has no side managed back-to-back European titles since Milan 24 years ago? "It's difficult, you play more games," explained Gullit, 51. "Nevertheless, in my day you played knockout stage from the beginning. If you lose a game in the group phase you still have a chance to win it. Plus, there are more teams now who can do it.
"The second time it was more difficult for us, it was not easy, and the final was only 1-0 – we didn't play that well. Also, teams want to beat you. They suss you out, they figure out how to beat you, how it's going to be done, meaning it's going to be more difficult every time."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.