"I know most of the Bayern team personally," said Chelsea FC forward André Schürrle, who insisted that all friendships will be put on hold for Friday's UEFA Super Cup in Prague.
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Chelsea FC forward André Schürrle is "really looking forward" to the prospect of a UEFA Super Cup against FC Bayern München, a club with which he is already well acquainted from his time in the Bundesliga.
Schürrle swapped Germany for England when he left Bayer 04 Leverkusen for the Blues in the summer, and is relishing the prospect of facing a number of his international colleagues. "I know most of the Bayern team personally – they're good friends of mine," said the 22-year-old. "We haven't been in contact much over the past week because both sides are focusing on this game, but I'm sure there will be a chance to catch up quickly before kick-off."
Schürrle has an enviable record against Bayern, having won four out of seven Bundesliga encounters with the Bavarian side while at 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Leverkusen. He felt for the German giants when they went down to Chelsea on penalties in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final on home turf, but he is blue through and through these days. "We watched that final while were away preparing for EURO 2012 with the national team and obviously as Germans we all suffered, but now I'm playing for Chelsea and hoping the same happens again," he explained.
Petr Čech has somewhat fonder memories of that dramatic night in Bavaria. The Czech international goalkeeper saved a crucial penalty from Arjen Robben in extra time and then from Ivica Olić and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shoot-out as the English club secured their first UEFA Champions League crown. "We were fortunate to beat Bayern on their own soil," said the 31-year-old. "It was an unbelievable season for all of us and the same again last year in the Europa League, which we also managed to win."
Now the Blues are looking to follow up their UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League successes with a third continental title, with last year's 4-1 UEFA Super Cup reverse at the hands of Club Atlético de Madrid providing some extra motivation.
"You play in finals – Super Cups, Champions League and Europa Leagues – to win," said Čech. "Last year we deserved to lose against Atlético but we want to forget about that and write a different story this time." Whether that story includes another chapter on penalties is of no consequence to Čech: "As long as you have the cup in your hands it doesn't matter how you win it. If we have to go to penalties again, so be it."