European champions Bayern Munich are eager to make history by beating Mexico’s Tigres in the Club World Cup final in Qatar on Thursday to complete the rare clean sweep of six titles inside 12 months.
The German giants are bidding to become only the second club after Barcelona, who managed it in 2009, to win all six domestic and international titles available in a single season.
Having already claimed the Champions League, Uefa Super Cup, German Super Cup, Bundesliga and German Cup titles in 2020, Bayern want to complete the set.
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer has made it clear the German giants are “up for it, we can make history,” sentiments echoed by head coach Hansi Flick.
“We came here to win the title. That would be the icing on the cake and also a special success in Bayern Munich’s successful club history,” said Flick ahead of the final in Al Rayyan, on the outskirts of Doha.
After brushing past African champions Al Ahly of Egypt with a 2-0 win in Monday’s semifinal, thanks to two Robert Lewandowski goals, only Tigres now block Bayern’s path.
The CONCACAF champions beat Brazilian giants Palmeiras 1-0 in Sunday’s other semifinal and are also hoping to make history of their own.
“No other Mexican team have gone this far, but now we want more,” said Tigres forward Carlos Gonzalez after veteran French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, 35, scored the winning goal against Palmeiras.
“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.”
Flick gave his Bayern stars Tuesday off to prepare for the final in which he expects a much tougher test against Tigres.
“They are a very dynamic team, very athletic with a lot of power. We have to counter that well,” he warned.
Bayern’s top scorer Lewandowski continues to send goal records tumbling having netted 29 times in 27 Bayern games this season, but he wants more.
“I hope we play even better football – it will be a big game, we are ready for it,” he said after his man-of-the-match performance on Monday.
Bayern are without midfielders 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-19.
“It’s important that they train in Munich and be ready for Monday,” Flick added, referring to Bayern’s next Bundesliga game against Arminia Bielefeld four days after the Club World Cup final.