Sport : Football

NEUTRALS 'WILL BACK BAYERN'

28th April 2012, 12:19pm

Bayern Munich: Face Chelsea on May 19

Bayern Munich: Face Chelsea on May 19

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says neutrals throughout Europe will be supported his side against Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 19.

The even ticket allocations to both finalists mean Bayern cannot really expect home advantage to be clear in the stands of their Allianz Arena stadium, but Rummenigge reckons many neutrals around the continent will be rooting for his team.

Rummenigge, who has been one of the most active supporters of UEFA's financial fair play initiative and is a strong critic of the trend of billionaires buying and funding football clubs, said: "Since Wednesday night, I have received an incredible number of text messages and emails from colleagues throughout Europe.

"They like that we are in the final with the philosophy that we have. They feel we deserve the title.

"And there are many non-Bayern fans who will be keeping their fingers crossed for us."

And Rummenigge feels his side deserve the title too, although he knows Roberto Di Matteo's Blues will want it at least as much as Bayern.

"Our team would deserve it because of the incredible will that they have," he told the Bild newspaper.

"But I would warn against getting too euphoric and thinking that we have already done the hard work and now we have an easier game on our hands.

"For Chelsea, this is an incredible chance to end what has not been a really satisfying season with a huge success. We must not underestimate that."

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes would join an exclusive group including Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jose Mourinho to have won the title with two different clubs if the Bavarians were to win.

Rummenigge expects him to last longer than he did after leading Real Madrid to the title in 1998, when he was dismissed just six days later, and he cannot see him walking away after his biggest triumph.

"Jupp is not like that. He doesn't have such thoughts," Rummenigge added.

"If he wants, he could even stay longer - beyond the end of his current contract in 2013."

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