KEIR RADNEDGE in Munich: Bayern Munich officials and players were still reeling in disbelief hours after the shootout defeat by Chelsea as they came to terms with their shattering failure in the Champions League Final in front of their own hands.
Honorary president Franz Beckenbauer, a veteran of so many Anglo-German duels, drew on all his back to the 1966 World Cup Final to consider that destiny had taken a course all its own.
Beckenbauer, who captained Bayern to their three initial Champions Cup victories in the mid-1970s, said: “What were the English team supposed to do when Bayern did not take advantage of all their possession? Certainly Chelsea had luck on their side and that is why they ended up as deserved winners of the Champions League – even though Bayern controlled all of the game.
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
Sports director Christian Nerlinger thought the outcome, after the one-sided balance of play, was “a nightmare.” He added: “It was like watchng a bad film. We fought for the result and played well and went ahead so late in the game too. It’s both frustrating and depressing and very difficult to accept. ”
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, a winner in charge of Real Madrid in 2008, congratulated Chelsea and recommended that owner Roman Abramovich should reward interim manager Roberto Di Matteo with a three-year contract.
Heynckes added: “Chelsea played the way we expected. We can blame only ourselves for having so many goalscoring opportunities without being able to score until the 83rd minute. We missed too many chances after playing a really good game and enjoying much more of the possession. If you don’t take your chances then you run the risk of being punished for it.”
Club president Uli Hoeness considered “incredible” both the result but also Bayern’s failure to “close the bag after having so many opportunities.”
As for the new German federation president, Wolfgang Niersbach said: “Football is not fair sometimes, unfortunately. I cannot believe what I have just seen.”
= = = =