Bayern star sorry for injury victim Goetze
- Published: 24/05/2013 at 01:49 AM
- Online news:
Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger has said he is sorry future team-mate Mario Goetze will not be able to play for opponents Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's Champions League final after succumbing to a hamstring injury.
(L-R) Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze and André Schuerrle celebrate during their Euro 2012 qualifying game against Austria in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on September 2, 2011. Bayern Munich's Schweinsteiger has said he is sorry future team-mate Goetze will not be able to play for opponents Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's Champions League final after succumbing to a hamstring injury.
Goetze tore his right hamstring in Dortmund's Champions League semi-final, second leg away to Real Madrid at the end of April but, despite intensive treatment, he suffered a reaction after only an hour of training on Tuesday, ruling him out of the Wembley final.
The 20-year-old has activated a release clause in his contract to join Bayern next month for 37 million euros ($47.8m), so Saturday's showcase final at Wembley would have been his last appearance for Dortmund as they bid to win the Champions League for the second time.
"It would have been the biggest game of his career and he is a good bloke, so the other lads and I all feel sorry for him," said Schweinsteiger, who will form a key part of a Bayern team preparing to play their third Champions League final in four seasons.
"But a player of his quality will certainly play in a few more Champions League finals."
Schweinsteiger admits Goetze's withdrawal will weaken Dortmund's chances of becoming European champions for the first time since 1997.
"Perhaps a bit, because of his individual class, but Dortmund will have 11 players on the pitch who will give everything to succeed," said the 28-year-old.
Bayern's Brazil defender Dante said Goetze's injury had saved the Germany star from the awkward situation of playing for Dortmund against his future employers.
"We know his quality, he's incredibly talented, but it wouldn't have been easy for him to win the final, or psychologically to even play in it," said the centre-back.
Dante's chief task in Saturday's final will be to stop Poland striker Robert Lewandowski adding to his haul of 10 goals so far in Europe this season, including four in the semi-final first-leg win against Real Madrid.
"At the moment, he's one of the best strikers in the world," said Dante.
"What he did against Real Madrid didn't really surprise me because I know what quality he has.
"It's not easy to defend against him, but Dortmund aren't just about Lewandowski."
Bayern, who are bidding to win the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup, are desperate to win Saturday's final to make up for the heartbreak of losing last season's Champions League final to Chelsea on penalties in their own stadium.
"I hope that we can write history, the tension is rising in the team every day, you can feel it," said Dante, who has impressed since signing last summer from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
"We all just want to go to London now and win the game."
But Schweinsteiger acknowledged that, with Bayern widely regarded as favourites, Dortmund are all too happy to arrive in London on Friday as underdogs.
"Dortmund really like being in the underdog position, but it's wrong (that they are regarded as such)," he said.
"They have twice been German champions and won the double last season.
"It will be an intense game and will be fought down to the last second."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency