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Franz Beckenbauer Cup

Inter provide quality opposition in final test

Tuesday’s meeting between Bayern and Internazionale at the Allianz Arena is many things: a dress rehearsal for the new season, a clash between high-profile coaches Jürgen Klinsmann and José Mourinho, and a foretaste of the Champions League. There is also the matter of the Franz Beckenbauer Cup, claimed last season by Barcelona, but hopefully set to remain in Munich this year.

“We want to send out a signal,” declared Lukas Podolski ahead of Bayern’s seventh and final pre-season friendly. Philipp Lahm described the game as “a serious test. They’re a top European club. We can set out our credentials.“

Showcase event

Five days ahead of the German Cup first round tie away to Rot-Weiß Erfurt, the match is a last chance for the FCB stars to stake claims for starting places. “It’s obvious from every training session that every one of us is desperate to make the first team. We all know what’s at stake,“ Lahm commented.

Klinsmann will use the meeting with his former club both as a chance to “check on individual form“ and furthermore “to see how we cope with a tactically disciplined Italian team, and how we carry out certain tactical ideas from the training ground.“ The friendly in Tokyo had laid a solid foundation: “We put it all into practice, especially in the first half,“ Klinsmann remarked.

Attractive opposition

Bayern are also keen to entertain the crowd at the official season opening match. “Obviously we want to put on a show for our fans, although we can’t expect absolutely everything to go right,“ Lahm. “The result’s not the most important thing, but we do want to win,“ insisted Podolski.

There is no doubting the caliber of the opposition. “We’re delighted we’ve been able to secure Inter Milan for the match,“ commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, another Nerazzurri old boy. “They’re an attractive team with three league wins in a row behind them, and an even higher profile now José Mourinho has taken over.“

Fan festival

Inter are without Patrick Vieira, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba and Cristian Chivu, while injuries at Bayern account for Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni, Tim Borowski and Willy Sagnol, but the match should still provide plenty of action for the crowd. “It’ll be a colourful festival,” Rummenigge remarked.