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Final countdown

Bayern team bus en route to Madrid

German and Italian double winners Bayern and Inter, both seeking to complete a historic treble, go head-to-head at the Estadio Bernabeu in Madrid on Saturday. has launched the countdown to the Champions League final, with a daily round-up of the latest news and developments. Check back at the end of each day for information and opinions in the build-up to Saturday’s massive European showdown.

FCB bus on the road
Bayern’s first representatives are already on the road to Madrid – not Louis van Gaal and the squad, but the staff running the official team bus. The 480 horsepower monster set off at 10.30 on Tuesday morning for the 2,000 km, 22-hour trip, with Michael Lauterbach and Sandra König at the wheel. The bus is carrying around a tonne of baggage, including playing equipment, meals and drinks. The bus will be there to collect the official party on its arrival at Madrid airport on Thursday lunchtime.

Rummenigge: The nation is behind us
Few people thought Bayern could reach the Champions League final this season, and there has been another surprise development recently, “a dramatic change in our image,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reported. “We’re experiencing something we’ve never had in the past. We’ve been known in public as a club which tends to polarise opinion, but at the moment, I have the impression we’re viewed more positively throughout the country. Even our biggest rivals are wishing us luck for the game in Madrid,” the chairman said. “I sense the nation is behind us for Saturday.”

Inter bring forward arrival plans
The Inter party will arrive in Madrid for the Champions League final on Wednesday evening, almost two days earlier than planned. The Italians have brought forward their travel arrangement in order to avoid potential problems caused by the ash cloud once again spewing from Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

Will Mourinho stay in Madrid?
Italian and Spanish media are speculating that Saturday’s match at the Bernabeu will be Jose Mourinho’s last as Inter coach. “I’d be surprised if he stays,” Inter President Massimo Moratti is quoted as saying. “With a man like Mourinho, you never know what he’s going to decide. There’ll either be an unexpected surprise, or he’ll do what we expect, leave Inter and go abroad.” Real Madrid are the hot tip to be Mourinho’s next club. Spanish paper AS claims to know of a verbal agreement between the Portuguese boss and the Madrid club. Mourinho recently said he would be considering his future after the final.