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Final countdown

Ribéry joins up with French national squad

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. fcbayern.de 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.

Ribéry joins up with French national squad
After confirmation that he will definitely miss the Champions League final with suspension, Franck Ribéry has left Munich and joined up with the French national squad. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old travelled to a pre-World Cup training camp in the Alpine resort of Tignes, where Wednesday’s training programme included a mountain bike tour. “Franck is gutted about not being able to play in the final, because it’s something every player dreams about. His aim now is to prepare well for the World Cup and go into the tournament highly motivated,” reported Daniel van Buyten. However, Ribéry will travel to Madrid on Saturday to offer FCB his support.

Matthäus predicts 2-1 win for Bayern
Lothar Matthäus knows everything there is to know about both Bayern and Inter. The 1990 World Cup winning captain spent a total of 16 seasons with the two clubs, and will personally attend the Champions League final at the Bernabeu in Madrid. “It's a very special final for me,” said Germany’s most-capped player, offering a prediction for the clash between the German and Italian double winners: “Based on the football they’ve been playing recently, Bayern are favourites. They’ll win 2-1,” said Matthäus: “I think the Bayern forward line can get the better of what is probably the best defence in the world.”

Worldwide support for FCB
Bayern fans all around the world are thrilled at the prospect of the Champions League final, possibly nowhere more so than India. “Millions of Indians will be rooting for Bayern on Saturday – and many of the fans have put that promise in writing,” reported Prof. R. P. Banerjee, Deacon of EIILM College in Kolkata, visiting Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in Munich on Wednesday. Banerjee unrolled the first of some 5,000 scrolls submitted as part of a Good Luck campaign, subscribed to by more than 200,000 Indian fans. India is not the only source of pre-match goodwill, as good luck messages have been arriving at the Säbener Strasse in huge volumes from all the Asian cities and countries visited by Bayern in recent years.