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‘It's down to form on the day’

Rummenigge’s reunion with former club Inter

Even 23 years on, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has not forgotten Italian. “Allora,” he began, “Sentenza”… “squadra”… “ricordo”…, he continued, as fluently as he used to score goals - 162 in 310 games for FCB, and 24 in 64 matches for Inter, Bayern’s Champions League final opponents. At Tuesday’s news conference, the 54-year-old took and answered questions in both Italian and Germany, more than two decades after leaving Milan.

Rummenigge’s three-year stint with the Nerazzurri from 1984 to 1987 has patently left its mark. “I didn’t just learn a new language, I learned another perspective on life,” he recalled, “I became more patient, and more relaxed. I have very fond memories of an extremely happy time in Milan, although in footballing terms, it wasn’t particularly successful. We failed to win a trophy.”

If the European Footballer of the Year for 1980 and 1981 has his way, Inter will miss out again on Saturday. “Treble winners Bayern,” is the headline Rummenigge would like to see after the Champions League final, although he is well aware of the severity of the task facing FCB. “Inter represent the highest quality in Europe. It's a very good, very well-run club, with an exceptional coach. But despite all that, we have a decent chance.”