presented by
Voices of experience

Van Bommel and Butt: It's ‘only’ a final

The build-up, the tension, the dream: Mark van Bommel, a member of the Barcelona side which beat Arsenal 2-1 to claim the prize in 2006, knows all about the turmoil, the stresses and the strains in the days leading up to a Champions League final. He now returns to the biggest stage in club football with Bayern, “but even for me, it’s new all over again.”

Bayern are not Barcelona, or as Van Bommel put it: “It's a different club, and I’m captain, which I wasn’t back then. The expectations were higher with Barcelona too. No-one tipped us to reach the final this time round.” The 33-year-old, who stands to become the 14th player to win the famous trophy with different clubs, sees only one similarity between 2006 and now: “Back then, we also didn’t think we’d achieve something great at the start of the season. That thought only developed as the season went on.”

Old hand Jörg

Jörg Butt, the second FCB man who’s been here before, also sees little connection between a previous appearance and today. In 2002, Jörg kept goal for the Bayer Leverkusen side beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final. “It's almost ten years ago. I really don’t see much of a link,” said the shot-stopper, a relaxed figure on the journey to Madrid. “The tension only really starts to build after final training.”