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Build-up in Berlin

Sammer and Kroos target DFB Cup glory

An eight-day period at the end of this month is bound to be a thrilling and nerve-tingling experience, with the Champions League final on 25 May and the DFB Cup final on 1 June. Some 25 days prior to the Berlin showdown between FCB and VfB Stuttgart, the domestic trophy took centre stage in the ceremonial cup handover by current holders Dortmund at the Rotes Rathaus (City Hall) in the German capital on Tuesday.

Board member for sport Matthias Sammer and currently injured midfielder Toni Kroos were there for Munich, with Stuttgart sporting director Fredi Bobic and seasoned striker Cacau representing VfB. “Watching as a spectator in Berlin always gave me goosebumps. We're really looking forward to it, but we know VfB Stuttgart are capable of anything in a one-off match," said Sammer.

Good progress, says Kroos

As a player, the 45-year-old twice won the FDGB Cup, the national knockout cup in the former East Germany, but the German EURO 1996 winner never laid hands on the DFB Cup. “It's something I'll have to live with," said Sammer with a grin. By contrast, the 23-year-old Kroos already has a cup winner’s medal to his name.

He is hoping to double that tally on 1 June, although he is unlikely to feature in an active role, as he has been sidelined for several weeks with ruptured muscle fibres in the hip area. “The healing process is going well," he reported, “we're making progress step-by-step." However, he was unable to pinpoint a date for a comeback at this stage: “I want to be back as soon as possible. I'm dreaming of the cup final, but it would be ridiculous to assume it."

FCB determined to win in Berlin

Whatever happens, Kroos can legitimately count himself a winner in the event Bayern overcome Stuttgart, Sammer confirmed: “Just like Holger Badstuber, Toni is an important member of the team, regardless of whether he can contribute now or not." It was impossible to ignore the utter desire for silverware shown by the board director and the player in Berlin on Tuesday. “When you look at what we've invested in the competition, we really, really want to win it," Kroos concluded.