69° Good Afternoon
69° Good Afternoon

Historic treble on the line in Champions League final

The World Cup can wait for these players.

Inter Milan and Bayern Munich will meet to decide one of the most cherished championships in the world this evening in Madrid (2:30 p.m. EST, Fox). Both club teams will go for their third trophy this season after locking up their respective league titles (Serie A, Bundesliga) and cup titles (Coppa Italia, German Cup) earlier this season.

For Inter, head coach Jose "The Special One" Mourinho will attempt to give his fans their first Champions League (previously the European Cup) title since back-to-back titles in 1964 and 1965. Bayern seeks its first title since 2001.

One usual starter will sit out for each team. Bayern's Franck Ribery received a red card in the team's semifinal win against Lyon. Despite two appeals by the French midfielder, the ban stands. Inter will be without Thiago Motta, who was sent off in its semifinal against Barcelona.

Both teams also feature several stars that will represent their countries in South Africa next month:

Inter has its Brazlian trio of goalkeeper Julio Cesar and defenders Lucio and Maicon and three Argentine stars: Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel, Diego Milito. Other star players include sriker Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon) and attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands). Strangely, none of the players on defending champion Italy's preliminary 28-man roster play for Inter.

Bayern, on the other hand, showcases several players from Germany's projected squad: Philipp Lahm is one of the world's premier outside backs. He'll be joined by goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt (likely a backup in South Africa), defender Holger Badstuber, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and forwards Thomas Muller and Miroslave Klose. 

The Netherlands duo of Arjen Robben, whose in excellent form, and Mark van Bommel will start in the midfield.

Who will lift the "big-eared" trophy? In about seven hours, we'll find out.


New York Sports