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May 21, 2013

Lahm '100%' confident of UCL win

Philipp Lahm says Bayern Munich must focus on their own game in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

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Bayern captain Lahm, 29, has won the Bundesliga four times but has never lifted a European trophy despite playing in Champions League finals in 2010 and 2012.

The Germany international intends to set that straight against Bundesliga rivals Dortmund at Wembley and believes if Bayern play to their capabilities then the opposition will not be able to handle them.

"Now, in this game, it is by all means the biggest chance to win an international title," Lahm told kicker, not because of Dortmund providing the opposition, but "because we have such good team. There is a 100% chance to win the title. It wasn't always the case in the past few years."

Bayern are on course to secure a historic Treble, something they also eyed during their 2009-10 campaign, but were stopped by Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan side in the Champions League final that year.

However, Lahm says the mentality within the group is completely different now and they expect to win big titles. "We got into the final [against Inter] and said 'let's see, hopefully we can win this'," he added. "But we have a very different entitlement mentality these days, and much different pre-conditions. We now go into the game saying "we want that title" and that's how it needs to be."

While not coming close to the Bundesliga title during the two years after that defeat to Inter, Bayern played well during the 2011-12 Champions League campaign, but, once again, were stopped in the final despite being the better side against Chelsea, in a game taking place in their home stadium.

"We played a decent enough game in the final, but were not there for the deciding moments," Lahm said. "But the team has matured since and will show that in the final.

"The defeat to Chelsea blended the team. This team got up again and has shown in every match just how hungry it is for success. Now, more than ever, we have the absolute will to win the Champions League title. We have now got a psychological disadvantage."

Regardless of the positive side-effects the "immensely bitter" defeat had, Lahm said he would have rather taken the title that day.

"The anticipation would be equally high," Lahm said. "I have always said. We want to win an international title, we have won all others. But there will be chances to win the trophy after London.

"Our squad can stay together for two or three more years, all the top players have contracts.

"Mario Gotze is a top signing. Everything's coming up roses for FC Bayern. But we want this title as soon as possible. We have the chance to always play for the Champions League title in the upcoming years. Just like it was at Barcelona a few years ago, over a period of five years we want to become the team to beat in Europe."


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