Klopp: Past form counts for nothing
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says his side's recent meetings with Bayern Munich will be irrelevant when they step out against their rivals in Saturday's Champions League final.
Klopp masterminded two successive Bundesliga title triumphs over the Bavarians and also oversaw a 4-2 victory in last year's DFB-Pokal final.
This season has been a different story, however, with Bayern sweeping all before them domestically and standing on the brink of an historic Treble.
Dortmund drew twice with Jupp Heynckes' team in the league and were knocked out by them in the DFB-Pokal, but Klopp believes that looking at form and past results is futile ahead of the Wembley showdown.
"The last two years don't really matter when it comes to this final," Klopp said at a Puma Champions League final event. "If you look at the results of Bayern Munich this season, they basically destroyed anyone in a heartbeat, anyone but us.
"We've always fought back, even if we weren't in the best shape in some matches. When we are in our best condition - and this is the only thing we really need to talk about - we can beat Bayern Munich.
"We know this, and so do they. But we have to make it come true now. We know we will play against probably the best team in the world at this moment in time, but we also know we are the only ones who have the weapons to be an actual threat to them. And this is exactly what we want to capitalise on."
The Champions League final represents the pinnacle of Klopp's managerial career thus far and the 45-year-old admits he is relishing the chance to lead Dortmund on the biggest stage in club football.
"I haven't even thought about it since we have reached the final. But once the moment of the final arrives, I will probably feel that it is the most extraordinary thing I have ever experienced in my whole sporting career," Klopp said. "[Sporting director] Michael Zorc still enthuses about the victory in 1997 and can commentate on nearly every single minute of this match. We will feel it when the moment comes, but right now I don't have the time to think about it… There will be a moment in which we will be overwhelmed with what we have achieved, but right now it is not the time yet."
Having impressed at home and abroad this season, and reached three of the past four Champions League finals, Bayern are unsurprisingly the bookies' favourites to win at Wembley, though Klopp believes both sets of players will feel the weight of the occasion.
"Ahead of the match both teams will feel the pressure and everyone will go there with the feeling that this might be a unique opportunity," Klopp said. "What counts is how to shut out this pressure and to get into the match and focus on what is needed and expected.
"As long you can see that bright light at the end of the tunnel, that shiny Champions League trophy, it is also easier to approach the task with a positive attitude and not get carried away with a feeling of anxiety. We will take on this challenge in a happy, joyful and free way and then we will see what happens."