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May 24, 2013

Low: UCL finalists show way forward

Germany boss Joachim Low has told L'Equipe the only way to achieve success in modern football is to adopt the "attractive and quick" style of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and the German national team.

• Brewin: Domestic rivalry
• Hesse: Germany's Euro reign • Uersfeld: Dortmund delight

The Bundesliga duo face each other at Wembley in the Champions League final on Saturday evening - and neither is likely to compromise on the forward-thinking approach that has got them so far.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes and his Dortmund counterpart Jurgen Klopp have encouraged their squads to attack throughout the competition, most notably in their respective semi-finals against Barcelona and Real Madrid.

And Low, who has been at the heart of a German FA-led initiative to encourage creativity in younger players over the last decade, said: "For a long time, Germany relied on strength, tackling, physique, discipline.

"That's all well and good - but football has changed since, and that's not enough any more.

"I've always said you can't win titles without playing good football. Once, ten years ago, Greece won [the European Championship] with a destructive playing style. But that was the exception. If you're not able to have an attractive and quick playing style, you don't stand a chance any more."

Low said there were Bundesliga coaches who "have different ideas to that", but that Bayern, Dortmund and his Germany team have all succeeded with bright, attacking football.

He explained that, in the international game, "you need solutions in attack, because other nations, and particularly the supposed smaller nations, still rely on defensive values".

Bayern had the best defensive record in the Bundesliga, setting a new league benchmark by conceding only 18 goals in 34 games - but their prolific attack, which fell just two goals short of a century, propelled them to the title in spectacular fashion.

Dortmund, back-to-back Bundesliga winners coming into the 2012-13 campaign, finished runners-up, 25 points adrift, but Low believes that difference will not be quite so evident at Wembley, even though the injury-enforced absence of Mario Gotze is a setback for Klopp's side.

"Bayern can change five or six first-team regulars without their performance suffering. Dortmund can't quite do that," Low said.

"With all their best players, Dortmund are capable of beating Bayern. Between the two strongest possible line-ups, for me there's no favourite."

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