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May 27, 2013

'A great advert for football in Germany'

The German media has been voicing its pride in the country's football after Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley to win what has been widely acclaimed as one of the best Champions League finals of recent times.

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"A great advert for the game itself and for football made in Germany," Germany's leading football magazine, kicker, said.

With bars packed all over Germany and public screenings having sold out within minutes, an average of 21.61 million Germans watched the game on free TV alone.

"The Champions League final between FC Bayern and BVB was a great advert for the entire country. Innovative, inspirational and creative," Die Welt wrote, noting that "the two sides did a fine job of showing the whole world what German football is all about".

In another article, the paper looked back on countries to have dominated European football and suggested the German game could soon follow suit, with Bayern becoming an intimidating force.

"Schalke, Leverkusen and, in the future, Hamburg, Bremen or Stuttgart will also be needed so that the one-off moment of glory of German club football at Wembley can turn into a whole era."

Kicker said Europe was "already stunned by the dominance of German football, with its fine technique and modern tactics" which had been demonstrated in an "impressive show at Wembley". Its cover carried a picture of the Bayern badge and skipper Philipp Lahm lifting the trophy. "Mia san Helden" (we are heroes), it said - a play on the club's motto "Mia san mia" (we are we).

Bayern's Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger was praised as he lifted his first European title after three defeats in finals.

"One year ago, he was the loser in the final. Now, after a perfect season, Bastian Schweinsteiger also played a great final, at times as a libero," Die Zeit wrote.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger got up again and came back stronger than ever. He has been at the heart of Bayern's game during this perfect season. And late on Saturday night, he was nearly unstoppable. He danced and jumped and was finally able to kiss the Champions League trophy."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung headlined "FC Deutschland" and praised Bayern, who it said stood on the brink of becoming a "worldwide brand".

But it warned: "It is not to be taken for granted that Bayern Munich can repeat their dream season under [incoming coach Pep] Guardiola. The last team to win back-to-back European titles was AC Milan in 1990. But Bayern Munich can be among the title candidates in the years to come."

Tabloid Bild summed up the feeling in Germany, writing: "The final of the century! Congratulations, Bayern - you are the greatest now. Cheer up, Dortmund - you played like champions." The paper said the match represented "an impressive show of the force of German football".

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