A process that began a year ago

A process that began a year ago

Bayern Munich began to lay the foundations for this season’s impressive run to the Champions League final immediately after their defeat to Chelsea in last year's showpiece, coach Jupp Heynckes said on Wednesday.

After Bayern inflicted the biggest aggregate defeat on Barcelona in European competition, a jubilant Heynckes said the painful reverse on penalties to Chelsea at their own Allianz Arena in Munich had given him the motivation to try to go one better this term.

“I was bitterly disappointed after losing the final last season but we started working straightaway,” Heynckes told a news conference. “From the first day, you could tell that everyone was determined to change things,” the experienced 67-year-old added.

“I think my desire to do better than last season infected the players.”

Bayern’s humbling of Barca, who have won two of the last four editions of Europe’s elite club competition, prompted suggestions that the German club are poised to take over as the continent’s pre-eminent force.   “We are a team that has a tremendous unity,” said Heynckes, who knows Barca well from his time coaching at their La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

“We work fantastically well together and have a huge hunger for success,” he added.

“We play high-speed football, are very well organised, tactically astute, close down space well and the counter attack has also worked very well this season.”

Heynckes is stepping down at the end of the current campaign and will be replaced by former Barca coach Pep Guardiola.  Heynckes has set the bar high for him and he will find it tough to match Bayern’s success this term even if they are thwarted by Dortmund in the final.

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