“A life experience”: first ghost final in berlin

Even at the pinnacle of german club soccer, everything is different this year, of course. The DFB cup final between bayer leverkusen and FC bayern munich (20.00 o’clock/ARD and sky) becomes the first ghost final in this competition.

DFB president fritz keller is "pained in the soul". But this final match will also be a very special one for the old hases. "Even for someone who has been in the finals more than once, it is something special to experience a game like this," said bavarian captain manuel neuer: "this will be a life experience for me, too."

STATISTICS: FC bayern has lost twice as many cup finals as leverkusen – but it has also played almost eight times as many so far. 19 wins recorded for munich after 23 finals. Of their three, leverkusen won only the one in 1993 and lost in 2002 and 2009. Bayer has not won a single title in 27 years. After winning the championship title, the munich team was able to celebrate its 13th anniversary. Double complete.

RECORD WINNERS: the list of record winners among the players is also very much influenced by FC bayern. No one will catch up with the sole record holder bastian schweinsteiger, who has won the trophy seven times this year. Manuel neuer, thomas muller and david alaba, with their sixth triumph, were able to draw level with the quartet franck ribery, philipp lahm, claudio pizarro and oliver kahn.

RECORD PLAYER: florian wirtz set a record of a completely different kind on saturday. If the 17-year-old offensive player from leverkusen came into play, he would become the youngest player ever to appear in a german cup final. It would be the second record for wirtz in less than a month. A goal at the beginning of june – also against FC bayern – made him the youngest scorer in bundesliga history.

WINNING hollanders: leverkusen coach peter bosz can hope for a good omen. He is the fourth dutch coach to coach a team in a german cup final. His three forerunners all won their four finals. Rinus michels 1983 with the 1. FC koln, huub stevens in 2001 and 2002 with FC schalke 04 and louis van gaal in 2010 with FC bayern munchen. "The coaches are rough names in holland," said bosz: "it would be great if my name was in that row."

COMEBACKER: as niklas sule was on 19. October 2019 tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the season seemed to be over for the national player of FC bayern. With the season now about six weeks longer than initially planned, he was able to make a comeback on saturday after all.

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