A look at the Champions League final between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich on Sunday.
PSG and Bayern will meet at Benfica’s Stadium of Light in Lisbon with the French club seeking its first Champions League trophy and the German powerhouse trying to end a seven-year title drought in Europe’s top club competition. Bayern is seeking its sixth European title — and first since 2013. It was eliminated in the semifinals four times since then.
For PSG, celebrating the 50th anniversary since its formation after the merger of Paris clubs, winning the title would mean the fulfillment of a nine-year journey of lavish investment since the state of Qatar bought the club. It has been dominant in France but is yet to succeed in the Champions League. It hadn’t reached the semifinals in 25 years.
Neymar gets his chance to shine for the first time since leaving Barcelona three years ago. He will have an opportunity to prove he doesn’t need Lionel Messi to help him win a European title, and that PSG was right to pick him to lead the club in its quest for a maiden Champions League trophy.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski needs two goals on Sunday to tie Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 goals in a single Champions League season. The Portugal star reached the milestone in 2014 with Real Madrid. The 32-year-old Lewandowski is seeking his first Champions League title.
While Lewandowski seeks his first title in nine Champions League seasons, Mbappé is looking to lift the trophy in his fourth try. “It’s precisely the reason why I came here,” Mbappé said. “I’ve always said I wanted to go down in my country’s history. (On Sunday it) will be another opportunity to do so.”
Two German coaches will be at the benches on Sunday: Thomas Tuchel for PSG and Hansi Flick for Bayern. They will be seeking their first Champions league title.
DI MARÍA AT HOME
Ángel Di María will be seeking his second Champions League title six years after winning the first with Real Madrid in 2014 in a final that was also played at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon. It’s also the stadium where he played for Portuguese side Benfica.
The Champions League is finishing 425 after the first game was played because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament resumed this month with a mini-tournament that has gone without major glitches in Lisbon, which replaced Istanbul as host. Teams played against each other in single-game series beginning with the quarterfinals.
PSG: Kylian Mbappé (30 goals).
Bayern: Robert Lewandowski (55).
PSG: Ángel Di María (16 assists).
Bayern: Thomas Müller (23).
PSG: Thiago Silva.
Bayern: Joshua Kimmich.
PSG: Ligue 1 (1st), French Cup (winner), League Cup (winner).
Bayern: Bundesliga (1st), German Cup (champions).
EUROPEAN CUP BEST
PSG: Semifinals (1995).
Bayern: Champions (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013).
PSG: €637.8 million.
Bayern: €750.4 million.
PSG: €337 million.
Bayern: €336 million.
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