German team can win Champions League: Beckenbauer
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Hans-Wilhelm Mueller Wohlfahrt (R), doctor of German First division Football club Bayern Muenchen and Bayern Munich's former soccer player and former president Franz Beckenbauer (L) and his wife Heidi pose for photographers during Mueller- Wohlfarth's 70th birthday celebration on August 16, 2012 in Munich, southern Germany. AFP photoBayern Munich honorary president Franz Beckenbauer expressed his confidence on Tuesday that a German team can win this season's Champions League title.
Beckenbauer believes Bayern can erase the painful memories of May's Champions League final defeat on penalties at their own Allianz Arena against Chelsea when they take on Spanish outfit Valencia in Munich on Wednesday.
But he also thinks that German champions Borussia Dortmund are in with a shot at the top European prize.
"I consider them (Bayern) as strong enough to win the title," Beckenbauer told the regional daily Stuttgarter Zeitung.
"They (Dortmund) have learned from experience. Now they are different. Of course they lost Shinji Kagawa (to Manchester United) but acquired Marco Reus (from Moenchengladbach) and with it, they are even stronger," said Beckenbauer.
Bayern Munich were the last German team to win the European title in 2001. They finished runners-up in 2010 and 2012.
Having won the German league and cup double last season, Dortmund are back in the Champions League for the second year running, but looking to improve on last season's poor performance which saw them finish last in the group stages.
Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 European champions, host Dutch club Ajax on Tuesday.