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Bayern aiming to claim historic treble
Bayern Munich's sporting director Matthias Sammer has told the Champions League winners to write themselves into the history books as they bid to become the first Bundesliga side to win the treble in Saturday's German Cup final.
Having won the Bundesliga with a record tally of 91 points and lifted the Champions League trophy at Wembley last Saturday, Bayern face VfB Stuttgart in Berlin looking to seal an unprecedented treble.
"This is a historic opportunity and we have to grasp it," said Sammer.
"This is much, much more than just a final."
With a capacity crowd of 74,244 expected at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, the European champions start as overwhelming favourites against Stuttgart, whom they have already beaten 6-1 at home and 2-0 away in the league this season.
After the final, Bayern will wave farewell to coach Jupp Heynckes, who steps down after two years in charge to be replaced by Pep Guardiola, and they want to do so as the first German team, and only the seventh European side, to win the treble.
"We want to win this trophy for him," insisted Bayern's vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger with Bayern chasing their 45th victory in their 53rd match this season.
"Stuttgart will say anything is possible in one game and they are right, but if we play to our potential, it'll be difficult to beat us."
Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia, a former Bayern player, has already quipped: "We're considering whether we should compete at all", but as Germany coach Joachim Loew has pointed out "the favourite is not automatically the winner".
Labbadia has compared Stuttgart, who finished 12th in the league, as a "small-vehicle manufacturer" compared to Bayern's "Mercedes-Benz", but Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called for caution.
"We must not allow ourselves to make the mistake of believing the cup is already won," said Rummenigge.
"Stuttgart won't raise the white flag, more likely they will give their all."
Rummenigge provoked Stuttgart in his speech after Bayern's Wembley win when he told his team they should celebrate hard as they could beat Stuttgart half-drunk in the German Cup final.
Stuttgart's sporting director Fredi Bobic branded the remark "respectless", but Labbadia refrained from biting back saying there "is already enough circus without a deliberate war of words".
Bayern arrive in Berlin without Brazil pair Dante and defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who have been called up by their country for Sunday's friendly against England and the Confederation Cup from June 15-30.
"We'll throw everything we have into the pan for those two," added Rummenigge, ominously.
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