If winning the 2020 Champions League final will only be decided by the wealth of experience at the disposal of the two opposing teams, Bayern Munich and PSG, then the former is easily the clear favourite for this.
Aside from possessing a far more impressive record in the competition with five previous titles to their credit, Bayern enjoy the presence of five players that were part of their success story seven years ago when they claimed a breathtaking treble like they are aiming this time again.
As part of the build-up to Sunday’s final in Lisbon, PREMIUM TIMES takes a look at five players from the all-conquering Bayern team still in the mix for Sunday’s final
Position in 2013 final: Goalkeeper
Position in 2020 final: Goalkeeper and captain
It is widely agreed that goalkeepers are like wine, the older they get, the finer they become and that perfectly suits Neuer who has had to battle injuries in recent times to be in this top form.
Neuer’s success in 2013 would not have been a surprise for many as the goalkeeper already showed promise when he reached the Champions League semi-final with Schalke in 2010/11 and the final with Bayern a year later in which the Bavarian lost to Chelsea.
In 2013, Neuer was in-between the sticks for Bayern in all 13 matches in the campaign that season and his heroics against Juventus and Barcelona aided the triumph as Bayern went on to beat German rivals Dortmund in the final
So far so good, Neuer has not shown any sign of slowing down just yet and as the captain of the team now, you can bank on the goalkeeper to go the extra mile
Position in 2013 final: Starting center-back
Position in 2020 final: Starting center-back
Though Boateng is in a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s final for PSG, his contribution then and now to Bayern’s success cannot be overemphasized.
Though with his own noticeable weaknesses, Boateng has been colossal in the backline of the Bavarian since he joined them in 2011.
With the arrivals of Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez, Boateng had fallen behind in the pecking order but has since returned to the starting line up, starting in both the quarter-final and semi-final matches.
Should he be declared fit for tonight’s final, Boateng is expected to start in the heart of Bayern’s defence like he did in 2013.
Position in 2013 final: Left-back
Position in 2020 final: Centre-back
Unlike the two players earlier profiled, Alaba has metamorphosed from his role back in 2013 and his present role under manager Hansi Flick.
Having won his first Champions League medal as a 20-year old in 2013, Alaba would have believed he would win a couple more before he turned 30 but that has not been the case since 2013.
In fact, this is the first time Bayern is making it to the final since their triumph at Wembley against Dortmund.
With Alaba missing the Champions League final in 2012, this would be his second appearance at this stage; hence he would be keen to make the most of it.
Position in 2013 final: Attacking midfielder/second striker
Position in 2020 final: Attacking midfielder/second striker
There is plenty to look forward to in Muller going into the 2020 final.
The attacking midfielder knows how to hug the big occasions when they come.
Even though it counted for nothing, Muller scored Bayern’s only goal against Chelsea in 2012 final which they eventually lost at the Allianz Arena.
For Bayern’s 2013 triumph, Muller scored eight goals in 13 Champions League matches, including three in the 7-0 aggregate thrashing of Barcelona in the semi-finals as the Munich club went on to beat Dortmund at Wembley.
With an astonishing 199 goals and 193 assists in 534 appearances, one can definitely bank on Muller to deliver for them as it was the case in 2013 even though he did not score at Wembley.
It is quite remarkable to note that Bayern have lost just four of the 160 matches in which Muller, who is the German player with the most Champions League appearances, scored.
Position in 2013 final: Holding midfielder
Position in 2020 final: Defensive or midfield reinforcement
Of the lot, Martinez’s influence in the present Bayern set-up is not as profound as his earlier mentioned teammates.
Injuries have limited the 2010 World Cup winner to just 238 appearances for Bayern over eight seasons.
However, one constant feature for Martinez is that he has won the Bundesliga every year.
Even though he has been limited to bit-part roles, Martinez has proven a useful asset both in midfield and as a reliable cover at centre-back.
Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter: @tundeyeludini