Champions League - Final: The neutral view

Eurosport - Fri, 21 May 09:09:00 2010

We collect a range of neutral views from Eurosport journalists ahead of the Champions League final between Internazionale and Bayern Munich.

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English view (Alex Chick)

Who will win? Inter

Why? Inter have to be the favourites after deservedly beating Chelsea and Barcelona on the way to the final. They are masters at stopping their opponents from playing. Bayern have impressed at times and, in Arjen Robben, have possibly the player of the tournament, but needed a bit of luck to get past Fiorentina and Manchester United.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? We are not very good at paying attention to football when 'our' clubs aren't involved, but the presence of Jose Mourinho gives the media an easy angle. There is not much other football on at the moment, and the game is on terrestrial TV, so there will be a fair amount of interest.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? Lucio, Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso have been Inter's key players so far. Arjen Robben, Ivica Olic and Mark van Bommel for Bayern. The decisive factor will probably be whether Robben is able to shine, or whether Inter shut him down as they did Lionel Messi. It should be an interesting tactical battle between two excellent managers, although probably not a spectacular game for the neutrals.

Which team will your country support? Britain is completely obsessed with Mourinho, so I imagine most people will probably support Inter. But Bayern won a few fans when they knocked out United...

French view (Maxime Dupuis)

Who will win? Inter 

Why? Even if this final is a game between two tactical geniuses on the bench, I think Inter with Mourinho will find something that will give Van Gaal some serious headaches. Mourinho did it against Chelsea and Barcelona who were, in my opinion, stronger opponents.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? Not really. It would have been more highly anticipated if Franck Ribery had been on the pitch. And in France, you won't find many fans of Bayern (except me) or Inter. People prefer Barcelona and Arsenal.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? For Bayern, Robben. Do I really have to explain why? He is the Bayern's version of Messi. We've seen it in the past rounds. For Inter, as I said before, the key will not be on the pitch but on the bench with Mourinho. If I had to highlight one player it would be Sneijder. If he is at 100 per cent he will be the key, which is funny to point out as he and Robben did not 'fire' for Real Madrid.

Which team will your country support? No one I think.     

Swedish view (Kristian Borell)

Who will win? Inter

Why? Inter are a better team than Bayern, both with regards to their individual players, and the team as a whole. The Bayern back four looks far too vulnerable with forwards like Diego Milito and Samuel Eto'o about. The German threat will come from Robben, but he will be neutralised by Inter captain Zanetti.   

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? It's the Champions League final - it is the finest match there is in club football and is of great interest.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? Mourinho will have to show that he and his team can deal with the Real Madrid-situation he has created. Everyone knows that he will leave, but the question is what impact that has on Inter in this final? If Mourinho were to lose, the verdict will be that it was his fault after creating the situation with Real.  

Which team will your country support? 50/50.

Spanish view (Cristian Maxedo)

Who will win? Bayern.

Why? Inter have better players than Bayern, and Ribery will not be able to play in the final which is key - we must trust the strong character of Bayern's players. Robben is the third best player in the world at this moment (behind Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) and I think his role will be crucial.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? Of course. With the final being held in Madrid, I think the public will go crazy for this event.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? As I said before, Robben will be the best player in the final. The other players I think will fire are Olic and Bastian Schwesteiger for Bayern, and Maicon and Samuel Eto'o for Inter.

Which team will your country support? The opinion is divided. Barcelona's fans want Bayern to win because Inter defeated them, while Real Madrid's supporters are supporting Inter because they knocked out Barcelona. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid's fans would like to see Bayern win because they are waiting for the European Super Cup and they would have an opportunity for revenge after losing the European Cup against them 36 years ago.

Arabic view (Mohammad Sanajleh)

Who will win? Both sides have an equal chance.

Why? I agree with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge when he said that Inter and Bayern have an equal chance of winning. Both sides equally deserve to clinch the title and have players who can really make the difference. Bayern have Robben, Schwesteiger and Olic, while Inter have Eto, Sneijder and Zanetti. All of these players could make the difference. Also, both teams have excellent coaches who are experts in knowing how to run the match.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? Everyone is eagerly anticipating the match. The Arab world in general has a special way of celebrating and watching such matches. We go to 'Shisah Coffee' cafes, and the fans of each team sit in one corner of the building and the other set of fans sit in the other. There is always a very enthusiastic atmosphere.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? I think Eto'o, Sneijder and Zanetti for Inter, and Robben, Schweinsteiger and Olic for Bayern will have the key impacts on the match.

Which team will your country support? Inter have lots of supporters and fans in the Arab world, but the supporters of  Barcelona will follow Bayern for sure. In the Arab world there are millions of Barcelona fans, and they will all support the German side because they hate Mourinho!

Chinese view (Li Lin)

Who will win? Inter.

Why? Although Bayern have enjoyed a wonderful performance in the Champions League this season, their overall strength is much less than Inter's. Due to the familiarity between Mourinho and Robben, "the special one" will certainly find a way to keep Bayern's best player quiet.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? Yes. We once expected that we would see Bordeaux face Inter and hoped that Laurent Blanc would emulate Mourinho. But unfortunately, Bordeaux was beaten by Lyon during the quater-final.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? The "war" between Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal must be the most important element to the final. After that, the confrontation between Sneijder and Robben will decide the final result. Of course, do not forget Milito, who is the most dangerous forward in the two sides right now.

Which team will your country support? Of course Inter, because we are all the fans of Italian football.

Russian view (Roman Feigin)

Who will win? Bayern

Why? The German side have performed very well at the end of the season and are playing superbly, even without Ribery. Inter are also very strong, but the Italian champions are not showing the same stability.

Is there much anticipation prior to the final in your country? We expect an interesting game with plenty of brilliant attacking football. Each team needs a third title of the season and has a strong offence.

Who will be the key players, and what will be the crucial elements to the final? Robben and Olic will hold the key for Bayern.

Which team will your country support? In Russia, most people will support Bayern, as Olic and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk have played in our league.

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