Why Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich Is the Champions League Final We Should Hope For

Sam PilgerContributing Football WriterJanuary 22, 2014


When the Champions League resumes next month, all football purists should hope that Barcelona and Bayern Munich progress all the way to the final. 

These sides facing each other in the final in Lisbon on May 24 would provide an incredible climax to the season.

At the moment, it would be the reigning Spanish champions against the reigning world club, European and German champions.

It would also be a clash of dynasties. This great Barcelona side, winners of the Champions League in 2006, 2009 and 2011, would be up against Bayern Munich’s own emerging dynasty, who are aiming to become the first team to successfully defend the Champions League since the competition was rebranded in 1992.

This final would provide Barcelona with the chance to gain revenge for the 7-0 aggregate mauling they suffered over two legs at the hands of Bayern in last year’s semi-finals.

Was that an embarrassing blip for Barcelona, or will Bayern prove it marked a genuine shift of power this season?

Above all else, it would be a clash between Pep Guardiola’s old project at Barcelona and his new one in Munich.

Facing his former employers in a Champions League final would provide Guardiola with a unique opportunity to prove he was right to surprisingly flee the Nou Camp when he had such a special team at his disposal in 2012.

Since arriving in Bavaria last summer, Guardiola has achieved the impossible and made the best even better this season.

Augmented by the astute signings of Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara, Guardiola has tinkered with Bayern's formation but retained their fluid style and, crucially, kept winning.

So far this season he hasn’t experienced defeat in the Bundesliga, winning 14 and drawing two of his 16 games to establish a seven-point lead at the top of the table. 

It would appear that the Bundesliga title will remain with Bayern, but after last season this would not be enough for either Bayern or Guardiola.

A Champions League winner in 2009 and 2011, what better way for Guardiola to claim his third title than against Barcelona in the final in May?

Back in Barcelona, they haven’t exactly been pining for their old coach, winning La Liga last season and now sitting on top of the table again.

However, Barcelona’s capitulation to Bayern in the Champions League last season deeply embarrassed them and prompted questions as to whether they would have suffered such a heavy defeat under Guardiola.

The Catalan club would cherish winning the Champions League in the post-Guardiola era as definitive proof they had moved on.

On the pitch, the starting line-ups in a Barcelona and Bayern final would read like a roll call of the world’s best players.

A final where the supreme talents of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi do battle with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller to lift the greatest prize in club football would certainly be a game to savour.