Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says the current squad is better than the 2013 Champions League-winning side, who they are trying to emulate in Sunday’s final against Paris Saint-Germain.
Neuer, 34, was in goal at Wembley in 2013 when Bayern completed their first treble by beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to add the Champions League to the Bundesliga and German Cup titles.
Only four survivors of the 2013 team — Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Thomas Mueller — are likely to start Sunday’s final, although striker Robert Lewandowski, the Champions League top-scorer with 15 goals, was on the losing Dortmund side.
Neuer says the current Bayern squad has more depth. Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho, three French World Cup winners — Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso — and Germany centre-back Niklas Suele were among the internationals on the bench against Lyon in the semi-final.
“The difference to 2013 is that we have top players across the board, back then, we won with fewer players,” said Neuer.
The Germany captain said the players waiting to come on to make an impact make the difference.
“We have a class of players beyond the 18-man squad – it’s fantastic what players we have.”
Bayern arrive in Sunday’s final on a 20-match winning streak in competitive games, which Neuer says is partly down to head coach Hansi Flick, who is poised to lead the German giants to the treble ten months after being hired as interim coach.
“What sets him apart is his calm, level-headed approach and his work with the coaching team,” added Neuer.
“We’re always well prepared and always have a plan. You can only follow one philosophy – he sets it and we implement it.”
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