By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
They call this team FC Hollywood for a reason.
When you have players on the flanks like Franck Ribery, who looks like he comes straight out of being a bad guy in a Bruce Willis action flick, and Arjen Robben, the man who looks like he could be the stunt-double for Jason Statham in the next action movie with ridiculous car scenes, Hollywood comes easy for these guys.
They run wide, get out in open space, and when they possess the ball you can’t help but watch as they maneuver with equal amounts of brute force and finesse. Bayern’s reliance on their attacking midfielders has come under fire in the past, as some feel that they lean too much on the French and Dutch international, respectively. When the flanks muddle down, there is only one man that can be the bridge between Bayern’s desires and the chance to hoist the Champions League trophy.
“There is a lot of hope resting on his shoulders and he cannot buy any more time - he has got to work now. Sooner or later, he has got to be there to lead this team. I am keen to see whether he can cope with the pace - he has got to play intelligently.” — former Bayern Munich captain Stefan Effenberg
Those are the words of Stefan Effenberg, the former Bayern Munich captain who captained Bayern when they won the Champions League title back in 2001. The co-captain Schweinsteiger has had his quality moments this season, most notably slotting home the game-winning penalty kick versus Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. Yet, the German has also had his moments where he disappears for long stretches, and when Bayern needs a big play, he’s nowhere to be found.
Like Chelsea, Bayern will also be handicapped with three of their starters relegated to civilian clothes duty on Sunday. Midfielders Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba, along with defender Holger Badstuber will be unable to participate in the Champions League final, and with the middle of the field looking shaky Schweinsteiger will be called on by manager Jupp Heynckes to stabilize the unit.
Something to consider, Schweinsteiger signed with Bayern Munich as a 14-year old back in 1998. Its the only club he’s ever known, and he only trails the great Philipp Lahm in terms of seniority and respect, so the brevity of the moment is on the German’s shoulders. He’s already won a World Cup title and multiple Bundesliga crowns, but the one achievement that has escaped him as a senior member of this team is a Champions League title.
Allianz Arena will be rocking. The Germans will be singing. The Blues will send their troops full speed ahead. The lights will shine bright on Ribery and Robben, but the homegrown hero could earn the final curtain call when its all said and done.