On Saturday at Wembley Stadium, there will be a villain and a hero. That is the nature of football at the highest level.
This time last year, Bayern Munich’s, Bastian Schweinsteiger was the former as his missed penalty against Chelsea in the final was the difference between free beer for life and a nightmare that has lasted 365 days.
Facing him across the expansive turf of the home of football will be Borussia Dortmund’s current hero, Robert Lewandowski. Since arriving from Lech Poznan in September of 2010, Lewandowski has been a scoring machine.
Back-to-back Bundesliga titles has seen him become the king of Westfalenstadion however it was his four goal destruction of Real Madrid in this years Champions League semi-final that has elevated him to demi-god status.
Coming into this final both men carry the hopes and dreams of their supporters but the question is who will be the one to stand up and carry his team to victory.
Schweinsteiger has carried his burden with a grace and serenity that one wouldn’t have expected as earlier in his career the Bayern playmaker reveled in the role of Germany’s bad boy. His performances this campaign have oozed maturity and leadership.
Jupp Heynckes has called him the engine that drives the car and with a record-breaking season for the Bayern team there can be no doubt that this club is a top of the line Mercedes.
Schweinsteiger has the all round game, the versatility and the ability to score the long bomb or pulverizing free kick. The wide expanse of Wembley should see him boss the tempo of the game.
Lewandowski can also own the game however it won’t be with multiple touches of the ball. The Pole has that ability to float on the fringes of the game only to explode into life. If he gets three chances, he’ll put one away guaranteed, if his teammates create more, Lewandowski will go to town.
Champions League finals are made for the likes of Schweinsteiger and Lewandowski. One of these men will stride across the capital of England on Saturday night 10-foot tall.
Who do you think it will be?