LONDON (AP) — Borussia Dortmund's pain in losing the Champions League final 2-1 to bitter rival Bayern Munich is exacerbated by the knowledge it may never have a better chance to win the trophy again.
Arjen Robben's 89th-minute winner limited Dortmund's opportunities to respond, but there is a sense Dortmund's opportunities of playing another final are limited, too, as the team faces the prospect of losing its best players.
Mario Goetze has already decided to join Bayern, which is paying the rising star's 37 million euro buy-out clause, and Robert Lewandowski appears to be on the verge of joining him.
"We know Mario Goetze will be joining us and I don't think Lewandowski will be hanging about too much either," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said at Saturday's post-match press conference.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke reacted angrily on Sunday.
"Jupp Heynckes should keep out of it and just concentrate on the team line-up for next Saturday," said Watzke, referring to Bayern's German Cup final date with Stuttgart.
Lewandowski is remaining tight-lipped about his future plans, but media reports that his agents Cezary Kucharski and Maik Barthel were on Bayern's guest list for the club's victory banquet in London did little to quell the speculation.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion he has played his last game for Dortmund.
The 24-year-old striker said he was only thinking of resting for a few days and then joining Polish teammates for a World Cup qualifier against Moldova on June 7.
"I'll be back in Dortmund a little after that," Lewandowski said. "I'll go to the national team and then we'll see what happens."
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, who previously said he expected Lewandowski to stay, appeared willing to accept his side will have a new look next season.
"We've to go on holidays and buy some players. We need players because other clubs want our players," Klopp said.
Reports suggest that Lewandowski's advisors have told Dortmund their client only wants to play for Bayern next season, forcing the club into the uncomfortable position of selling to its greatest rival or allow him to leave for free next year.
Watzke, who had initially set a deadline of May 15 for offers for Lewandowski, said Bayern still had not formally registered its interest in the Polish forward.