MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich stars say the heart-breaking loss to Chelsea on penalties in last season's Champions League final at home strengthened the team's mental frame and determination to win everything this season.
"For me personally, the loss last year only served to give me more motivation for this season," forward Thomas Mueller said. "It would have been great to have won last year at home, for our fans, but for us it's important to win the title, not where we win it. This season we seem to play better abroad anyway."
Outgoing coach Jupp Heynckes says the team acquired key players in the offseason that particularly gave bulk and stability to its defense and helped the team dominate the season.
Heynckes and several of his stars spoke to the media Tuesday in the build-up to the Champions League final against Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund on May 25 at Wembley.
Bayern players expect the first all-German final to produce a tense, close match between two teams with no tactical secrets between them.
"Both teams know each other well, there are no secrets. The coaches know each other. But a final is always an open affair with equal chances," Heynckes said. "But every coach has some ideas and it's up to the players to execute them. So far this season, my players have done this very well."
After going through two seasons without a trophy, Bayern can complete a unique treble this season. It won the Bundesliga championship with a record six games to spare and it is also in the German Cup final, one week after the Wembley final.
"We have a better squad this season, the new signings integrated well and we have not had many injuries," said Bastian Schweinsteiger, described by Heynckes as "currently the best midfielder in the world."
Bayern hopes to finally win the title in its third final in four years.
"It's time," Mueller said. "If you lose three finals, you would get the label of a loser, and that would not be unjustified."
Arjen Robben will have a chance at redemption, after missing a penalty in extra time against Chelsea and becoming the target of loud boos from Bayern fans.
"It's nice to play finals, but you also need to win," Robben said. "Last year was very disappointing."
Heynckes said Bayern played a great season last year using only 14-15 players.