Wembley will serve as the battle ground for the last major honours of the season as Bayern Munich go head-to-head with Borussia Dortmund to be crowned 2012/13 UEFA Champions League winners.
This is the first all-German final in the competition’s history and Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both head for England’s national stadium purely on merit rather than through any semblance of fluke.
Fans can follow the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final live from Wembley on Saturday, May 25, with host broadcaster ITV providing free-to-air coverage, while Sky Sports will also be covering the final in high-definition and in stunning 3D.
Wembley Stadium again has the honour of hosting its second UEFA Champions League Final in three years, in part due to its widely acclaimed and successful staging of the 2011 final where Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1.
UEFA primarily awarded the match to London’s showpiece stadium as its tribute to mark the Football Association’s 150th anniversary.
It is perhaps fitting that two German teams shall contest for European football’s biggest and most prestigious prize at the home of English football as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich go head-to-head in what promises to be a compelling final.
The Bundesliga rivals were too good for their La Liga counterparts – Real Madrid and Barcelona – over the course of two thrilling semi final ties – Dortmund overcoming Madrid 4-3 and Bayern dishing out an emphatic 7-0 aggregate thrashing to Barca.
Dortmund owe their first final appearance since 1997 to a stunning first-leg win over Real Madrid at their home Signal Iduna Park stadium.
The Spanish giants were continually caught off guard by the bewildering pace and intensity of a side led by sought-after striker Robert Lewandowski.
The prolific Polish international was in a punishing mood, scoring all four of his team’s goals and helping them maintain their perfect home record in Europe this season.
José Mourinho’s charges did come close to clawing their way back in the return leg, though.
After a string of early chances went begging, they finally found some joy in the 82nd minute through Frenchman Karim Benzema.
Sergio Ramos added a second six minutes later, but Dortmund did enough to see the game out.
With rising stars – including Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan – Dortmund have been the surprise package of the tournament having been drawn in a tough group with Manchester City, Real and Ajax.
Jurgen Klopp’s men cruised through the ‘Group of Death’ as winners and have continued their good form in the knockout stages – ousting Shakhtar Donetsk and Malaga before their famous success over Jose Mourinho’s Real secured them a place at the showpiece of European football.
In contrast, Bayern Munich were never in any danger in their semi-final against Barcelona.
The Bavarians were ruthless in their approach, dismantling the four-time tournament winners with alarming ease.
Desperately unlucky to lose out to Chelsea in last season’s final, Jupp Heynckes’s side seem determined to make amends this time around.
They followed up their 4-0 first leg demolition by adding a further three goals without reply at the Nou Camp, equalling their own record for the biggest away win in a Champions League semi-final.
The names on Bayern’s team-sheet will be even more recognisable.
Boasting the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos, the Bundesliga champions have enjoyed a ruthless campaign.
Sweeping aside all challengers for the domestic crown, their demolition job on Barcelona in the semi-final sent shockwaves through the world of football – and they will go into the match as favourites to rubber-stamp their supposed superiority over Dortmund.
It is Bayern’s third final in four years and after defeats by Inter Milan and Chelsea the likes of Robben and Ribery will be desperate to be crowned European champions.
However Borussia Dortmund have been one of the most exciting teams in the Champions League this season and in Jurgen Klopp, they boast one of the most charismatic coaches anywhere in football.
Follow all the drama and excitement as the all-German battle for European supremecy unfolds at the home of English football on either ITV or Sky Sports.
Read SOTB’s viewing guide below:
ITV has live free-to-air coverage of the all-German UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium.
Build-up to the showpiece match of the European football calendar includes a new two-hour documentary on ITV4 on Friday night.
As Wembley prepares to host its second Champions League Final in three years, presenter Matt Smith takes a look back at the 20-year history of football’s biggest club tournament in ’20 Years of Champions League’ on Friday, May 24, at 8pm (repeated Saturday at 3.40pm).
The competition took over from the European Cup two decades ago and has since gained in prestige to become the pinnacle achievement in domestic football.
The ITV4 programme looks back at some of the memorable moments that have made this competition so special including the great comebacks, dramatic endings and unlikely shocks.
Then on Saturday, ITV’s live coverage from Wembley begins at 7.00pm, presented by Adrian Chiles.
Joining Chiles in the ITV studio for expert analysis and comment will be Roy Keane, Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate.
Clive Tyldesley will call his 16th Champions League final for ITV and he will be alongside Andy Townsend in the commentary box, with Gabriel Clarke and Ned Boulting providing roving reports.
Coverage is also in high-definition on ITV HD, plus live streaming of the final will be available online via the ITV Football website.
For the first time since Old Trafford hosted the final ten years ago, ITV Sport will be the host broadcaster for this year’s UEFA Champions League Final.
The ITV crew will lead a production that includes 35 cameras for the main 2D world feed, as well as an extra 12 cameras for the 3D feed, which will be beemed to around 300 million viewers worldwide.
ITV Sport’s technical producer Roger Pearce told SVG Europe: “Even though audience-wise the FA Cup Final and Champions League Final are not that far off, the Champions League Final is 500 per cent more difficult to host because you have a lot more facilities.
“We have two weeks to put this show together and it is as difficult as it is as there is a new press conference facility that needs to be put in place and much bigger mixed zone facilities.”
“The last time we hosted the Champions League Final was 2003 in Manchester and it has doubled in size since then,” says Pearce.
Thursday 23rd May Champions League Heroes 8.00pm-9.00pm – ITV4 Friday 24th May 20 Years of Champions League 8.00pm-10.00pm – ITV4 Saturday 25th May UEFA Champions League Final: B. Dortmund v Bayern Munich LIVE: 7.00pm-10.15pm – ITV
Sky Sports will have the most comphrensive coverage of the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final from Wembley Stadium.
Jeff Stelling once again fronts live coverage from Wembley, beginning with a hour-long preview show which will first air on Friday, May 24, at 7pm on Sky Sports 1, and be repeated at various times in the build-up to the final on Saturday night.
The show will be broadcast live from Wembley Stadium and keep viewers on-the-ball with the latest developments, plus all the build-up and squad news ahead of the match.
On Saturday night, pre-match build-up begins at 6pm on Sky Sports 1 and Sky 3D, equating to an hour-and-45-minutes of in-depth previews, analysis and a look at the two sides, their route to the showpiece final, plus the stories behind the key characters involved on both sides.
Expert analysis and insights in the Sky Sports studio will come from Michael Ballack, Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp.
Commentary on the final itself will be provided by Martin Tyler and Gary Neville, while reports and pitchside interviews come from Geoff Shreeves.
A new innovation for this year’s final is the enhanced coverage on the Sky Sports for iPad app.
Using Sky Sports 360 – a new multi-camera highlights feature – the app lets you select and replay all the most exciting saves, tackles, and near-misses during the game from over 20 different camera angles.
Live multi-camera technology from EVS makes feeds from around the pitch available during the game, allowing fans to quickly and easily pick their choice of highlights and a camera angle to enjoy all the very best game-defining moments – with the option of slow-motion too.
David Gibbs, Director of Sky Sports Digital Media, commented: “This is great news for the Sky Sports for iPad app, which keeps getting better and better.
“This is about putting the technology into the hands of the viewer and allowing them to recapture the big moments in the final.
“It’s the first time we’ve offered this through our app and it’s another example of our investment in the Sky Sports viewer’s experience.”
…Friday 24th May UEFA Champions League Final Preview 7.00pm-8.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Saturday 25th May UEFA Champions League Final: B. Dortmund v Bayern Munich LIVE: 6.00pm-10.30pm – Sky Sports 1 / Sky 3D