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Mueller targets treble completion

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MUNICH — Thomas Mueller says Bayern Munich are determined to beat Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal and clinch an historic treble triumph.

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Bayern will take to the field at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium today knowing they can secure the impressive feat, which would be a first for a German side, in what is coach Jupp Heynckes’ final game in charge of the club.

“The cup has gained in importance, because the prize on offer is more than just the cup, we can make history. It won’t be 85%, it’ll be 100% and nothing less,” he told FCB.TV.

“We were a little heavy legged yesterday, you sensed things were still a little out of shape. But it was better today.”

Mueller knows Bayern will face a tough challenge from a Stuttgart team keen to cap off their season with silverware.

“Naturally, they’ll get stuck in. Stuttgart can salvage their entire season by winning the cup, so they’ll give it everything they’ve got, we have not won the match yet. In this game as in every other, we’ll have to work for our success,” Mueller said.

The midfielder has been a pivotal player for Bayern this season, playing both on the right and in a central position, scoring 22 goals in 46 appearances.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have laid into the Brazilian Football Federation after Dante and Luiz Gustavo were called up for the Confederation Cup, precluding the pair from playing in this Saturday’s German Cup final.

Fifa rules forbid featuring in other competitive matches a full fortnight before an official international competition. The tournament in Brazil kicking off on June 15, but the hosts will also play a prestigious friendly against England at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium tomorrow, a match which is seen as key to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s preparations for the World Cup warm-up competition to follow it.

Spain international Javi Martinez is available for Bayern despite being selected by his country for the competition, but Brazil are insisting their call-up is honoured.

Bayern have given up on their hopes of negotiating an agreement to keep the pair to help their bid for a historic league, cup and Champions League treble, and the move was heavily criticised club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who described it as “inhumane, ruthless and unfair”.

He said: “I am under the impression the Brazil FA has put a sort of psycho terror on the players.

“We will release the players Dante and Luiz Gustavo today. Both will not take part in the DFB-Pokal. We were forced into it.”

Club captain Bastian Schweinsteiger was similarly scathing, adding: “That would be sheer madness, if players can’t feature in the final because of other people’s mistakes. A player works towards a final appearance for a complete season. That this chance then is taken away from them, would be sheer madness.”

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