Without experienced central defender Jerome Boateng, Munich will face Mexican club Tigres UANL in Thursday’s Club World Cup final, coach Hansi Flick said on Wednesday.
For personal reasons, the winner of the 2014 World Cup will return home, following news reports from Germany about the death of a former partner.
“This has stunned us,” Flick said at a virtual news conference. “Jerome came to me and asked me to return home. After a negative (Covid-19) test he will return home and not be available until further notice.”
Boateng began on Monday with their 2-0 semifinal win over Al Ahly.
In less than nine months, the German champions are eyeing a sixth title, aiming to replicate Barcelona’s 2009 six-trophy haul.
Bayern, along with the German and European Super Cup crowns, secured the domestic double as well as the 2020 Champions League. Currently, they are already top of the Bundesliga, seven points clear of RB Leipzig in second.
Tigres shocked Brazil’s Palmeiras 1-0 to become North America’s first side to reach the finals.
Flick, who declined to include any information on his potential line-up, said his squad would have to be alert to the quick counter-attacking Mexicans from the first second on.
“It is up to us to put pressure on our opponents and to play our game when we have possession,” Flick said. “We did it well in the semifinal. I have full trust in my team.”
In November 2019, Flick, who took over the club, had the most prosperous first season ever for a Bayern coach.
“We have to be alert. Tigres are very quick in their build-up,” he said. “They work well down the wings and have players in the centre who score. We have to be there from the start and convert our chances this time.”