words_Nick Engvall

As if the UEFA Champions League final didn’t already have the focus of the entire football (soccer) community, Saturday’s final in Madrid has even more riding on the game behind the scenes.

Not only will the on field competition be fierce, but on the sidelines, the club managers will be immersed in a mentor versus pupil strategic battle as well. On top of that, the fate of both Italian football and German football will also lie in the hands of the players on the field, as the game will determine the number of teams for each country for the 2011-2012 season.

For Bayern, their rebuilding process has finally brought them back to the top, nine years after their last Champions League title in 2001. While their opponents from Italy, Inter Milan, return to the finals for the first time since 1972. Milan looks to win their first Champions League title since they last won in 1965.

For the German squad, their manager Louis van Gaal will look to defeat his protege, Jose Mourinho who manages the Italian team. Mourhino worked as an assistant under van Gaal while the two were at FC Barcelona some ten years ago.

As for this game’s influence on the future of these two countries competing in Champions League action, the fate of both is teetering on Saturday’s results.

As of now, Italy currently has four teams in the UEFA Champions League. Germany has three. However if Germany wins, or loses on penalties, then Germany will receive a fourth entry, while Italy will be reduced to three entries.

With the mentor versus pupil battle, the future of Italy and Germany football riding on the on the match, and the beautiful Europeans Champions Clubs’ Cup on the line, you can be sure that this year’s final will be one that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

You can catch the action between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan on Saturday at 2:30pm ET on FOX HD.