All-German final down to youth policy: Bundesliga CEO

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will be facing off again in the Champions League final at Wembley.

Story highlights

  • Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund battle for Champions League title
  • First time two Bundesliga clubs have contested the final
  • CEO of Bundesliga says their youth policy has paid off
  • Each team in top two tiers must have an academy

The unprecedented success of two German teams reaching the final of the Champions League is down to the Bundesliga's investment in young players, the chief executive of the league told CNN Tuesday.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund battle it out Saturday at Wembley to claim European club football's most prestigious title.

They have broken the stranglehold of the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga in providing the the Champions League winners and Christian Seifert claims the major factor has been a crop of home grown talent in both teams.

"On Saturday we will have 16 or 17 German players on the pitch," he said.

Seifert said that decisions taken by the German federation and the Bundesliga after a poor showing at the European Championships in 2000 paved the way for the current triumphs at both club and international level.

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"Each club that wanted to play in the top two tiers of the Bundesliga -- 36 clubs -- had to have youth academy," he said.

"Today more than 100 million euros per year is invested and 5,000 players are educated in the program."

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it was clear German football had a promising crop of talent and at the 2009 European under-21 championships the evidence was overwhelming.

A team containing goalkeeeper Manuel Neuer and defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who are all likely to feature in Saturday's showpiece final, thrashed England 4-0 in the final.

Read: Hargreaves: EPL should learn from Bundesliga youth policy

Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, ironically now in a Real Madrid side shocked by Dortmund in this season's Champions League semifinals, were also in that German team.

"Virtually every member of today's German national team played in that squad," said Seifert.

His views have been echoed by CNN FC contributor Owen Hargreaves, who played for Bayern Munich as the youth revolution got underway.

Former England international Hargreaves said the English Premier League should learn the lessons of the Bundesliga experiment and give more opportunities to young players.

One area where the EPL does still reign is in overall revenues, but Seifert, who comes from a marketing business background, believes the Bundesliga is catching up.

"We have the second biggest turnover of the major leagues although far behind the EPL.

"We have sold our TV rights in 208 countries but we are seeing increased interest because of the Champions League success."

Even he though was surprised by seeing two Bundesliga sides in the final.

"Bayern Munich is probably not such a big surprise -- it's their third final in four years -- but Borussia Dortmund getting there with a relatively young team is," he said.

Dortmund won the trophy back in 1997 in their only final appearance, Bayern, with Hargreaves in the line up, last took the honors in 2001 and will be looking to put their shock defeat to Chelsea in last year's final on their home Allianz Arena behind them.

But for 44-year-old Seifert whichever team wins it will not matter as the Bundesliga goes from strength to strength.

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