MADRID, May 23, 2010 (AFP) - Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal insisted he will not be changing his football philosophy despite seeing his team beaten 2-0 by Inter Milan in the Champions League final here on Saturday.
The Bavarians enjoyed two thirds of the possession at the Santiago Bernabeu and mustered almost twice as many shots as the new champions but two successful strikes from Diego Milito made the difference.
Even so, Van Gaal said he will always stick to attacking football and suggested that the loss of French star Franck Ribery to suspension had been decisive.
|Inter Milan's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho (L) greets Bayern Munich's Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal before the UEFA Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 22, 2010. AFP photo|
"After the match I shook every player's hand, that's a lot for me. We lost but to shake hands means I'm proud of them," he said.
"We mustn't forget that we had to face a very difficult style of play, it's difficult to play Inter.
"I think we played attractive football for our fans but you can lose and we must be in top shape to succeed against a team like Inter and today we weren't.
"That's also because it's more difficult to attack than defend and we had to attack in reduced space.
"That's what many German teams do but Inter are a bit better playing that style and have players who can make the difference.
"That's what I found in my analysis, that they can make a difference in wide open spaces.
"But it's our choice to play this attacking style, they (the players) can do it but have to be in top shape.
"It's not new, you can see Inter every Saturday and also Bayern and see Champions League match statistics on possession: Barcelona and Bayern have the highest ball possession.
"It's a choice of style of play and we choose a very difficult style but then you can also lose and today we lost.
"I don't think it's respectful towards the other players to talk about (Ribery's loss) but still I must say that if you play this style you need a creative player and Franck Ribery is very creative.
"But it's always simple to say after a defeat that Ribery was missing, but we played Lyon without Ribery and against Juventus and we played half the season without him."
Van Gaal did admit that it was his team's defensive frailty that had cost them as centre-backs Martin Demichelis and Daniel Van Buyten were each beaten by Milito when he scored his two goals.
"It was no surprise to me how the match went, the surprise is that we lost.
"But we tackled Inter that way, we knew how they would line-up and we knew that our type of play would be very difficult to play against them.
"We know inter normally have excellent organisation, their defence is organised in an excellent way.
"We have to defend better. We know Milito and (Wesley) Sneijder can be decisive players and that's the way it went."