Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal still does not believe his team are among the elite sides of European football even though they are now just one step away from winning the Champions League.
Bayern have the chance to join Liverpool as five-times winners of the European Cup when they take on Inter Milan at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid tonight.
The German giants, like opponents Inter, have the chance to secure an historic treble having already won their domestic league and cup competitions, while en route to the final they knocked out highly-fancied Manchester United having trailed 4-2 on aggregate at one point.
Despite all that though, Van Gaal feels they are not yet in the class of teams like United and last season's European champions Barcelona.
When asked if he felt Bayern had reached the highest level with their performances domestically and in Europe this season, Van Gaal said: “I don't think so. As I said before I think that Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona are the better teams of Europe. Nevertheless, we can win the title.
“We have shown our level and of course we were also a little bit lucky that time when we played against Manchester United, but it was deserved I believe. It's always possible that the lower level club wins, that's sport.”
Van Gaal also used this opportunity to appeal to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini to introduce changes to help referees make key decisions due to the amount at stake in top matches.
“I still believe Barca have shown the best football this season in Europe, but details are always deciding the game, and when the referee is not doing what he has to do, then you have a problem,” Van Gaal added. “I've said it before, we have to help the referee as he cannot see everything. And the interest is so high. So maybe Mr Platini, maybe Mr Blatter, we have to change this.”
Van Gaal, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, took charge of Bayern last summer but the Dutchman suffered a difficult start to life in the Allianz Arena hotseat.
In their opening three matches Bayern only picked up two points, while in the Champions League group stages they looked destined for an early exit.
However, they scraped through in second place behind Bordeaux following victories in their final two matches against Maccabi Haifa and Juventus, before claiming away goals successes over Fiorentina and Manchester United in the next two rounds.
In the semi-finals they cruised past Lyon 4-0.
Speaking about his time in charge, Van Gaal said: “From day one the team tried to understand me. I have a specific way of training not only the body but the mind and this takes time,” he said. “When I was at Ajax it also took six months for the team to understand my philosophy, and also at Barcelona and Bayern. The chemistry between the players and coach is very important.”