The dream UEFA Champions League final, in pure football terms, would have been Barcelona versus Real Madrid. But the world's two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both fluffed penalties in the semi-finals, leaving us with the thinking fan's final, instead.
Which isn't to say that Bayern Munich against Chelsea is a dull second best. European club football's most coveted trophy and, in some ways, its soul and UEFA boss Michel Platini's ambitions for the future will all be in play when the sober Bavarian and glitzy west London teams meet in Munich.
A final with the Spanish giants might have produced a better show and a bigger global television audience. But Bayern versus Chelsea could be more significant, philosophically.
Bayern can be seen as a model for the type of club Platini wants to see and is pushing for: financially sound and adroitly managed, profitable for the past 19 years, living within its means, not beholden to a rich sugar daddy and certain to field some homegrown stars on Saturday night (Sunday 04:45 AEST).
Chelsea, on the other hand, is Roman Abramovich's vanity project. Because he can, the Russian billionaire has poured around £800 million ($1.28 billion) into the club he saved from possible bankruptcy in July 2003.
He has spent tens of millions of pounds on hiring and then firing managers who failed to meet his expectations, hundreds of millions more on players (often buying at inflated prices), and enabled Chelsea to post eye-watering financial losses. And, unlike Bayern, all of Chelsea's starters on Saturday will likely have been bought from other clubs.
So, in simplest terms, the final will be a contest of two business models - one, Bayern's, which purists like Platini believe is financially and morally right for football, against another which many feel is dangerous for the long-term health of the sport.
One shouldn't be too simplistic. Abramovich isn't Darth Vader and Bayern aren't a ragtag bunch of rebels succeeding on determination alone.
Both clubs have spent fortunes to reach this pinnacle match. Bayern's attacking trio of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer didn't come cheap.
But proponents of the Bayern model argue, somewhat smugly, that its wealth is generated sustainably, from huge commercial revenues, its regularly packed stadium, and on-field success, and that Chelsea wouldn't be competing at the top in Europe if not for Abramovich's financial doping.
Chelsea's semi-final defeat of Barcelona wasn't pretty. By defending doggedly in numbers and scoring three goals against the run of play, Chelsea offended fans of Barcelona's artful style and of its master, Messi.
Which gives thinking fans something else to ponder on Saturday night: Is it more important to play beautifully or to win?
Ideally, of course, neutrals would like to see both. But not all teams can do that. History remembers teams that are engraved on trophies, not always who they beat to get there, how they did it, or that it cost their owner $1 billion to buy the win.
Abramovich has chopped and changed his way through seven managers in nine years. It would be deliciously ironic if the coach who gets him what he wants - Chelsea's first Champions League trophy - is Roberto Di Matteo, the former assistant and now "interim" coach in charge only because Abramovich ditched the last guy, Andre Villas-Boas, in March.
The big regret is that six players who should play will be absent.
Bayern's David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo, and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires are suspended for one of the biggest matches of their careers simply because they picked up their third yellow cards of the competition in the semi-finals.
Chelsea's captain, John Terry, is also banned, for the more serious offence of being sent off for kneeing Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez in the back in their semi.
Fortuna Dusseldorf was relegated from the Bundesliga as Hoffenheim and Augsburg staged final-day escape acts.