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European dream

Reds focus efforts on Champions League

Bayern have claimed the German double four times since 2003 to underscore their status as the non plus ultra on the domestic scene, but the Bavarians' recent record in Europe leaves plenty to be desired. Since winning the Champions League in 2001, the Reds have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals, while last term's UEFA Cup campaign ended in the last four.

Under new boss Jürgen Klinsmann, Germany's number one club are determined to make up for a few lean years, and have named the Champions League final in Rome on 27 May as a target for the coming term. "We judge ourselves against the top teams and have to prove our international credentials. We'll do everything in our power to make the final in Rome. That's our goal,“ Klinsmann declared at the official season-opening event on Tuesday.

Borowski eyes Champions League glory

One item on the agenda was the unveiling of the club's new Champions League kit, an all-white strip with red trim on the shirt, shorts and socks in which the men from Munich will do battle with the best teams from England, Spain and Italy. "I'm looking forward to the new season and the Champions League. We want to go as far as we can and make an impression,“ declared summer signing Tim Borowski.

The coach and the players are not the only people in the game to have set their sights on 27 May 2009. "We all share the dream, but we're not the only ones with the same dream. Many other clubs have it too. It'll be unbelievably difficult,“ chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warned, "but we've done everything conceivable to make our mark in Europe this season. On a good day, we're in with a chance against any other team in the world.“

Kahn senses big things ahead

Oliver Kahn is convinced his former team-mates can go far: "You shouldn't read anything into the UEFA Cup. We'll see a very different Bayern in the Champions League. Why shouldn't the team make it to Rome? Everything's possible, including a place in the final.“ The former Bayern skipper named players such as "Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who've all taken another step forward in recent months. In fact, the whole team has come on. I believe Bayern can go a very long way indeed."

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