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Exclusive interview

Butt: You have to win your home games

Just under four months after last term’s final in Madrid, Bayern launch their new Champions League campaign at home to AS Roma on Wednesday evening. The full house at the Allianz Arena will be hoping the men in red win and lay the foundation for reaching the knockout phase. “It always sends out a positive signal when you start the group stage with three points,” keeper Jörg Butt exclusively told

Interview: Jörg Butt Jörg, you open the new Champions League campaign on Wednesday. Are you looking forward to the meeting with AS Roma?
Jörg Butt: Every game in the Champions League is special, they’re always big games. The Champions League is always a celebration.

You’ve been through a lot since last season’s final against Inter Milan on 22 May: the World Cup in South Africa, a short vacation, an even shorter pre-season period, and the early phase of the new campaign. But do you still harbour any regrets about the final?
We’ve basically moved on – although as before, we’re still angry about losing. But it also motivates us to give it another go this season, and try and get as far as we can. Obviously, it’s always tough in the Champions League, you need a bit of luck with the draw, and you need form on the day. But last season showed that you don’t have to be one of the favourites to go a very long way. That has to give us impetus for this season.

How would you assess your group, with Roma, Basel und Cluj?
We have to progress from this group, no question about it. But it won’t be as easy as people might think just from looking at the names. Roma are a great team and finished runners-up in Italy. Cluj have been extremely successful in Romania recently, and Romanian teams are always highly skilled. Nor should we underestimate Swiss double winners Basel. We’re determined to make it to the next round, but we can take nothing for granted.

The Romanian and Swiss seasons started some time ago, but the Italians have only played two matches. It is an advantage to be facing your closest rivals right at the start?
The teams which have been back in business for longer might have an advantage, so it’s good for us to be meeting Roma right now, as we’ll know exactly where we stand afterwards. But regardless of these considerations, we’re at home, and you have to win your home games. It always sends out a positive signal when you start the group stage with three points.

Roma were crushed 5-1 by Cagliari on Saturday. How will that affect Wednesday’s game?
We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking it’ll somehow be easy because of that one result. You always have to look at the course of a match and not place too much emphasis on the result. It’ll be a completely different game against us, and it’s a totally different competition.

What do you make of your result against Bremen?
We’re not happy. Especially in the first half, we made too many mistakes, we gave away possession too easily, and Bremen had chances as a result. We also didn’t create enough chances of our own. It was better in the second half, but you’ve got to put away your chances.

Although the team has yet to run into form, you were in great shape against Bremen. Is it easier for the goalkeeper to recover his form and rhythm?
I don’t think it’s anything to do with a particular position. I think a lot depends on how many games you’ve played. I only played once at the World Cup, the third-place play-off. The international match calendar is a hot topic right now, and it was obviously far from ideal that the first international friendlies were before the first Bundesliga fixtures this summer. But we have to accept the situation as it is, and make sure we run into form as quickly as possible.