Created on 17-09-2012 at 00:00 AM
Bayern have made an excellent start to the domestic season, but now turn their attention to the Champions League. The men in red, who have made the final twice in the last three years, open their campaign at home to Valencia on Wednesday.
Prior to the match, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke at length to news agency dpa about the latest effort to triumph in the elite club competition. “We have a deep yearning for this trophy! Once you've made the final twice but suffered such painful defeats, and especially the latest one here in Munich, you feel wistful. But there's also a hunger to claim the trophy at some point," the FCB chairman said. We reproduce the interview in full.
Prior to the start of the 21st Champions League season and your opening match against Valencia, do you find yourself thinking about the dramatic defeat to Chelsea in the final on home soil?
Rummenigge: No-one here can forget the match against Chelsea. There was too much drama. We’re all accusing ourselves of missing a number of chances to wrap up the match, but it can't be changed. We have to start another attempt now, and the team is very motivated.
In a group with Valencia, Lille and Borisov, Bayern should surely consider getting through as a matter of routine.
I'd describe the group as manageable, but we still have to approach it with respect and concentration. It would be nice to finish first, because we might well avoid the really big names in the Round of 16, and we'd play the first leg away from home.
Is the home meeting with Valencia a pivotal fixture right at the start?
Valencia are definitely our toughest opponents, and we've played them a few times in the Champions League. The matches were always tough, including the 2001 final in Milan. It would be good to start with a win, because you gain confidence and the situation stays calm.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is back, and Javi Martinez is here. What can we expect from the pair? Will they form a new, powerful central midfield unit?
I made a point of watching our friendly against Qatar during the international break because I was curious about that. I'm optimistic that they'll combine well on and off the field. They can become a pairing which hands us stability. There’s a level of quality which will do as good.
Bayern have reached the final twice in the last three seasons. How deep is your yearning to win it?
We have a deep yearning for the trophy! Once you've made the final twice but suffered such painful defeats, especially the latest one in Munich, you feel wistful. But there's also a hunger to claim the trophy at some point. We'll try again, although it's too early to be thinking about May 2013.