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Battling BATE

Belarus champions vow to put up ‘big fight’

Bayern set off on a journey into the unknown on Monday, as Germany's biggest club have never visited Belarus, and never played a team from the Central European nation. However, one member of the squad does know his way around Minsk, the capital city of 1.8 million inhabitants, and that is Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

“When I was small, I often came here with my family," said the Ukrainian utility man, who was born in Luzk, 160 km to the south of the Belarus border. “Minsk is a lovely city, it's very clean and the people are friendly," said Tymo, who is also familiar with the domestic football scene here, as he has faced Belarus with his national team on a number of occasions, and has also actually played against BATE Borisov.