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‘We’re aiming to win’

Upbeat Müller: It’ll be no ordinary game

The German media are falling over themselves in the search for superlatives to describe Saturday evening’s meeting between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park. Some reporters are even calling the first  Bundesliga head-to-head since the Champions League final at Wembley the “German Clasico”. But whatever you choose to call it, millions of fans in Germany and around the world are looking forward to the match - and the sense of anticipation is just as great among the Bayern stars.

“Obviously it’s something very special and no ordinary game,” declared Thomas Müller, in upbeat spirits after international duty with Germany away to Italy and England. Even Franck Ribéry’s absence with a cracked rib has failed to dampen expectations. “We’ll put out a strong, competitive team. We’re aiming to win!“

Arjen Robben returned to the Bavarian capital on Monday evening from the Dutch international camp but will make the trip to Dortmund. The winger was released by Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal after picking up a knock on the ankle, but coming back early to Munich was only a precautionary measure, the player confirmed on Thursday. “It was the right decision,” continued Robben, “we didn’t want to take any risks. Saturday’s match in Dortmund is more important.“ Robben said he “always looks forward to this match,” and insisted Bayern’s hunger to win is “very great.”

Müller: It’s only a game

Müller is expecting “a hostile atmosphere” in Dortmund. “Going there is always interesting.“ The home team have been crippled by an injury crisis, “but they’ll still work their butts off,” said the man who has 50 Bundesliga goals for Bayern to his name. “Dortmund aren’t dependent on individual players. They’ll make their system work.“

However, the treble winners are “confident” as they travel to the Ruhr Valley, Robben confirmed. Bayern’s solitary defeat in a competitive fixture this season was the 4-2 reverse away to BVB in the German Super Cup final, so the most recent memories of Signal Iduna Park are not the happiest, “but we’ve come on very positively since then,” Robben remarked. “We respect them, but they don’t frighten us. We want to win the match.“

So will the game live up to its billing as the German Clásico - and how would Thomas Müller translate that into German? “I’ll have to research that,” the Germany international grinned, before defying the hype and putting the game into its proper context: “At the end of the day, it’s only a game of football. After 90 or 95 minutes you have a result, and then life goes on.”