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Reaction to the Champions League last sixteen draw

‘The toughest opponents we could have had’

“We were certainly hoping for someone different,” commented Philipp Lahm after Bayern were paired with Arsenal in the Champions League Round of 16. The club captain joined around half his team-mates to watch the draw at the team hotel in in Agadir, although the rest of the players were certainly keeping a close eye on the TVs in their rooms. “That’s the strongest team we could have got,” reflected Uli Hoeneß as he contemplated a re-run of last year’s first knockout round tie. “Arsenal are much stronger than last season,” warned Dante, “we’ll need to be totally focused in both games.”

Reaction to the Champions League last sixteen draw

Uli Hoeneß: “It’s what I feared. That’s the strongest team we could have got. We dare not underestimate these opponents.“

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “There were more manageable and easier opponents in the hat. But we can’t change it. We last played them ten months ago so we know we have to approach Arsenal with great respect, and that’s what we’ll do. Arsenal are having a good spell, a very stable spell. We’ll have to turn in two very good performances and hope we see it through to the same conclusion as last year.”

Matthias Sammer: “We’ll take it as it comes. I can live with it. We have to come back from the holidays in January, work hard from the first day, and then we’ll need to be on form twice against Arsenal.“

Philipp Lahm: “It’s a good omen, but they’re tough opponents, the toughest of the second-place teams. We were certainly hoping for someone different. Arsenal have made some good signings and they’re dangerous. But obviously we still want to make the quarter-finals!“

Manuel Neuer: They’re not unknown to us and they’re attractive opponents. Maybe last year’s Round of 16 tie is a good omen. Obviously we’re looking forward to taking on our fellow German internationals, and we have fond memories of London.“

Jérôme Boateng: “They’re the toughest opponents we could have had. They’ll be totally up for it after what happened last year. Both matches will be very intense. We want to defend the trophy so we have to beat all the teams put in front of us.“

Dante: “We’ll need to be totally focused in both games. We’re not all sitting here feeling pleased because we wanted to avoid Arsenal and Milan. But that’s the Champions League. You have lots of big clubs. Arsenal are much stronger than last season.“

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