‘We’ve got the ball rolling again'

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Following a day off to recharge the batteries on Tuesday the Bayern pros shifted up a gear on Wednesday. The German record champions started preparation for the next phase of midweek games. The Reds have five matches in 15 days, including tough challenges away to Juventus, Wolfsburg and Dortmund.

But before the men from Munich take on the Turin giants in the Champions League Round of 16, they have to focus on Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Darmstadt at the Allianz Arena. "We're not thinking of Juve yet. We'll take it step by step: first Darmstadt, then Juventus," declared Douglas Costa after an exhausting training session on Wednesday.

His team-mate Thiago agreed. His thoughts are "zero percent" on La Vecchia Signora. "I'm 100 percent focused on Darmstadt, then on Juventus," the midfielder stressed. A victory against the promoted side from the state of Hesse would provide the table-toppers with even more momentum prior to the Champions League showdown in Italy.

'Bring people joy'

"On the one hand it's good to have a break, but on the other hand it's difficult to get back into your rhythm. However, we've got the ball rolling again," summarised Thiago after the first few matches in the second half of the season. Costa too "needed time to run into form again" after an injury lay-off and the subsequent winter break. The Brazilian is convinced: "I'll improve every game!"

In the form he displayed during the first half of the season, Douglas Costa would undoubtedly help FC Bayern in the decisive weeks ahead. Thiago explained: "I already knew Douglas when he played for Gremio and Shakhtar. But when he joined us he surprised me again. His speed, his technique... he's a great guy," the 24-year old commented on the lightning-quick winger who regularly deputises in the centre.

"My position isn't fixed, I don't care where I play, the main thing is that I play," said Costa, who is looking forward to the upcoming crucial weeks. The Brazilian does not only want to turn in successful displays, but also beautiful football. "The purpose of football is to bring people joy," said Costa. The Bayern fans would rejoice the most at many victories and, ultimately, trophies.


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