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back Bundesliga | 02.05.2013 12:49:21

Klitschko: "The best league in the world"

  • Long-standing affinity: Wladimir Klitschko (r.) and Bastian Schweinsteiger at FC Bayern's DFB Cup-winning banquet back in 2006
  • Klitschko (r., with coach Jonathan Banks) defends his world titles for the 14th time on Saturday, against the unbeaten Franceso Pianeta
  • Before making his way to the fight venue however, he will be tuning in to at least some of the Bundesliga mega-meeting between FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund

Munich - Late this coming Saturday, Wladimir Klitschko will put his three world heavyweight championship belts on the line when he steps into the ring to face Italy's Francesco Pianeta at the SAP Arena in Mannheim.

With so much at stake, it's difficult to imagine the 37-year-old Kazakhstan-born Ukranian star finding time for anything but eating, sleeping and training. As the ardent FC Bayern Munich fan revealed to us in an exclusive interview, however, he wouldn't miss their upcoming showdown with Bundesliga rivals - and UEFA Champons League final opponents - Borussia Dortmund for the world...

bundesliga.com: Wladimir Klitschko, you're defending your WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles on 4 May - the same evening FC Bayern take on Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Are you faced with a conflict of interests?
 
Wladimir Klitschko: I'll finish my tea at 18:30 and you usually have a couple of hours of free time before heading to the arena at about 20:30. So I'll definitely take in the first half.
 
bundesliga.com: Tell us about your relationship with FC Bayern...
 
Klitschko: I've been a fan of Bayern Munich for years. I've boxed in Munich before and some of the lads came to watch me fight, so there's a personal relationship there.
 
bundesliga.com: What do you make of Bayern's success this season?
 
Klitschko: You have to wonder how they manage it. You can see there's no envy within the Bayern team. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been playing unbelievably well recently and everyone else in the team is performing at their best, too. It just works.
 
bundesliga.com: What about the coach, Jupp Heynckes?
 
Klitschko: It must be a nice feeling to be the coach of a club with so many excellent players. I don't think it's just about being a good strategist, but a good psychologist as well. All athletes are very ambitious, but as a coach you need to be able to channel that ambition - and not everyone is capable of doing it.
 
bundesliga.com: Where do you think the Bundesliga ranks among Europe's top leagues these days?
 
Klitschko: For me, the Bundesliga is the best league in the world. Certainly in terms of the quality of players, but from an economic point of view as well.

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