Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting says holders Bayern Munich are still the team to beat in this season's UEFA Champions League, ahead of their quarter-final showdown with the Cameroon striker's former club Paris Saint-Germain.
Choupo-Moting spent two seasons at PSG, playing his final game for the Ligue 1 outfit in last year's 1-0 defeat to Bayern in the Champions League final.
With star striker Robert Lewandowski on the sidelines, the 32-year-old is in line to meet his ex-employers sooner than expected.
Bayern welcome the Parisians to the Allianz Arena on 7 April, before travelling to the French capital six days later.
"The whole story is now circled back in quite a weird and quick way. At the time, it was a match of equals between the two best teams in Europe. Bayern deserved to win because they scored the one goal more," Choupo-Moting told Bayern members' magazine 51 of the 2019/20 Champions League showpiece, settled by former PSG man Kingsley Coman's second-half header.
Watch: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting "happy to be back" in the Bundesliga
"Winning the title is the big goal of all of us here, you can see that every day at this club. We have a very good chance, but I think it's harder to defend the Champions League than to win it, because everyone is chasing Bayern right now. We're currently seen as the best team in the world - that means we're the team everyone wants to beat.
"That makes it all the more important that we work together positively, having fun and, above all, keeping as a unit. We won't take PSG lightly."
Choupo-Moting has scored two of his five goals since joining Bayern in October 2020 in this season's Champions League. He was on target in their final Group A game against Lokomotiv Moscow, and in the second leg of their last-16 tie with Lazio, helping the six-time European champions extend their unbeaten run in the competition to 19 matches.
Only Manchester United have put together a longer streak in the Champions League era - 25 games without defeat between 19 September 2007 and 5 May 2009 - but the Bundesliga veteran is confident his current employers can take another step towards that record in the quarter-finals.
"My mentality [is] always believe! Always be optimistic, even if you have a setback," Choupo-Moting explained. "I have experienced so much and can really say: You never stop learning. My experience is that you should never have your tail between your legs for too long. Especially in football, even after one bad game, you can be the hero again in the next - and if you believe in yourself, you'll achieve your goals."
Choupo-Moting has got his hands on the FIFA Club World Cup in his short time with sextuple winners Bayern, where he is hoping to stay beyond the terms of his existing deal, which expires at the end of the current campaign.
"It's enormous fun at this club. Everything I had promised myself beforehand from FC Bayern has been more than fulfilled," he said.
"Of course, it would be nice to stay longer. I go into training every day with a smile. It's an honour to play here. This is a top destination in European football. Every player knows what he has here. I'm super happy.
"Munich is a beautiful city, and since it's been a great fit at the club with my colleagues right from the start and my family feels comfortable here, everything is perfect right now. My daughter was born here; I can say that I am so happy.
"The icing on the cake is wearing this shirt. Now, after the Club World Cup, all I need is a few more trophies - and to get them, I'll give everything."
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