Bayern Munich attacker Philippe Coutinho believes the reigning Bundesliga champions have what it takes to win the UEFA Champions League this season.
The Brazilian was speaking to newspaper Abendzeitung at the end of Bayern’s winter training camp in Qatar, claiming the Munich club can go all the way and claim a sixth European crown in Istanbul in May.
The record German champions have been imperious so far this term in the Champions League, recording the best group stage in the competition’s history with a flawless six wins from six and a +19 goal difference. It included two record-breaking four-goal hauls from Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski against Tottenham Hotspur and Red Star Belgrade respectively.
Watch: Coutinho’s roots in Brazil
As a result, they were drawn against England’s Chelsea in the last 16. While Coutinho believes there are “no favourites in the knockout stage”, where the level is “high and the games are close and complicated”, he added that, “we will try our best to reach the next round of course go on to win the Champions League.
“I think we have the quality in our squad to do so.”
Bayern once again begin the new year in the hunt in all three competitions of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League. Only once before, in 2013, have they gone on to lift all three as part of their historic treble under Jupp Heynckes, but Coutinho believes current coach Hansi Flick has them on track to potentially repeat the feat.
“Flick has played his part in creating such a good atmosphere. And when you have fun, it’s easier to do your job, in both training and matches.
“He’s a very good coach, is very open and talks a lot to us players. He has the potential to be Bayern coach for a long time. Every one of us players are happy with him.”
The 61-time Brazil international, too, has played his part in keeping Bayern in the hunt since his summer loan move from Barcelona, with seven goals and assists each in 22 competitive appearances, including a hat-trick and a brace of assists in one game against Werder Bremen alone.
Watch: Coutinho’s Man of the Matchday display against Bremen
As well as their upcoming two-legged European clash with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, last season’s domestic double winners are also up against Hoffenheim in the last 16 of the DFB Cup in early February and begin the new year four points off Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, who have to head to the Allianz Arena just four days after that cup tie.