Raphael Guerreiro believes Borussia Dortmund can shake off the disappointment of being pipped to the title by Bayern Munich last season by being crowned 2019/20 Bundesliga champions, telling bundesliga.com: "We all believe that it’s possible."
Dortmund looked odds-on to end Bayern Munich's six-year reign as German champions as they raced into a nine-point lead over the Bavarians at the top of the table with a breathtaking Hinrunde last season.
That advantage was whittled away, and though they were still in front with seven games left, they ended up finishing runners-up by two points as Bayern made it a magnificent seven successive titles.
Watch: How the dramatic 2018/19 title race unfolded!
Fast forward a year, and Lucien Favre's men find themselves in fourth, seven points behind halfway-stage leaders RB Leipzig with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern sandwiched in between to make up a heavyweight top four.
"Everything is still possible. Last season we had a nine-point lead but ended up losing out in the title race. There's no reason why that couldn't happen again this year. In my opinion, we still have a chance – we all believe that it's possible, it's been our aim since the beginning of the season. That's still the case today," Guerreiro said.
"At the moment, we can't say there are favourites. Everyone's grouped together – we've beaten teams above us in the table and lost to others like Bayern, for example. But then we beat Gladbach. We'll see what happens when the second half of the season kicks off. We're fully focused in any case and that's certainly everyone's objective."
Guerreiro has a simple reason for Dortmund's inability to bring the Meisterschale back to the Signal Iduna Park for the first time since Jürgen Klopp orchestrated back-to-back titles between 2010 and 2012.
"I think we became a bit complacent. We thought it was done, we thought we'd already won the title, even though there were a lot of matches remaining and unfortunately, we lost a lot of points in a relatively short period of time. The teams behind us grew in confidence. Unfortunately, we weren't able to reach our highest level at the end of the season," he explained.
"We were close to winning the league last season but unfortunately, we didn't get it over the line. We'll try to get it done this year. It's true that it's something special to win the title given the fact that it spans the entire season and everyone's together for the year."
Favre's men have been sweating in the Spanish sun in Marbella as they prepare to kick off the Rückrunde at Augsburg on Saturday. January signing Erling Haaland could make his Bundesliga bow after his move from Red Bull Salzburg, and Guerreiro is confident the 6'4" teenager's impact will match his imposing physique.
"He hasn't trained a huge amount with us yet. He had an injury when he arrived. But we all heard about his record, for example how he scored on his Champions League debut and also his debut for Norway. He made a good impression and we'll see what he can contribute to the team. We're counting on him, that's for sure." said Guerreiro of the 19-year-old, who scored 28 times in 22 appearances for Salzburg this season.
"His profile is one we've been missing here at the club. Someone tall who can hold long balls up well. Because in certain matches, it's difficult for us to impose our game upon the other team, and we need to play the ball long instead. We've not had someone in that role, so he provides a solution to that problem."
Guerreiro's versatility means he offers Favre a number of solutions. The Portugal international, who'll hope to defend his nation's European title at UEFA EURO 2020 next summer, was brought in by Dortmund from French club Lorient in 2016 having impressed as a left-back.
He's been employed both further up and down the pitch on the left side by Favre, and the French-speaking family man would prefer to stick to the defensive side of things, although he hints at a run-out in midfield being another fun prospect.
"I prefer to play at the back in defence – on the left. I also like playing in the middle of the pitch. I had the chance to play in that position under [Thomas] Tuchel, but haven't had the opportunity under Favre. If he ever needs someone for that role, I'd be an option," said Guerreiro, whom ex-BVB boss Tuchel said was one of the most talented players he had worked with.
"I didn't know he'd said that. It's very flattering to hear these kinds of things from such a big coach. I'm fully concentrated on my work. Today, that means giving my best for the team every single time."