Dortmund - Mats Hummels has already faced some of the best strikers in the world and after helping keep Borussia Mönchengladbach at bay on Saturday, the Borussia Dortmund centre back is looking forward to measuring himself up with some of Europe's finest in the Champions League.
Buoyed by the thumping 5-0 victory over Gladbach, the German champions make the journey to their English Premier League counterparts Manchester City in good spirits.
Wednesday's encounter at the Etihad Stadium is Dortmund's second outing in arguably the tournament's toughest group. "Manchester City are a fantastic team, without a doubt, and if we were to lose narrowly there, nobody would be saying we're in a crisis," Hummels said. "But I'm confident we have what it takes to match them. I'm sure City won't find it easy to play against us either. And we badly want to come away with something."
It's a confidence which on the face of it belies a side who crashed out of Europe in the group stages in each of the past two seasons. But with three points already in the bag from a 1-0 opening group stage victory over Ajax and Saturday's timely return to form against Gladbach, the Yellow-Blacks look well-placed to improve on that recent record.
Not that Hummels is getting too carried away, given that this is a group which also includes Real Madrid. "We're certainly not going to go there and attack them far up the field," he said. "We're going to have to keep it tight and build our attacking game from there. We did that against Gladbach and that will be the approach in Manchester as well."
Without taking anything away from Gladbach, who were missing Luuk de Jong up front on Saturday, Hummels puts City at a different level - which makes the contest all the more attractive. "These are the most enjoyable games of all," he said. "And once we've played Real Madrid, I'll have completed the set by having gone up against the ten best footballers of my generation That's something like a childhood dream."
Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli could well be leading the line for the hosts on Wednesday and Hummels has a score to settle with the latter after Germany's loss to Italy at EURO 2012. After that come Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain when Dortmund lock orns with los Blancos in their next group game. "When you're 15 or 16, you dream about playing against the best in the world," said Hummels. "It's fantastic that that's about to happen now - and hopefully we can do a job against them"