Munich - FC Bayern München are as hungry as ever for titles, with defender Dante saying they can "never be satisifed" until they have some silverware in their hands, although victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday will not guarantee them anything other than a sizeable cushion at the top of the Bundesliga.
Both FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund are battling injuries, but here's what might have happened had Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Franck Ribery been fit for Saturday'sKlassiker. All this and much more on theofficial Bundesliga YouTube channel!
Fresh from international duty - and his first stint as Brazil captain - Dante told bundesliga.com his thoughts on Saturday's showpiece in an exclusive interview.
bundesliga.com: Dante, is Borussia Dortmund Vs. FC Bayern München the Bundesliga’s game of the year?
Dante: No, I wouldn’t say that. Nothing will be decided if we win, even if we have a seven-point lead.
bundesliga.com: Psychologically it would be a huge advantage, though, right?
Dante: Yeah, that’s true. We would be able to go into the coming games feeling more relaxed and at ease, but after the big one there are still another 21 games. In that respect, a lot can still happen.
bundesliga.com: How important is the game against Dortmund?
Dante: We want to prove yet again that we are Germany’s number one. At the moment, we’re in sparkling form and we want to back that up in Dortmund. We want to show that we’re the best. For that to happen, we will have to be in top form. There’s going to be a fiery atmosphere and it’s going to be really absorbing, but these are the games we love. That’s why we play football.
bundesliga.com: What do you think will decide the game on the pitch at the Signal Iduna Park?
Dante: We have to be clever and play intelligent football. We mustn’t give the ball away needlessly in midfield because Dortmund are red-hot on the counter and attack with unbelievable pace. We’re going to have to press and put Dortmund under pressure from the off. We have to be alert to the second balls and make our presence felt. For me, it’s so important that we win these battles. That way we have a really good chance of coming away with the win. Physically, we should be robust and strong in the tackle. Mentally, we should go into the game full of confidence.
bundesliga.com: It’s going to be a particularly special occasion for Mario Götze. What sort of reception do you think he’ll receive?
Dante: It’s always a strange feeling when you return home for the first time, but we will have prepared for the game to the best of our abilities and will support Mario. I’m sure he’ll put in a top performance and will handle the pressure.
bundesliga.com: What conclusions can you draw, a third of the way into the campaign?
Dante: We’re unbeaten after twelve games and deserve to be top. It’s difficult to do much better, but when you play for FC Bayern München, you’re never entirely happy until you get your hands on silverware. We want to win every game. We have to keep ourselves in check and push forwards. We can’t afford to relax. We’re proud of where we are in the table, but our position at the end of the season is more important. We want to win everything again.
bundesliga.com: And for you personally?
Dante: I’d been nursing a cut to the foot, but I recovered quickly. I didn’t really get much time off, what with the Confederations Cup, but I’m still feeling super fit. It’ll be a while yet before I’ve satisfied my hunger for success.
Interview by Alexis Menuge