Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Bayern Munich's Sandro Wagner – the self-styled "best German striker" – is confident the reigning Bundesliga champions will defend their crown this season, despite their recent 3-2 Klassiker defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking at a table-football event hosted by a club sponsor on Wednesday, the 30-year-old addressed Bayern's dip in form in which Niko Kovac's side have collected just eight points from the last 21 available, leaving them in fifth place in the standings.
Watch: Highlights of a breath-taking Klassiker on Matchday 11
"Everyone has their own opinion but in my view, Bayern have to be champions," Wagner said. "I want to win the title and I think my team-mates do too. Nobody's saying 'it's no big deal if we don't win the Bundesliga this season'. Everyone wants to win it. We're seven points behind – or four actually, because we have to beat Dortmund at the Allianz Arena in the second half of the season.
"But I have a different opinion to everyone else in Germany, who thinks Dortmund are an über-team. I'm certain we'll have a say in the title race and that we'll win the league. I'm absolutely certain."
His optimism is perhaps not as far-fetched as it might sound. After all, Bayern were five points off the pace in October last year, before coming thundering back to win a sixth straight championship.
And Wagner has an idea how he and his team-mates can get back on track this year: "Everyone needs to put their own personal interests to one side […] There are several things we need to work on but I'm a player and I try to do what the coach asks us to do. We all need to do that. And everyone needs to make sure they're performing as they can do."
His confidence is further underlined by an unwavering belief that Bayern's class will show through eventually. "I think we have by far the best team in Germany," he said. "Admittedly Borussia Dortmund have had some good games recently, but in my view we're the better team. So the aim of each and every one of us has to be to win the Bundesliga. It's not a year of transition or upheaval: that's all rubbish. We have to win the title."