Munich - Like Bayern Munich, FC BATE Borisov opened the group phase of their Champions League campaign with a victory. Ahead of his side's encounter with the German record titleholders on Tuesday however, Aliaksandr Hleb was happy enough to talk up the opposition.

The 31-year-old midfielder boasts a wealth of experience in Europe's elite competition, having previously featured for VfB Stuttgart, Arsenal and Barcelona. Now back at the club who gave him his first opportunity as a professional, Hleb is desperate to help them make history in the tournament.

In interview with the Belarusian international quelled any doubts as to his fitness for the match and discussed what it's like working under one of Europe's most promising head coaches, before issuing an assurance that his team will be going all-out to show their best side against die Münchner. Aliaksandr Hleb, how come you were omitted from BATE's squad against Neman Grodno (5-1) - you're not injured, are you?

Aleksandr Hleb: No, thankfully not. [Coach] Viktor Goncharenko rested me for the match against Grodno. It gave other players a run-out and was just a precuationary measure as far as it goes for me. BATE are currently top of the table again in Belarus. What are the reasons for the club's current success?

Hleb: The atmosphere is very good amongst the team, it's a bit like being part of a family and everyone's very open with each other. It's a young team, but already quite experienced and with a few foreign players as well. We're not on the same level as Bayern though, and they're certainly the favourites. We'll see what will happen on Tuesday, but we're looking forward to it. No fear at all, as Bayern Munich are undefeated this season and top of the Bundesliga ?

Hleb: No, the pressure is on Bayern as they're the favourites. It will be difficult, they're a fantastic team, but anything is possible. BATE snatched three points on Champions League Matchday 1 at Olympique Lille. The team appear to relish the role of the underdog.

Hleb: I believe we do. But we're not looking too far ahead as we know that other teams, in particular Bayern and Valencia, are favourites in this group. Likewise, Lille could still progress despite the defeat. We're just trying to take it step by step and we'll see how far we've got after the six matches. What will BATE's tactical approach be against Bayern?

Hleb: Above all, it's important that we're compact as a team, solid in defence and ready to hit Bayern on the break at any time. On top of that, we need to try to control the ball which, realistically speaking, will be hard as we'll be playing one of the best teams in the world. But we'll try to present ourselves as well as possible. Your coach Viktor Goncharenko is still only 35 years old, but has led BATE to the Champions League group phase for the third time since 2007. What are his qualities?

Hleb: He's a very honest person and an outstanding coach. In fact the whole coaching staff, Aleksandr Yermakovich and Aleksey Baga as well, are doing a great job. They're always trying to optimise the training programme, and always there to give us every possible support. Is it a disadvantage that BATE have to play their Champions League games in Minsk rather than their own stadium due to UEFA regulations?

Hleb: We don't look at it as an advantage or disadvantage. BATE Borisov's European matches have been taking place in Dinamo's stadium for years, so the team are very familiar with the surroundings. It's like our second home, you could say. Your contract runs out at the end of the year - what are your plans for the future?

Hleb: I haven't even started thinking about what I will be doing next year. But one thing is for sure: I want to play in a good league and with a club that's involved on the international stage. In a sense, I'm using BATE as a springboard but at the same time I want to help the team achieve their goals and maybe even make a bit of Belarusian football history in the process. Any chance of you re-joining the Bundesliga?

Hleb: Definitely, I love Germany. There are no stadiums like those in the Bundesliga, and it's the league with the best atmosphere as well. I've always really enjoyed playing in Germany.

Interviewed by Christoph Gailer